As we are nearing the closure of the CES 2018 announcements, it’s time to line-up and showcase some of the best launches of the show. If you have been waiting out for new smartphones, tablets, wearables, speakers, cameras or headphones, then it’s time to read through our list of the best gadget launches.
Sony has unleashed a series of new gadgets, three of which are the successors of the Xperia XA1, the Xperia XA1 Ultra, and the Xperia L1. And they are obviously called as the Xperia XA2, the Xperia XA2 Ultra, and the Xperia L2. As compared to its predecessors, Sony has decided to shift from MediaTek to Qualcomm for the latest and power efficient Snapdragon processors. CPU’s aren’t the only thing that has changed as Sony has managed to ramp up the battery capacities of these devices with fast charge support via USB Type-C. Sony Mobile also promotes the new smartphones for selfie photography. Notably, the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is the first ever in their portfolio to feature dual front-facing cameras. We also noticed that Sony has embraced the use of rear-facing fingerprint scanners for these devices. To know more about the specifications, click here.
Here comes the refresh for the Microsoft Surface alternative from HP, as the new Envy X2 comes powered by 7th generation Intel processors. It sports a 12.3-inch display with FHD screen resolution and a kick-stand that mimics the Surface line-up. Interestingly, there is a version that comes powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. That’s right, a mobile chip running a full-blown version of Windows 10 OS on a tablet. That said, the Intel-powered Envy X2 also comes with a keyboard that serves as a closure for the display and also HP’s own digital pen. There isn’t any word on the pricing and availability of the new Windows tablets in the UAE, but we can guess that it should be soon.
HP isn’t the only one that showcases Windows tablets with mobile processors, as the new Lenovo Miix 630 comes chipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and an included keyboard, which makes it a direct competitor to the Microsoft Surface line-up. The new tablets are touted to offer up to 20 hours of battery life and the size of the display is 12.3-inches. Also, you will be able to upgrade to a full-blown version of the Windows 10 with Snapdragon 830. This shows how powerful these little chips can be to run an actual PC operating system at optimum level (not even close to the actual PC processor performance of Intel and AMD). The tablets are expected to hit the shelves later this year.
Next comes a new home speaker that rivals all the smart speakers in the market. It’s basically an LG branded Google Home, with Google Assistant of course. While you can perform almost all the operations as the Home, the new ThinQ speaker is said to allows users to control and link with other ThinQ based products without much effort, i.e, if you plan to invest on the other products of its series.
It looks like everyone is here to take out the likes of Amazon Echo speakers, and Lenovo’s latest product is the Smart Display that comes in 8-inch and 10-inch display variants. It’s a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show and is powered by the Google Assistant AI. Remember, Google has yet to unveil a new speaker with a built-in screen and this makes the Lenovo Smart Display as one of the few in the market with such specifications. Specs wise, the Smart Display comes powered by the Snapdragon 624 processor and for its audio capabilities, there are a set of 10W speakers that serves the purpose of Google Assistant interaction. Apparently, while it does have a screen, the Smart Display doesn’t offer any features related to Play Store apps installation for now. The 8-inch Smart Display is expected to be priced at $199 (AED 730) and the 10-inch for $249 (AED 914).
If the Lenovo Smart Display’s design aesthetics didn’t get you excited, then you may be happy to hear that JBL has their own Google Assistant-powered Smart Display called the Link View with a stylish and more compact design. And while there is an 8-inch touchscreen variant, you can bet that the high-quality speakers of this device will sound pretty good. After all, JBL is known for its great speaker and audio technologies. There isn’t any word yet on its availability and pricing for the UAE market.
Since the launch of the Apple Airpods, companies have been introducing portable earbuds that changes the way users hear music and make calls without any wires. Jabra’s latest take on the Airpods is the Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t, which comes with the integration of all the major AI platforms in the market. We are talking about Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. It looks like Jabra made sure that the earbuds are compatible with any major smartphone in the market. While these earbuds offer you 5 hours of music playback, the Active variant features a built-in accelerator for activity statistics and offers a slightly better water, dust and salt resistance as compared to its standard version. The prices are said to be $170 (AED 624) and $190 (AED 697) for the Jabra Elite 65t and Jabra Elite Active 65t, respectively.
It’s clear from this point that Sony is serious on expanding their wireless earbud portfolio, and the latest and true wireless earphones come with the integration of the Google Assistant AI as well as Active Noise Cancellation. And while these earbuds can be charged with their cases as previous generation models, the battery life of these earbuds are said to be just 3 hours in a single charge. That said, one can get at least hours of battery life when charged with the case. After all, you are supposed to put those earphones on the case when not in use. The price of the Sony WF-SP700N is said to be $180 (AED 661).
As a company that specializes in sports-centric wearables, its obvious that their latest smartwatch called the Forerunner 645 shouldn’t fall short of any fitness based features. And while smartwatches do run short of battery after a certain use throughout the day, the Forerunner 645 can last up to 7 days or 5 hours with GPS on. The wearable is also capable of storing up to 500 songs. That’s right, up to 500 songs from your wrist. There isn’t any word on when we will see these devices in the UAE market.
While there aren’t any new Lenovo smartphone launches this CES, the company decided to focus on its Moto Mods expansion and introduced called the Lenovo Vital and the Lenovo Livermorium Slider Keyboard. Yes, we are getting a keyboard that transforms your Moto Z into a Nokia Communicator or a Nokia N98 (Those were the days!). The new Vital Mod, on the other hand, is designed to be a health monitoring mod to measure your heart rate, respiratory rate, your oxygen saturation, body temps, and an accurate systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurement with your finger. Are we looking at a future where smartphones can replace blood pressure monitors as well? Not so soon. The Vital is said to be priced at a hefty $395 (AED 1450) and the slider keyboard for just $99 (AED 363).
With the popularity of micro four third cameras increasing, it’s no surprise that Panasonic will introduce a new version called the GH5s. The new shooter comes packed with a new 12.5MP image sensor with improved low light sensitivity. It’s no wonder that the letter “S” is slapped onto the GH5 branding (Guess Panasonic took some naming ideas from Sony’s camera stable like the A7S. That said, the new camera is capable of shooting with ISO up to 51,000 and the autofocus also operates even on -5EV luminesce. Users will also be able to record Cinema 4K videos at 60p and support for 14-bit RAW files. The camera will be available soon and the body-only unit will cost $2499 (AED 9178).