January’s showpiece event is over, but as always CES has brought smartphone fans plenty of new devices to get to grips with. But which smartphones from the event are really worth your time and money?
Our CES round-up takes a look at the smartphone picks which made the biggest splash at the Las Vegas event – and gives you a rundown of what else made an appearance to start 2016 off with a bang.
CES isn’t a smartphone only event by any means, in fact, mobile phones take up just a tiny portion of the January show. However, every year we still get a selection of smartphones that take advantage of the occasion, with this one proving no different. But which phones were on show?
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With a stylish design and affordable price tag, it was no surprise to see LG’s new K Series make quite a splash at CES. Two phones make-up the K Series offering for the moment, with the K7 and K10 both coming off the LG production line to appear at the event.
We reported on them when they were first revealed by LG, with each phone rocking a number of spec sheet variations – depending on the market you live in and what kind of connectivity you’re after.
Whilst neither phone is a true flagship – they both offer something a little different to the CES crowd…
Alcatel OneTouch was surprisingly busy in Las Vegas this January, and one of the bigger announcements by the company was that of the Pixi 4 Series – which continue the trend of premium budget offerings. There are two devices on offer in the series, one with a 3.5” display, and the other with a more sizeable 4” screen.
Both are obvious entry-level efforts, with a maximum 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory on offer, although you do get Android Marshmallow to play with.
No pricing or release date information has been given regarding the series just yet, but you can expect them to make an appearance sooner rather than later.
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Another premium styled phone with an inexpensive cost is the Huawei Honor 5x, which boasts a 5.5” display, metallic frame and Snapdragon 615 chipset. It certainly won’t be Huawei’s flagship of 2016, but it could be an ideal mid-ranger should that be the type of phone you’re in need of.
Surprisingly, the Honor 5x doesn’t rock the latest Android OS, instead sticking with Lollipop out of the box. There’s no word on any upgrade yet either, but either way the phone will be launching very soon in western markets.
Also, the Honor 5x will apparently be sold unlocked only in the US, whether this translates to the UK is another question.
We told you Alcatel OneTouch had been busy, didn’t we? The second, and more powerful Fierce XL is evidence of that – bringing a 5.5” HD display and the Windows 10 OS to CES.
In contrast to the Pixi 4 collection, the Fierce XL stakes a claim to a more dignified spec sheet, despite rocking a plastic built chassis which doesn’t scream quality. A quad-core processor and 16GB storage make for a better experience than the Pixi phones, although the 8mp and 2mp camera duo prove that this isn’t a flagship device by any means.
The Fierce XL will be on offer next month in some markets for a relatively cheap £100 sim-free, if cost converts fairly to the UK that is.
You’ll be forgiven for not having heard of this smartphone before now, but the Max Pro made a splash at the event thanks to the debut of the Snapdragon 820 in the handset. It doesn’t stop their either, with further flagship specs proving that this could well be the best phone from the event.
A 6.33” QHD display, 4GB RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage make sure that this is a phone you’ll be keeping an eye out for this year – even though we’re not entirely sure when it will arrive (we have a ‘first half of 2016’ mention from the manufacturer to work with).
So, whilst you might not have heard all that much about it before now, it seems that the LeTV Le Max Pro could be the phone of the show…
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Of course, it wasn’t just new smartphones that were the only thing worth talking about regarding CES, with these subjects also garnering plenty of our attention in the Vegas spotlight…
LG gave us the K Series, but one phone which was expected to make an appearance was the G Flex3, which would be the obvious successor to the G Flex2 that was revealed at last year’s show.
|LG G Flex 3 Preview|
However, LG didn’t mention the device and hasn’t offered any explanation why so far. This could mean that the phone’s been cancelled or shelved temporarily. Neither would be much of a surprise now – although we will hold out hope for an appearance at MWC, which takes place in a couple of months.
Virtual reality has long been dubbed ‘the future of technology’, and CES proved that this could well be the case, with several big named headsets showing off their development.
The likes of HTC and Samsung showed off the Vive Pre and Gear VR once again, but the biggest talking point was the Oculus Rift, which will be shipping soon for just £500, with a controller and other accessories.
You can head direct to the Oculus website to pre-order the headset and find out if your PC is able to run it – the site claims that it will ship in June, so we don’t have too long to wait for it either.
Whilst we did get a number of phones to look at, CES once again proved to be a more diverse tech event which doesn’t cater too well for smartphone launches. Sure, some of the phones look the part – but the clear focus on budget devices shows that MWC (Mobile World Congress) is still the big show regarding launches.
Held in Barcelona at the end of February, the likes of the HTC One M10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Sony Xperia Z6 are all expected to feature. These kinds of devices always provide much more excitement pre-launch, and make MWC the must-see event for smartphone fans…