2017 marked my sixth consecutive attendance at the world's largest technology event, and for the sixth year, I left feeling like phones weren't really a very important part of it all. I have come to accept that's just what CES has become, especially given it sits in the shadow of the much more mobile-focused Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, which is happening about seven weeks from now. But before we start looking ahead, let's talk about what happened last week.
CES has always been a proving ground for bold ideas from companies big and small. In 2017, the bold move is to take normal products that consumers use and smartify them.
Polaroid is one of many dead brands used to sell mediocre electronics, including smartphone and tablet lineups running Android. C+A Global, with a license to use the Polaroid brand, revealed the Polaroid Hoop security camera at CES today.
Claiming to adhere to the 'Polaroid brand DNA elements,' the Hoop is your run-of-the-mill home security camera. It has a 1080p camera with a 140-degree lens, can be mounted to walls, and runs off battery packs or AC power. Additionally, the Hoop has a "weatherproof construction," so it should be able to withstand usual outdoor conditions.
New TVs are a classic tradition at CES. A lot of the big and small brands take the time to announce new sets with some feature they hope will entice consumers to buy one. So how does a 4K TV with Amazon's Fire TV built in sound? If that interests you then Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element have you covered.
This is definitely an "Oops" moment for Qualcomm. The chipset manufacturer accidentally leaked/revealed the newest Asus device ahead of the CES announcement. While new devices are sometimes worth getting excited about, this one is actually special: the ZenFone AR, as it is named, will be the second phone with Tango built in. Qualcomm noted in its now removed blog post that the ZenFone AR will use the Snapdragon 821 SoC and that the new phone would also be Daydream-ready. Of course, this would be the first device to run both of Google's augmented and virtual reality platforms.
In John Legere's continuing effort to will himself into the role of mobile rock'n'roll Jesus, the T-Mobile CEO has released a teaser trailer for the carrier's next Un-Carrier event. Exactly what will happen at the event isn't being disclosed - in fact, the whole point of the video is "wouldn't you like to know?" We did find out that the announcement will come on January 5th in Las Vegas, not-so-coincidentally at the same time and place that next year's CES will be going down.
While most of us immediately associate LG with the poorly-built G5, the fairly decent V20, and bootloops (sorry, I had to), the Korean electronics company also produces quite a few budget and mid-range phones under the K-series, X-series, and Stylus/Stylo monikers. At CES in January, LG will reportedly debut six new devices that belong to these series, and another at February's MWC.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: our coverage of the CES 2106 show, including Huawei's latest phones, and news from many other companies!
Pour one out for the little guys, folks... even if this particular little guy used to be a 700-pound gorilla that dominated corporate and government sales all over the world. After a mostly positive response to the BlackBerry Priv, the company's latest flagship and its first to run the Android operating system, CEO John Chen says that the older BlackBerry OS is not going to be used in any of the new phones it has planned for the 2016 calendar year. He told Cnet the news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
I feel like the new Life One X was somewhat of a turning point for Blu—they've always offered good phones for the price, but the LOX is a truly great phone for the money. It launched at just $99 for the first three days, which was an absolute steal; even now at $149, it's still a great deal for a phone that performs much, much better than its price suggests.
Today, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Blu pretty much confirmed my thoughts (that they're going to start offering even more bang for the buck moving forward) with the announcement of the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL.
The Letv Max Pro is the world's first Snapdragon 820 phone. And yes, I know: many of you have no freaking clue what Letv is, and until recently, I was just like you. Letv is a Chinese consumer electronics and software company, kind of similar in some ways (though very different in others) to Xiaomi. They've built smartphones before, but the Letv Max Pro is easily the most internationally paid-attention-to device they've produced.
The reason for that has literally nothing to do with Letv: it's all about Qualcomm. The Max Pro is the first phone with a Snapdragon 820 processor, a chip enthusiasts have been eyeing intently after a dismal year, in large part, for Qualcomm's Snapdragon portfolio.