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. Read More
Believe it or not, Polaroid does still exist. The company is no longer the entity it once was, living on now as a shell to license the brand and forge hardware partnerships. Still, Polaroid has something new at CES you might find interesting; a new line of 4K TVs with Google Chromecast built-in. They start at just $499. Read More
ASUS announced at CES today that it was releasing two new smartphones, the ZenFone 3 Zoom and the ZenFone AR. Fortunately, both were also on demo for us to try out - and try them out we did.
The first of the two, the ZenFone 3 Zoom, is the more interesting product conceptually if you ask me. It uses an iPhone 7 Plus-style dual-camera array to provide two different effective zoom and frame sizes for your photos, and that should come in handy for shooting portrait photos. It also features dual-pixel autofocus (first introduced on phones with the Galaxy S7) to ensure your shots are nice and crisp in almost any light. Read More
At the moment there are two approaches to staying connected to your digital world while driving: a dedicated vehicle system with a permanent screen, or a phone in a car dock. (Or you could just be a dangerous jerk and use your phone in your hands while you're driving, I suppose.) JBL would like to offer a more elegant alternative: the Smartbase. This gadget combines a phone dock, wireless charger, and an external speaker for hands-free calls. Even better, it works with existing voice control and safety services - Google Now on Android and Siri on iOS. Read More
Most Android Wear watches can take a splash, but knock them around and they might not hold up very well. Casio's first Android Wear device was an exception with its MIL-STD-810G rating, and the second one will be much the same. The WSD-F20 will be built to last, and it'll be running Android Wear 2.0 when it comes out around April. It won't be cheap, though. Read More
FLIR has been dipping its toes in mobile over the last few years with products like the FLIR One and Cat S60 smartphone. The FLIR One that came out a couple years ago added thermal vision to (almost) any smartphone, but it was microUSB. Not all phones had the port facing the "right" way, but now the company is fixing that and getting with the times. The third-gen FLIR One is official, and it has a USB Type-C port. Read More
Are you a "cost-conscious yet uncompromising Internet-minded millennial?" If so, this is your lucky day, because Huawei's Honor sub-brand says it knows how you think. It understands the "double or nothing motto that millennials live and breathe." Finally, someone gets it! These are all things Honor has said in its PR today as it announced the global launch of the Honor 6X. It only costs $249, and I assume you can buy it even if you're not a "young and bold consumer." I myself am old and cautious. Read More