ZTE is demoing their first stab at the smartwatch market with a proof-of-concept device, the BlueWatch. It’s got an LCD screen (not a touch screen) that’s controlled by buttons on the side of the watch. Those buttons will allow you to navigate between apps, including a camera app, music player, weather forecast, and a find my phone app. The BlueWatch is also waterproof up to 10 meters.
Right now, the device isn’t in a final state that’s ready to be released. ZTE plans on adding several more apps and features to the device, including ways to connect to social networks. The BlueWatch looks like it’s going to be a more simple take on the smartwatch design, which probably means it’ll be less expensive than some of its competitors, too.
The BlueWatch is slated for a 2014 release in China, but you can get a glimpse at it in our hands on video below. For the rest of our CES coverage, click here.
We know exactly what you’re thinking… “Damn, that’s a big phone!”. And rightfully so. Though it’s being considered for the “Phablet” market, this thing is seriously teetering on the brink of a full blown out tablet. Being just .2-inches shy of the Nexus 7 and other popular small tablets, we’re definitely thinking it’s a flat out tab. The Hisense X1 is “large and in charge” as stated by Editor in Chief Rob Nazarian as he tries to tame this bad boy one-handed. The X1 comes in at a whopping 6.8-inches sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 series CPU, making for a snappy experience when navigating. In addition, the handset comes with a 5-megapixel camera in the front and a 13-megapixel shooter in the rear. Battery life should be optimal to run the true definition IPS display (1920 x 1080) with a whopping 3900 mAh’s.
Remember the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX’s soak test that went out on Monday? We now have the details on what it brings. Unfortunately, not much. To be exact, it adds just two enhancements. The first is a data bug that was occuring while roaming in Canada on Telus GSM and UMTS networks. And the other was yet another data bug that occurred when connected to an extended network in places like Alaska. A warning would appear; however, that has now been fixed. The update is named 98.72.165.XT912.Verizon.en.US in case you were wondering. Nothing else to see here, folks.
Although many of the large smartphone manufacturers present at CES 2014 are focused on sharing their forthcoming flagship devices in hopes of impressing the market with how they are pushing the boundaries of current hardware, occasionally we run across devices that include unique features in an attempt to gain some market interest. YotaPhone is trying to do that with a smartphone that includes an E Ink screen on the back of the device. The display can be configured to display information and notifications from different apps along with a customizable background. However, it is not interactive. That may not sound appealing initially, but it does mean the device can be kept in a pocket without worrying about the accidental interaction yet giving users quick access to information.
As far as the rest of the device, it comes with a 1.7 GHz processor running Android 4.2.2. The front screen is a 4.3-inch 1280×720 resolution LCD screen. The YotaPhone also comes with 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear-facing camera.
Check out our hands on video with the device after the break and keep an eye on TalkAndroid for more CES 2014 coverage.
According to a news report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes, a squeeze on fingerprint modules for smartphones is expected to occur during the first half of 2014. At least part of the reason for this is the expectation that Samsung is moving forward with plans to adopt fingerprint scanners from manufacturer Validity for their upcoming high-end models. This could potentially start with the Samsung Galaxy S5 expected to be released in the next few months. Given Samsung’s market success, the addition of fingerprint scanners to their devices will consume much of the supply chain given how many devices they produce and sell. Validity is the same manufacturer that supplied HTC with modules for the HTC One Max introduced last year.
Samsung is not the only company cited by DigiTimes as working on the inclusion of fingerprint scanners. LG is reported to be working on a similar strategy for their high-end phones, possibly the LG G3. LG appears to be sourcing their modules from FingerPrint Cards out of Sweden. Several Chinese manufacturers are also working on adding similar features to their phones, further putting the squeeze on module manufacturers. Outside of Android-based devices, Apple acquired AuthenTec which would appear to have taken then out of the supply loop.
For Taiwan-based companies, this does represent an opportunity though if they can ramp up to meet some of the expected demand.
As if your life wasn’t digital enough with tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, digital credit cards, pedometers, car starters etc, Qualcomm wants to corner another small market in the industry, which of late, appears to be Samsung’s turf. At CES 2014 the company has put on display their new Snapdragon Digital Pen for those not wanting to give up their pad and paper. We first saw this a few days ago however, our own Editor in Chief Rob Nazarian was on site to get a hands-on demo personally from Qualcomm. It’s easy writing on paper but what’s difficult is organizing those notes and then finding them later once you’re done.
Now you can have your cake and eat it. The pen uses high frequency ultrasound waves using at least five built in speakers as part of the new Snapdragon 805 CPU. With it, you can write on any flat surface such as a pad or notebook and all will be instantly transcribed on the tablet for safe keeping. In addition, Qualcomm also hinted at the fact they’re working on a second prototype that’s a little smaller and could be integrated with future devices. As of now, the device will be sold separately. Check out the hands on video below and don’t forget to head here for the rest of our CES 2014 coverage.
Nokia fans looking for an Android-powered device from the manufacturer were likely very happy when news broke that a device codenamed Normandy was supposedly under development. However, reports indicated Nokia was planning to fork Android similar to what Amazon does with their devices. This was likely being done to appease Microsoft. Now, new images have leaked courtesy @evleaks that purport to show the Android user interface developed by Nokia. The design seems to be influenced by the Windows Phone interface. Sources point out the call dialer is very similar to what Windows Phone users get. Also of note is the apparent inclusion of Skype by default, a possible sign that Nokia will be utilizing non-Google services or at least making Microsoft backed apps the defaults.
What are your first impressions of Android on Nokia?
LG’s HomeChat is a new service co-developed with Line messaging that will allow you to control your home appliances through casual text messages. You can check the status of your refrigerator or your oven, or tell your air conditioning to start cooling your house before you get home, all with some simple text messages. It’s a pretty unique take on the home-control concept, which is starting to become more and more popular.
You can check out our hands on video with HomeChat below. The service is set to be available to Android and iOS devices later this year. For the rest of our CES coverage, click here.
I can hear it already, GIMMICK! Well, call it what you will, we still give LG some credit for the innovation. And if you’re anything like me and can’t stand to see a single scratch on your device (mostly because I know I’m going to resell it and get a new one) then this just might be your thing. At CES 2014 LG unveiled the G Flex’s back cover self healing capabilities thanks to its special coating which expands the material again after applying a little heat. Check out the video below of the demonstrator applying a little heat from the palms of his hands completely healing the deliberately applied scratches. Head here to check out the rest of our coverage of CES 2014 and feel free to let us know what your new favorite gadget is.
One of the new devices announced by LG at CES 2014 is their version of a fitness tracker, the LG Lifeband Touch. We got to check out the new device on the floor of CES 2014. The LG Lifeband Touch includes a variety of “workout” functions like a calories burned counter, speed, work out time, progress toward goals, and heart rate which is measured via ear buds. The Lifeband Touch will also function as watch, enable users to control music playing on their smartphone, and provide notifications about text messages and phone calls in a subtle manner.
Users can access full workout information via an LG app on their Android or iOS powered smartphone. The Lifeband Touch comes in medium, large and extra-large sizes. LG says the Lifeband Touch will be available some time this spring, but no pricing has been announced other than it will be “competitive.”
Check out the LG Lifeband Touch in our hands on video after the break. Be sure to check back at TalkAndroid for more CES coverage.
Heading into CES 2014, one of the areas Samsung is hoping to make push into is control of “smart home” devices like appliances, lights, TVs, video cameras, and other devices. Part of Samsung’s strategy is to create a standard protocol for communication with devices so third-party hardware will work with their app. We got to check out a little bit of how Samsung envisions this will work by spending some time with the app on the floor of CES 2014.
Home automation does not seem to be a very exciting market segment, but it could be big. It is an area where there is a lot of potential to make consumer’s lives less stressful. Check out how it works in our hands on video after the break. More CES 2014 news and hands on videos will be coming from TalkAndroid, so be sure to keep an eye on the site.
Is a 7-inch tablet big enough for you? How about a 10.1-inch? Ok, there’s always the up and coming popular 12-inch? No? Well, if you’re finding yourself an overwhelming shortage of large tablets you might want to give Lenovo’s new PC/tablet a try. The company today announced at CES 2014 a 19.5-inch Android tablet running a pretty close to stock Jelly Bean 4.2 experience. However, the device is being marketed as of more of a family PC work station than a tablet. Overall, at the end of the day, it’s a big monster sized tablet. The difference of course is the fact that Lonovo made it possible for you to take this bad boy off the desk and make it more mobile, adding 3 hours of battery life off the charge and unplugged for the occasional family couch gathering.
Although it does not seem like a product that would attract buyers, Samsung must be on to something with their Galaxy Camera devices as they are getting ready to release the Galaxy Camera 2. We got to check out the newest Galaxy Camera device at CES 2014. This updated version comes with a 1.6 GHz processor; 2 GB of RAM, double the previous version; a larger, 2,000mAh battery; and Android 4.3 compared to Android 4.1 on the older model. The Galaxy Camera 2 comes with an assortment of connection options, although at this time Samsung is only committing to making a WiFi-only version available. Pricing and an expected date of availability have not yet been announced.
In addition to the flagship Lenovo Vibe Z on display at CES 2014, Lenovo brought another trio of smartphones targeted at other market segments. Of these three devices, the one closest to the high end market is the Lenovo S930, a 6-inch display device running at 720p resolution. Lenovo is targeting entertainment consumers with the device thanks to the dual, front-facing speakers and Dolby sound system. The unit is powered by a quad-core Mediatek processor and can handle microSD cards so users can load up all the movies they can get their hands on.
Last week in advance of CES 2014, Lenovo announced several new smartphones they were releasing this year. At the top of their product line is the Lenovo Vibe Z which they had on hand for us to check out at CES 2014. The Vibe Z is Lenovo’s first 4G LTE capable smartphone. It comes equipped with a large 5.5-inch screen running at a full 1920×1080 resolution driven by a Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2 GHz and 2GB of RAM. All of this hardware is packed into a titanium body that weighs only 140 grams. Lenovo plans to release the device in February to at least 24 markets outside of China.
After the break you can check out our hands on video with the Lenovo Vibe Z. Stick around the TalkAndroid site for more hands on videos and news from CES 2014.