Well folks, the masses are departing, and CES has come to an end. It’s been a long and crazy week, packed full with a ton of great Android news. From Motorola to NVIDIA, Verizon to LG, there were companies everywhere announcing some great stuff all week. Don’t feel bad if you’ve had a hard time keeping up, because it’s been a bit rough on us, too. So, we thought it would be a great idea to give you guys a run down of what we consider to be the most important stories we’ve covered this week. Without further delay, continue after the break to read our CES 2011 round up.
Out of all the companies at CES involved with Android, Verizon certainly made the biggest impact with the announcement of four new 4G Android smartphones, and two 4G Android tablets – the Motorola Xoom (upgradable in Q2) and the 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab.
We will be going into some more detail about each device later on in this wrap-up, but we’re looking at the Motorola Bionic, HTC Thunderbolt, LG Revolution, and the Samsung 4G smartphone that has also been called the Inspiration. You can check out all of our hands-on photos and videos by visiting those links, and you can also check out a comparative video of all four of the devices we shot while visiting Verizon’s private showroom.
We knew Android tablets were going to be a huge talking point at this year’s CES, and Honeycomb has a lot to do with it. A video demo which was not supposed to be released found its way online the day before CES actually began, which was quickly removed by Google but lingered online on a few sites.
We got our first taste of Honeycomb at Verizon’s keynote address on Thursday morning, where a ten minute live demonstration was given on the Motorola Xoom which we were sure to record for your viewing pleasure. Google was happy to give this demo during the keynote, but Verizon and Motorola reps were not giving live Honeycomb demos when showing off the Xoom.
Motorola wasn’t the only company strutting a Honeycomb tablet this week. During their press event on Wednesday, T-Mobile announced and very briefly teased the LG G-Slate. Earlier in the week LG was expected to announce the Honeycomb powered Optimus Pad, and although it hasn’t been confirmed if the Optimus Pad and the G-Slate are one and the same, I have the feeling that they are.
Also, let’s not forget about the Galaxy Tab, which was announced to also be getting an upgrade to LTE as well as a beefed up 1.2 GHz processor.
The Xoom was easily one of the most talked about devices on the floor, and for good reason. Aside from the fact that it’s powered by Honeycomb, the hardware in this thing is out of this world. Not only does it boast a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 chip, it features 1 GB of RAM, a gorgeous 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800, and a 5MP camera in the rear coupled with a 2MP camera up front.
The Droid Bionic is sure to be one of the most anticipated Android devices of the year. Not only will it support Verizon’s rocking 4G network, but it will also feature an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chip, a 4.3-inch QHD screen, 512MB of RAM, front facing VGA camera and an 8MP shooter in the rear.
Last but not least we want to talk about the Atrix, which is truly a mind-blowing device. Like the Xoom and Bionic, the Atrix is utilizing a Tegra 2 chip and a staggering 1 GB of RAM. Now, this isn’t just your typical smartphone. The Atrix comes with the unique ability to dock to either a laptop or an HDMI connected docking station and act as a controller for various media and web applications.
Samsung was also showcasing some great Android devices this week, beginning with their Verizon 4G smartphone, which was originally dubbed Inspiration. This 1GHz device features a 4.3-inch display, a 1.3 VGA front facing camera, 5MP camera in the back, and is currently sporting Android 2.2. You can check out our hands-on look at this device here.
As previously mentioned, the Galaxy Tab will also be getting a bump to support 4G, as well as a beefed up 1.2GHz chip. Speaking of the Galaxy line, the recently announced Galaxy Player was on display. This unit will feature a 1GHz processor, 4-inch WVGA display, dual cameras, and HD video playback support. Be sure to check out our hands-on video of the Galaxy Player here.
Also, Samsung announced their foray into Google TV with a set-top box and a 3D Blu-ray player both powered by Google’s software. Pricing and availability are unknown at this point, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
LG was also a star at this year’s CES, with the release of their new 4G phone on Verizon, the LG Revolution. We brought you an exclusive look at this new device in all it’s 4.3″ screen glory from Verizon’s private meeting room earlier this week, and we think that Verizon can expect to see this new 4G device skyrocket in popularity.
They also – just as importantly - announced their new LG Optimus 2X, which was ultimately the very first dual-core phone announced in the United States. The Optimus 2X has a Tegra 2 processor, thanks to the folks over at NVIDIA, a 4″ screen, and Android 2.2 baked right in. For full info, check out the official press release.
One thing, however, that was noticeably absent was the rumored Optimus Tab, but it’s very possible that the “Optimus Tab” was actually the G-slate, which did hit the public eye via an announcement at T-Mobile. The announcement did not take place at CES, though.
HTC had a real show-stopper this year. The phone manufacturer was showing off all their Android love with the official announcement of the HTC Thunderbolt, which, just as was rumored for so long, comes with a 4.3″ screen, kickstand, full digital surround sound, and the new HTC Sense. It didn’t, however, come with a dual core CPU, like it’s carrier cousin, the Motorola Droid Bionic, but does come with a single core 1GHz chip. Hit our full hands on video and picture gallery with the HTC Thunderbolt , expected to be seen by Q2 2011.
NVIDIA Brought some game with them, thanks to the new Tegra 2 chipset, which is being found in the Motorola Atrix and the LG Optimus 2X. We popped by NVIDIA’s booth, and were brought in to take an exclusive look at both of these devices. We wanted to show you all how well the Tegra 2 CPU bumped up performace, and we couldn’t think of a better way than by popping open Need For Speed: Shift. The overall experience was completely smooth and unexpectedly responsive. Check out the full video demonstration here.
We were told by NVIDIA that, because they’re handling the GPU and the processor, the two devices are able to communicate with each other almost seamlessly, bringing a better overall end result to the user experience. Also, because of the way the two cores in the CPU function, the processor will only keep the necessary cores open, allowing for increased battery life. We may even expect to see better battery life out of these dual-core Tegra 2 chips, thanks to their process and power management.
A newcomer to the Android arena is Vizio, who announced an Android phone, tablet, and Google TV line a few days before CES. These devices were not being displayed on the showroom floor, but we were invited to come see the goods in a private showroom.
First we looked at their Android tablet, and although it is only a pre-production unit, I have to say we were very impressed with both the hardware and the software. The rep was not at liberty to discuss specific hardware specs, but some of the features include a 1GHz processor, 802.11n Wifi, GPS, HDMI output, three speaker stereo audio, also a front-facing camera. You can check out our hands-on photo gallery here, and our brief video demo below.
We also got some hands-on time with the phone, which is also very nice. I am also really loving Vizio’s custom Android skin, which features some very sleek transitions and animations. Again, the rep was not at liberty to discuss hardware specifics, but we do know that it’s sporting a 4-inch display, a 1GHz processor, 802.11 n Wifi, GPS, HDMI output, 5MP rear camera, and a front-facing camera. We weren’t able to get a hands-on video because of a time constraint, but we do have a pretty extensive photo gallery which you can look at here.
I know that was a lot of information at once, but that just goes to show you how big a presence Android had at CES this year. This was just what we consider to be the “biggest” news of the week, but you can check out an index of all the news we covered by checking out our CES 2011 category page here.
This is Tyler and Dustin signing off from Las Vegas, see you all at CES 2012! Thanks so much to all our readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and RSS subscribers for keeping us going. All your involvement was great this week. If you still aren’t with us on any of the aforementioned fronts, check us out on:
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