CES 2020 has finally drawn to a close which means we’re at that stage where we determine which of the gadgets released this past week goes on to the hall of fame. From concept phones and foldable laptops to 8K OLED TVs, wearables and wireless earbuds, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was nothing short of happening moments. Not to forget the growing number of smart home and connected products that have gotten some accolades this past week.
Let’s dive into the best of CES 2020 and the top products in each of the categories.
Top 5 Smartphones at CES 2020
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Samsung has stayed in the premium smartphone category in the past but its catalog lacked the ones in the premium mid-range spectrum similar to Google’s new Pixel 3a range. That changed this week as the South Korean giant unveiled the Galaxy Note 10 Lite – a skinned version of the flagship Galaxy Note 10 device. The Lite model comes with a 10 nm Exynos 9810, the same triple-camera but laid out differently in a rectangular box, a larger 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display, and a more than sufficient 4500 mAh battery. It even tags along the popular S-Pen from the original Note 10.
OnePlus Concept One
Perhaps the one announcement which took everyone by surprise was OnePlus’s Concept One smartphone. Concept One, as the name implies, is an experimental device that hidden cameras at the back. This technology has been designed with some help from automobile giant McLaren which already offers electrochromic glass for sun-roofing its sports cars. Wrapped around McLaren’s traditional Orange color, the camera module is present inside a thin strip of electrochromic glass that can switch between transparent and opaque mode inside 0.7 seconds. The glass also acts like an ND filter which offers help when capturing scenes that are too bright or when the exposure is too high.
TCL Foldable 5G
TCL launched a functional prototype of its Foldable 5G phone that opens up to reveal a 7.2-inch screen at 2K resolution. The device, unlike that of Samsung’s and Motorola’s foldables, offers only a single display that is on the inside. There’s no secondary display on the outside that you can use when the phone is in a closed position. For imaging capabilities, the foldable device packs in four cameras including regular, telephoto, ultra-wide, and macro sensors. Besides the camera module, there’s nothing significant that resides on the outer cover which is designed with a triangular pattern that glimmers in blue and green.
Alcatel has expanded its portfolio with yet another budget device – the Alcatel 3L. The handset that only sets you back by $155 catches in on the trend of triple cameras and even has a main 48-megapixel sensor. The device also houses an ultra-wide camera and a macro lens at the back for flexibility. For a budget device, the 3L is powered by a MediaTek MT6762 with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery.
Black Shark 2 Pro
On the other end of the spectrum is Black Shark 2 Pro which was announced in the US for as low as $599. The Pro differs from the standard version by offering a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, a dual 48MP+12MP (telephoto) camera unit, and a direct touch multilayer liquid cooling system. While at $599, the Black Shark 2 Pro remains a cheaper take on gaming phones, the device also lacks some serious game-centric features like a 90/120Hz display and wireless charging. Speaking about the things the Black Shark 2 Pro comes with, there is a left-handed Bluetooth-enabled gamepad and a mount for that as well to get some additional physical controls the playing games.
Best of Samsung at CES 2020
Samsung’s biggest surprise at the CES 2020 was Ballie – an AI-powered concept robot. Presented as a companion robot, Ballie will help you perform basic tasks around your household with ease by interacting with other connected devices, people, and pets. Its video demonstration shows Ballie with a front camera that uses AI to recognize things. The robot can thus switch ON the TV, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and more to take care of the house when a user is out and help them do things when they’re in it as well.
Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Samsung also unveiled a skinned version of the flagship Galaxy Note 10 and named it the Galaxy Note 10 Lite. The Lite is powered by a 10 nm Exynos 9810, a larger 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display, a more than sufficient 4500 mAh battery, and the same triple-camera but laid out differently in a rectangular box. The device also comes packed with the popular S-Pen but there is no headphone jack. The Note 10 Lite is designed to appeal to the younger generation with flashy color packs like the Aura Glow, Aura Black, and Aura Red.
Galaxy S10 Lite
Alongside the Note 10 Lite, Samsung also launched yet another toned-down version of last year’s flagship Galaxy S10 by unveiling the Galaxy S10 Lite. While on paper, the latest Galaxy S series device matches that of the Note 10 Lite, there are significant differences when you actually view the two phones. The Galaxy S10 Lite has slightly thinner bezels all around, a smaller hole-punch notch for the front camera and a more elongated module t0 house the rear camera setup which now employs a 48MP main sensor. On the inside, the S10 Lite is powered by a year-old Snapdragon 855 SoC unlike that of the Note 10 Lite and the phone has a Super AMOLED Plus display that adopts a flexible OLED panel.
AI-powered Samsung Q950TS 8K QLED TV
Samsung has finally managed to let go of bezels on TVs with the launch of the Q950TS 8K QLED TV. The Q950TS has a screen-to-body ratio of 99% with a projector-like disembodied display that lays flush against a wall with a mere thickness of 15mm. There has been no compromise in the image quality either as the Q950TS features an 8K QLED panel and a Quantum Processor 8K that uses machine learning to upscale individual pixels. Additionally, the TV equips a 5.1 channel surround sound, Alexa & Google Assistant integration, AI-based Object Tracking Sound+ for movement tracking of audio, and Multi-View.
Samsung Sero rotateable TV
With more and more content being consumed on smartphones, Samsung has launched the rotatable ‘Sero’ TV which can switch from landscape to portrait mode, thus essentially helping you view TikTok videos better on your TV screen. The 43-inch TV houses a 4K QLED display and 60-watt 4.1-channel speaker system, built primarily for the younger generation which is drawn to consuming media in portrait formats through Instagram Stories, Snapchat, TikTok and vertically shot videos from the camera roll. The TV comes fitted on a wheel-powered stand that cannot be separated and has enough clearance from the ground when used in portrait mode.
Best Wearables at CES 2020
Diesel On Fadelite
Diesel has launched the Diesel On Fadelite smartwatch powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, 512MB of RAM and runs Google’s Wear OS. The watch has a circular display with a rotating crown and comes with a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and NFC.
Amazfit Bip S
Smartwatch-maker Amazfit launched its third Bip-branded smartwatch – the Amazfit Bip S. Like its predecessors, the Bip S also features a transflective color LCD that is always ON and is sized at 1.28 inches with a resolution of 176 x 176 pixels. The watch is waterproof with an IP68 rating and houses a load of sensors for basic activities including a heart-rate tracker, GPS and Bluetooth 5.0. Weighing in at 31 grams, the Bip S will be available in Red Orange, Warm Pink, White Rock, and Carbon Black colors for a price of $70 from February.
French consumer electronics company Withings launched a hybrid smartwatch by the name of Withings ScanWatch offering a small circular PMOLED display on the upper half of the analog clock face. The smart hybrid watch offers activity tracking with connected GPS, SpO2 sensor, step counter, elevation, oxygen conversion, and activity detection. Its highlight, however, comes in the form of arrhythmia and sleep apnea detection and the watch can also conduct an electrocardiogram within 30 seconds. Withings says the ScanWatch can last for up to 30 days on a single charge and it can be bought for a starting g price of $249.
Made by Finnish brand Suunto, the Suunto 7 is a Wear OS smartwatch with offline outdoor maps which will help you get you your live location even without the internet. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset with 1GB of RAM and runs on Google’s Wear OS platform. The watch’s battery life is rated for 48 hours on normal use and 12 hours with continuous tracking. The smartwatch features a 454p AMOLED with up to 1000 nits of brightness, Gorilla Glass, and is housed inside a casing that’s designed using stainless steel and reinforced polyamide, making it waterproof, dustproof and shockproof.
Skagen Falster 3
CES couldn’t be without watchmaker giant Fossil, who launched the Skagen Falster 3 Wear OS Watch for a price tag of $295. The Falster 3 is powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform with 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It has a 1.3-inch OLED display packed inside a 42mm casing with a rotating crown and two buttons. Skagen has built a speaker onto the watch that lets you take calls, hear responses from Google Assistant and even announce your notifications. Like any premium smartwatch, the Falster 3 equips NFC for contactless payments, GPS, waterproofing to up to 30 meters, and different battery usage modes.
Best Truly Wireless Earbuds at CES 2020
Jabra Elite Active 75t
Jabra began the year by launching the Elite Active 75t waterproof wireless earbuds with 7.5 hours from the earphones alone, and 28 hours of battery life from the charging case. Protected with an IP57 rating for dust and waterproofing, the Elite Active 75t comes with passive noise cancellation and a four-microphone array for reducing noise when on call.
Klipsch unveiled the T10 active noise cancellation earbuds with gesture controls and a dedicated Google Assistant button. The headphones offer support for USB Type-C fast charging, up to 30 hours of battery life, and SBC, AAC, and aptX HD codecs.
Ausounds Hybrid ANC
Ausounds has announced the Hybrid ANC true wireless headphones with 24 hours of battery life but the headphone can be enabled with noise cancellation that drops the juices to just 14.5 hours. The headphones are expected to arrive in February in flashy color options and Bluetooth 5 support.
Edifier TWS NB
Settings you back by $119, the Edifier TWS NB is a pair of noise-canceling headphones powered by a low power-consuming Qualcomm chipset and Bluetooth 5.0. The earphones offer a battery life of 11 hours on normal usage, 5 hours with ANC switched ON and up to 22 hours with the included charging case.
JBL Live 300TWS
The latest addition to JBL’s LIVE series is the JBL Live 300TWS true wireless earphones that are priced at $150. The earphones come with JBL’s Ambient Aware and TalkThru technology which reduces the background sounds and amplifies the sound being listened to. They also feature support for Assistant and Alexa and can play for up to 20 hours on a single charge of the earphones and the charging case.
Best of Foldables at CES 2020
Dell foldable tablets
Dell announced the Concept Duet and Concept Ori dual-display folding devices that compete with Microsoft’s Surface Neo. Both devices come with approximately 13 inches of the screen but the Concept Ori offers QHD+ resolution while the Duet has a Full HD panel. The more interesting of the two is the Concept Ori that offers a continuous stretched screen surface for tablet use and runs on Windows 10X software.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
Making the concept of a foldable PC real is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold that features a 13.3-inch flexible QXGA OLED display that folds into two halves. The device can be coupled with a mini Bluetooth keyboard that can be attached to the bottom half of the screen through magnets and can be charged wirelessly. The Always Connected foldable PC runs on Windows 10X and is powered by an Intel Core processor, Intel UHD Gen 11 Graphics, 8GB RAM and up to 1TB storage.
TCL Foldable 5G smartphone
TCL announced its Foldable 5G phone that opens up to reveal a 7.2-inch screen at 2K resolution. The device offers a single display on the inside and no other external secondary display on the outside that can be used in the closed position. The device packs in four cameras including regular, telephoto, ultra-wide, and macro sensors.
Intel Horseshoe Bend concept
Intel, although late to the party, didn’t miss the foldable game as it unveiled a prototype device called Horseshoe Bend. Set apart by its sheer size, the Horseshoe Bend has a 17.3-inch OLED touchscreen with pen-input. The device uses two hinges in parallel to connect the top and bottom portions of the tablet. On landscape position, the tablet can be used with a kickstand that draws up from the bottom portion and there’s also a detachable keyboard that sticks to the tablet using magnets.
5 cool products at CES 2020 with Google Assistant integration
August Smart Lock
August launched August Smart Lock with built-in WiFi to remotely monitor and access the lock. The device connects directly to the router of your house and can internally connect with voice assistants without taking up much space. The August Smart Lock will be available for $229 at a later part of 2020.
Epson Smart Streaming Laser Projector
Unveiled at CES 2020, the Epson EF-100 is a Smart Streaming Laser Projector that’s powered by the Android TV platform. The projector can be used to demonstrate videos at 150 inches and up to 2,000 lumens of brightness, meaning it can also be used for outdoor purposes. Since it runs on Android TV, users will have access to several content streaming apps from Google Play and you can also hook up the device to a wired audio system using a 3.5mm audio jack.
Harman Kardon Citation Oasis Smart Alarm clock
Harman Kardon expanded its wireless speaker series with the Citation Oasis multipurpose compact speaker that also doubles as a Smart Alarm clock for a price of $200. The device comes with music streaming and wireless phone charging capabilities and can turn off Wi-Fi during sleep hours with the inbuilt sleep mode.
Belkin Soundform Elite
Belkin revealed the Soundform Elite that is essentially a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker and wireless charger packed into one. The device offers support for 10W Qi fast wireless charging, Cast functionality through Assistant and up to 90dB audio output.
Philips Hue Sync Box
Signify has unveiled the Philips Hue Sync Box that synchronizes the living room lighting with what’s playing on your TV. When playing a game, the sync box will light the room with a color from the scene and for movies, the device will send commands to show ambient lighting. The box also serves support for Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa and can switch between devices connected to its HDMI ports.