Now that the annual gadget-fest known as CES is over, it’s time to take a look at the best and worst in show. Most importantly, it’s time to be glad that it’s over!
Let’s take a look at all the announcements from CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the best and the worst, to take a look at what’s coming, what might even make it to Australia, and what stuff we can gladly do without. We know, CES 2017 is most often an annual crapfest where a few announcements of quality products are made, and an awful lot of truly awful devices are shown off as well. I’ve long believed that CES isn’t especially interesting to those with a deep interest in consumer and personal technology; those interests are much better served at events like Mobile World Congress, IFA Berlin and other more technology focused events throughout the calendar year.
So, with the crapfest over, let’s take a look at what came out.
Mobiles and Portable Devices
- LG unveils four new K-series handsets and Stylus 3 ahead of CES
- ZTE Blade V8 rumoured, and then Blade V8 Pro announced
- ASUS Chromebook Flip 2 revealed ahead of CES
- ASUS brings a Snapdragon-821 powered Tango Phone to the floor
- Qualcomm announces its new Snapdragon 835 processor
- Huawei announces Honor 6X with dual-lens camera and affordable pricing
- Samsung announces Chromebook Pro and Chromebook Plus, but not for Australia
- ASUS confirms the Zenfone 3 Zoom and Zenfone AR
- ZTE shows off crowdsourced Hawkeye
- TCL shows off a prototype new Blackberry, and we get hands on
- Alcatel announces the A3 XL large format smartphone, to come to Australia
- Dell announces new XPS 13 2-in-1, will come to Australia
Being CES, a more general consumer tech show, we didn’t see any huge announcements in mobile; most of those devices announced in the mobile category were not what you would call flagship contenders, or even high-end devices. These are devices for mass appeal, not for the top end.
The picks of the bunch are probably the new Blackberry (for its uniqueness factor), ZTE’s Blade V8 Pro which shows us what the Blade V8 will look like later in the year, and the expansion of Huawei’s coverage further in to the US market.
In the laptop/tablet space, though, there have been some very exciting announcements. Samsung’s new Chromebook range look to be incredibly promising, though the sad news is they won’t come to Australia through official channels. ASUS’ Chromebook Flip 2 looks equally promising, and the chances are better that it will come here. The big news, though, was Dell’s new XPS 13 2-in-1 which had literally everyone at Ausdroid salivating at the thought.
There were a lot of announcements in the wearable category, but not many that will be of significant interest. The highlights for us were the announcements of new Android Wear smartwatches, and even a couple that weren’t, including:
- Casio’s new Smart Outdoor Watch (2017)
- Garmin’s new fēnix 5 series fitness watches
- New Balance announces its Run IQ Android Wear devices
Other things materialised including new fitness trackers, including one that you wear as a ring on your finger … but I’m not sure I see the appeal there. Running / exercising / lifting weights with jewellery on can be rather annoying depending on who you are, and tolerating a smartwatch is about the limit for most. I don’t see a smart-ring as popular for the serious fitness folks, though for day-to-day step tracking, it might be a good idea.
It wouldn’t be CES without a swathe of announcements of connected tech, or in many cases, connected crap. Of course, we didn’t write too much about the pile of crappy products announced, including things like a heated pod-based lube machine and (yet again) internet-connected refrigerators.
However, there were a few gems that we found, and here’s the best of them:
- LG’s new audio products including wireless, levitating speakers and personal audio
- Google and Chrysler bringing an Android-powered headunit to market .. apparently
- Linksys’ new mesh WiFi product, Velop
- Lenovo Smart Assistant using Amazon Alexa
- Ring releases a new connected Smart Floodlight
Last but not least, let’s take a look at how we went with our predictions of what we’d see at CES, and see how accurate we were:
- Chromebook Flip 2 – Announced
- Huawei Mate 9 for the US market – Announced
- ZTE Blade V8 – Not quite, but the Blade V8 Pro was announced. Blade V8 will come later.
- Samsung Chromebook Pro – Announced, in two variants
- Xiaomi Smartphone – Nope
- LG’s new smartphones – Announced, but we knew they were coming. It wasn’t a prediction.
- New gear from Linksys – Announced
I’d call that six out of seven, and that’s not bad. Now we can put CES 2017 behind us, and as the weary tech journalists make their way through the hotbed of casinos, hotels, police and prostitutes roaming the infamous Las Vegas strip, we can settle back into our regular news program as we gear up for the next major tech show, Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in just under seven weeks.