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. It's possible the Grand S will makes its way to Europe, but the only locale ZTE was willing to commit to availability on today was its own.
We reported a few days ago that T-Mobile was rumored to be implementing an unlimited data option for its prepaid phone service. Well, now the carrier is confirming it. Starting on Wednesday January 9th, customers will be able to sign up for unlimited 4G HSPA+ data, voice, and text on prepaid for just $70 per-month.
This plan replaces the $70 unlimited talk/text plan with 5GB of 4G data. T-Mobile's data plans can be a little confusing because the carrier likes to still call them "unlimited" at times. What T-Mobile means is that all its data plans are technically unlimited if you don't mind downloading at a snail's pace.
Aren't you jealous that South Korea and Japan get all the cool over-the-air TV gadgets, while we in America are stuck in the stone age with things like "YouTube" and "Hulu"? Well, RCA's got you covered. The company's 8" mobile TV tablet - in TV-optimized 4:3 aspect ratio - is coming to the US in April for just $249, and does both over the air broadcast television as well as Dyle TV, which is also broadcast over the air and provides special content based on your location.
This is managed through, you guessed it, a retractable antenna! Check out our hands-on video below.
As you probably already know, Sony made the Xperia Z and ZL official yesterday at CES. David got to spend some hands-on time with both handsets, and shared his initial thoughts on the duo right here. If that wasn't good enough for you, though, then perhaps the metric ton of videos Sony just uploaded will get the job done.
Without further ado, I present to you: slews and slews and slews of videos about the Xperia Z and ZL. Enjoy.
It seems like every month we get a new world's thinnest smartphone, but Chinese manufacturer ZTE knows that's a mug's game. They've decided to go for broke with the Grand S, which sports a 5-inch 1080p screen (like all the cool kids do) and still manages to fit into a case that's just 6.9mm thin at the thickest point. For what it's worth, that makes the Grand S the thinnest 5-inch, 1080p phone out there. (The current holder of the coveted "world's thinnest" title is the 6.45mm Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra, introduced just yesterday.) Other drool-worthy specs include a 1.7Ghz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP rear camera.
We have long speculated what the future will actually be like: flying cars, livable space stations, intergalactic travel will be the norm – you know, all that stuff. Alas, none of those things have quite come to fruition yet, and I doubt they will in my lifetime. What may actually become a thing that we can have, though, is wearable tech. And I'm not talking about smartwatches and the like. I'm talking about intelligent, sophisticated clothing.
Kind of like this insane concept jacket that ScotteVest is showing off at CES:
This is the TEC (Technology Enabled Clothing) Jacket 2.0. It has features that we've never seen before in a jacket (file that under "sentences that I never expected to write"), like built-in, flexible speakers and noise-cancelling microphones; onboard network-enhancing antennas, batteries, batteries, and more batteries; solar plates, and e-ink displays to output current stats.
Do you think phones should be even bigger? Good news: so does Huawei. You've probably already heard about the Mate, but we got a little hands-on time before the show floor opened last night at CES Digital Experience, and, well, it's big. Really big. And yes, we put it next to a Note II to show you just how mind-bogglingly large it is.
Note: there's some artifacting near the end of the video. Sorry about that!
As far as initial impressions, the device runs Android 4.1 with Huawei's light UI overlay quite smoothly. This is the second phone to date to use Huawei's in-house quad-core KVM processor, which is paired (interestingly) with an Intel modem (GSM 3G only).
Drop this one in the "noteworthy, but not notable" bucket, but we had some time last night to check out AT&T's Pantech Discover, a phone with a pretty impressive specification sheet given its price point - just $50 on contract.
The Discover has a 4.8" 720p display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB of internal storage, 12.6MP rear camera, LTE, and runs Android 4.0 (OK, that's a bit of a miss). While we wouldn't call this a groundbreaking device in and of itself, the price AT&T will be peddling this particular piece of hardware at is going to make it a very attractive option for the brick-and-mortar crowd (eg, your parents).