As is typical for an event held in a Las Vegas convention centre, the Consumer Electronics Show (Jan, 5th-8th) was filled with all the grandeur and flashing lights you’d expect from Sin City (sadly minus the showgirls). This year the show turned 50 and showed no signs of slowing down. While some of the biggest names in tech were noticeably absent, most likely to save their big reveals for their own events (read: Apple and Google), there were still a multitude of exciting announcements at the event to give the droves of reporters, tech enthusiasts, and investors a reason to flock to the Nevada desert for another year.
Following in the footsteps of the most glaring trends of 2016, the hallways of the Sands Expo Centre were filled with a new range of connected devices (literally everything is connected now), autonomous cars, personal assistants, and robo-companions.
Many of the mobile related announcements will be waiting for Mobile World Congress in February, but there were still a number of new releases to satiate mobile fanatics. See below as we discuss three of the most talked about mobile devices from the event.
Blackberry DTEK70 (Mercury)
Similarly to the Backstreet Boys in the late 90’s, BlackBerry’s Back…Alright. All jokes aside, the Waterloo-based telecom company, made quite the splash in Vegas with their newest device, DTEK70 (codenamed “Mercury”). While they kept many of the details for the newest flagship BlackBerry phone under wraps, they still showed enough to get BlackBerry and Android enthusiasts excited. It has everything BlackBerry users love with the full QWERTY keyboard, and the focus on security, but it also adds a USB Type-C port and possible new image stabilizing hardware. Will the DTEK70 be enough to convert non-BlackBerry users? Probably not. But it does seem to be an on-brand offering for those consumers who value privacy and security above all else.
ASUS ZenFone AR
The floor at CES was swarming with devices aiming to captivate people through AR and VR. Looking to take advantage of this trend on the mobile front was ASUS with the ZenPhone AR; the world’s first smartphone that is able to support both Google Tango (AR) and Google Daydream (VR). More than just a gimmick, the ZenPhone AR utilizes the combination of its Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 8GB RAM, 23MP main camera, motion-tracking camera, and depth-sensing camera to support Tango. The ZenPhone is surely an impressively performing phone, but with mobile AR and VR still in their infancy, it will be interesting to see how many consumers are eager to get their hands on it first when the phone is released in Q2 ‘17.
This popular, but relatively unknown, sub-brand of Huawei was a standout in the budget mobile device category. Honor has been releasing phones in Asia since 2011, but only debuted in the North American market at last year’s CES with the Honor 5X. Although it has a price range ($250USD) that makes it fall within the “budget” category, the device still packs the technical punch of a flagship phone. With 1080p resolution, dual cameras, and Android Nougat compatibility, the phone is positioned well to succeed for price conscious consumers.
Stay tuned to our blog next month during Mobile World Congress to see what else we can expect from the mobile landscape in 2017!