While this year’s CES is mainly focused on connected homes, car technology, washing machines, and TVs, there is still plenty to see at the show if you’re more interested in smartphones and wearables. Here are some of the main stories from CES Day 1.
Samsungannounces A3, A5, E5, and E7
Samsung appears to be holding back its big guns until Mobile World Congress, but that didn’t stop it from making a few smartphone announcements. While the metal-clad A3 and A5 handsets have been available in China, Samsung announced that it is launching them in India, alongside the Galaxy E5 and Galaxy E7. The A3 has a 4.5-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage with a microSD slot. The A5 has a marginally bigger 5.0-inch HD display, and packs in 2GB RAM, though other specs are similar.
Meanwhile, the E5 has a 5.0-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage with microSD card slot. The E7 is a step up in size with a 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display. It has similar specs to the E5, but comes with 2GB RAM, a 13 megapixel rear camera, and a 2,950mAh battery.
Samsung is expected to announce further availability of these handsets in the near future.
Sony unveils the NW-ZX2 Walkman
Guardians of the Galaxy did wonders for the Sony Walkman name if nothing else. But Sony isn’t in the business of tape players anymore, so a snazzy new MP3 player will have to do. The NW-ZX2 Walkman is aimed at audiophiles, the only people willing to shell out the bones of $1,200 for this device. This price tag is due to the S-Master HX digital, which makes music sound truly spectacular.
The new Walkman also includes 128 GB of storage, and a microSD slot if you need more space, Bluetooth, a gold headphone jack, compatibility with nearly every available digital audio format, and the ability to upgrade file formats to MP3. The ZX2 is capable of downloading apps from Google Play, though you should be wary that it’s running Android 4.2 from 2012. It’s not meant to go toe-to-toe with smartphones; this is a device for a wonderful listening experience.
Dell releases Venue 8 7000
Dell announced the Venue 8 7000 back in 2013, but is finally releasing the tablet for sale. The sleek tablet made an appearance at CES, giving attendees the chance to finally go hands-on with it. The Venue 8 7000 is an incredibly thin device at just 6mm, but it boasts some pretty impressive specs.
The tablet features a stunning QHD resolution OLED display, Intel's latest quad-core Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of on-board storage with microSD expansion. The tablet currently runs Android 4.4.4, but Android 5.0 is on the way.
Dell’s Venue 8 7000 can be picked up in North America this week. Dell announced that it will go on sale in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India, Germany, and the UK in "early 2015."
Kodak enters smartphone market
Kodak enjoyed its time in the sun back in the days when when you needed a device solely for taking pictures. But smartphone developments have rendered cameras less necessary. Rather than digging their heels in the sand, Kodak has decided to take on the smartphone head on.
Kodak announced its first Android-based smartphone, the Kodak IM5, which features a 13-megapixel rear camera with flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Camera features are yet to be announced, but Kodak has hinted that the device will have "best-in-class image management software and features."
The device also features a 5-inch HD (720x1280 pixel) resolution display, runs Android 4.4, though an Android 5.0 update is promised, a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek processor, and 1GB RAM. It comes with 8GB internal storage and supports microSD cards of up to 32GB.
The handset will be released in Europe first with a price tag of €299.
Alcatel captures the limelight with its Onetouch Watch
This year is supposed to be the year of the Apple Watch, but Alcatel made people sit up and take notice when it unveiled the Onetouch Watch at CES. The fashionable device will cost just $149 and will play nice with both iOS and Android devices.
The Onetouch Watch has a bright and responsive 1.22-inch display that can be easily customised. Users can select a colour for the watch face or even pick a picture to use as a background. The device can be used to see notifications without digging your smartphone out or to control music and cameras on connected devices. The Onetouch Watch also ticks boxes as an activity tracker, keeping an eye on your heart rate, steps, and other data.
The price of the Alcatel Onetouch Watch, if nothing else, will make it a viable alternative to the Apple Watch.