This year's CES sucks. But that doesn't mean there can't be a few genuinely cool things floating around out there in an otherwise dull ocean of 4K and touchscreens. Case in point: YotaPhone, which sadly isn't even on the CES show floor at all. We covered the announcement of the YotaPhone, but really, seeing and using it in person does the idea so much more justice.
On paper, it seems pretty straightforward: a phone with a screen on both sides.
The long, long wait is finally over, at least for those of you who backed the phenomenally successful Pebble Kickstarter campaign. After initially promising to ship orders in September, then getting swamped with almost 70,000 pledges and more than $10,000,000 in funding, Pebble Technology has committed to shipping its e-paper Bluetooth watch on January 23rd. The email was sent to backers to coincide with Pebble's CES press conference. There is no word on when Pebble's watches will be available for general purchase.
Oh man, if you thought quad-core phones were crazy, your brain should prepare itself for at least twice as much explosion. Samsung just announced at CES its new Exynos 5 Octa processors. These chips, on a 28nm architecture (which means they're small and use less power) have eight dang cores. The company says that this will result in up to 70% battery savings (compared to what is unclear...we would assume the previous Exynos processor).
If you're a Verizon customer in an area that has yet to receive its share of the company's expansive LTE network, then every month's "new LTE list" is probably a nail-biter for you. Good news, though – you'll be covered by the end of 2013, according to a new post on Big Red's blog.
In its current state, Verizon's 4G LTE network covers an impressive 473 markets, which reaches roughly 273.5 million users.
I love the idea of wearable computers. When I heard I'm Spa was giving away the I'm Watch Color at CES, I ran over to their booth to grab one. The plan was to get it, review it, and maybe even use it after the review, even if it made me look a little geeky. I'm Spa has a new version of the OS, "I'm Droid 2.0," which is just a scaled down version of Android, so it should be very powerful and work well with my phone.
If the rather binary choices of blue and white for the current model of the T-Mobile's variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III don't appeal, there's another option available. A Titanium Grey color has popped up on Best Buy's website, at the same subsidized price as the other T-Mobile models, currently $179.99 with a two-year contract and a whopping $700 outright. Just be aware that if you actually buy a T-Mobile Galaxy S III at any time in the next month, your future self may come back Biff Tannen-style and smack you for being so shortsighted.
When I went to CES in 2012, I had a pretty good time. I’m having a pretty good time this year, too, but that’s in no way thanks to the gadgets that have been unveiled thus far (well, with one exception).
Fancy a new 5" superphone? ZTE may have something to pique your interest - if you live in China. The company's latest high-end device, the Grand S, was unveiled yesterday prior to CES, and we got some hands-on time earlier today. It hits all the right points: 5" 1080p display, 13MP rear camera, 1.7GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1, LTE connectivity, and is a fairly stunning 6.9mm in profile.
But, ZTE wasn't shy about discussing market availability: China.
If you hadn't heard, Intel actually unveiled a new smartphone chip at CES. It's just not a particularly exciting one. Lexington, as its known, will be marketed primarily in emerging parts of the world - think Southeast Asia and Africa - in handsets that will probably closely mimic the reference design you see below in the hands-on video.
I'll admit - there's not a whole lot to this thing. It has a tiny 3.7" screen, isn't particularly thin (actually, it's pretty thick), and feels cheap.