Update: Are we in for a new augmented reality phone in Las Vegas? A now-pulled Qualcomm blog post points to just that: the Asus ZenFone AR handset looks set for a January 4 unveiling. Housing a Snapdragon 821 system-on-a-chip, the same SoC that’s inside the Google Pixel and OnePlus 3T, this Tango device is primed for the Google Daydream View VR headset. We’ll be sure to go hands-on with the ZenFone AR phone if it’s indeed announced soon.
Read on for the latest news, rumors and analysis on CES 2017!
CES 2017 promises to live up to the Las Vegas expo’s reputation as the place to see what’s next in tech. Whether eye-popping TVs, futuristic cars, shiny mobile devices, mind-boggling virtual reality or amazing cameras, CES rarely disappoints when it comes to showcasing can’t-miss tech that sets the tone for the new year.
The official CES 2017 dates are January 5 through January 8, though as always, there are plenty of pre-show events teeming with announcements on January 3 and January 4 to kick off the festivities.
There’s been a spate of news along with the usual unconfirmed whispers in the lead up to this year’s show, and you’ll find all the latest developments, rumors and TechRadar’s own crack analysis on all things CES below.
TV takes over
Looking into our crystal ball, we see televisions continuing to rule the roost at CES, with manufacturers vying to one-up each other with their latest big-screen innovations.
Already LG has announced its 2017 lineup of Super UHD TVs, 4K sets that offer Active HDR with Dolby Vision, new nano cell technology (a variation of quantum dot) and LG’s proprietary webOS Smart TV platform.
Not to be outdone, we anticipate Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and others taking their TVs to the next level. Samsung will likely talk up its SUHD screens and Sony should have something to say about Android TV and OLED, if the rumors are correct.
One of LG’s new Super UHD TVs
Expect the typical 4K TV reveals, though we undoubtedly will see displays pushing 8K and beyond. Of course, the latter are uber-unrealistic purchases for the average shopper, but they remain a tantalizing looks at where TV is headed.
Beyond pixel count, the big TV talk at CES 2017 will likely surround High Dynamic Range (HDR), and particularly how the Dolby Vision format stacks up against HDR10. For more on that battle, check out our comprehensive HDR10 vs Dolby Vision comparison.
But why should you care about HDR? Netflix’s manager of corporate communications, Yann Lafargue, put it like this to TechRadar: “HDR is a new standard for home entertainment. It’s a big leap forward in colour, contrast, and brightness, as significant as the addition of surround sound, or the introduction of HD and 4K.
“It offers a new set of tools we can use to make bright and colourful scenes really pop, and at the same time, bring out more detail in dark scenes.”
HDR tech is the most discussed TV feature these days, and we expect plenty of chatter around it and HDR content during CES.
Samsung is also set to unveil some enhancements to its smart TV line, namely three additional features that revolve around sports, music and a new “TV Plus” upgrade for the EPG guide.
While not a proper TV, several reports point to Nvidia unveiling Shield Android TV gear at CES. In fact, the GPU giant may even announce two new boxes.
Android Police also chimed in with news in late December that Nvidia is actually planning two Android TV boxes for CES 2017, each of different sizes and sporting a redesigned controller. Seems like Nvidia is up to something, that’s for sure.
The best TVs you can buy right nowPhones at the show
CES isn’t know for its phones – those are usually reserved for MWC in Barcelona a short time later – but that doesn’t mean handsets won’t make an appearance at CES 2017.
In fact, LG announced five new devices ahead of the show. They consist of four mid-range K Series handsets – the standout K10, photography-focused K8 and K4 and K3 – and the Stylus 3. Bringing back the stylus, this device has some impressive specs, and runs Android Nougat, as do the K10 and K8. Expect to learn more about the handsets, including possible pricing and release details, when CES 2017 gets underway.
The new LG K10 smartphone
BlackBerry looks set to launch a new phone at CES 2017, named the BlackBerry Press. Hot on the heels of the BlackBerry DTEK60, the phone has been leaked by Steve Cistulli, the North American president of TCT, the brand now behind BlackBerry phones.
The handset, which will feature a fan-favorite keyboard but also some “glimpses of the future” is just being teased in a short video at the moment, but the Press is very likely to be appearing at CES this year. Before Christmas, TCL said it would use CES to discuss how it plans to bring the BlackBerry legacy to “a new generation of smartphones”.
An early November rumor points to Sony unveiling new Xperia phones at CES, including one that sports a 5.5-inch 4K display and 4GB of RAM. Could this be the long-awaited Xperia X2? We should find out during the firm’s January 4 press conference at 5pm local time (1am GMT/12pm AEST), or perhaps even beforehand.
We saw the reveal of the Huawei Mate 8 at CES 2016, and with the Chinese firm and its sub-brand Honor looking to make a splash in the US, unveiling a new phone at the coming edition seems like a sure thing.
While the Galaxy S8 will almost certainly be an MWC 2017 reveal, there’s a chance Samsung may reveal a foldable phone at CES. It’s talked up its bendy screen tech at the show before, and with rumors pointing to the gadget giant launching on a dual-screen foldable smartphone in 2017, CES seems like as good a time as any to let it out of the bag.
Finally, one US carrier look to be making the trip to Las Vegas. T-Mobile is teasing a January 5 announcement, revealing “What’s Next” in its continued efforts to shake up the industry. CEO John Legere promises this is a big one, so stay tuned.
If the likes of LG, Sony and even BlackBerry/TCL join Huawei in launching a new smartphone, we expect the devices to follow the trend set by the iPhone 7 – namely, waterproof and headphone jack-less.
To compete with the most popular flagships, these devices will need to come packing the latest features and at an attractive price. While the handsets may not be on the level of the Samsung Galaxy S8, they could be enough to tempt consumers to try something new.
Here are the best smartphones you can buy right nowCars shift into gear
Followers of CES know the gathering has turned into something of a car show in recent years, and CES 2017 looks to be no different.
In fact, one car maker that made a splash at CES 2016 has already confirmed it’s coming back to Las Vegas:
Electric car maker Faraday Future is following up an intriguing concept reveal at its inaugural CES with the unveiling of its first production car. The company said in an email this roadster “will be a premium electric vehicle that combines extreme technology, industry leading range, and holistic design.”
Whatever this “extreme technology” is, we can’t wait to see.
The young car maker has a lot to prove during its January 3 announcement, but it’s not taking a back seat to amping up excitement. It’s releasing a number of teasers in the lead up to its big CES reveal, and you can catch the latest one below:
Faraday will be far from alone when it comes to showing off innovations for the road. The likes of Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Volvo, Chevy, VW and Kia all had news to share at CES 2016, and we expect more from these car makers this year.
Add to that Nissan Motor Corporation head Carlos Ghosn will deliver a keynote and this just-released Honda teaser, and CES has motor oil spilled all over it.
The major movement in the car tech space is towards self-driving (just look at Tesla), so it wouldn’t surprise us for automotive attendees to announce advancements, concepts and release plans for the tech in their cars.
Heck, they may even take CES goers for a self-driving spin down the Strip, and in fact, Hyundai plans to do just that.
The car maker will take conference-goers for a spin in its Autonomous Ioniq, as well as show off developments in connectivity, autonomous driving, eco-friendly transportation, personal mobility and health care, making for a busy CES, indeed.
Delphi and Mobileye have also announced they’ll conduct a 6.3-mile drive in challenging real-world conditions to show off the Centralized Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP) automated driving system.
CSLP won’t be ready for production until 2019, but it’s described as “the first turnkey, fully integrated automated driving solution with an industry-leading perception system and computing platform.” Las Vegas is a good proving ground for the tech, and we’ll be on hand to tell you how it goes.
Elsewhere, Nissan is teasing an announcement about integrating Microsoft’s voice assistant, Cortana, into its connected dashboards. The company took to Twitter to offer a glimpse of what it’s planning to show off at its CES keynote, and dropped a heavy Cortana hint.
Volvo, meanwhile, plans to discuss news regarding artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicle advancements during its January 4 press conference. Smarter cars that take you where you want to go? Count us in.
Finally, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is set to deliver a keynote, during which he’ll “discuss the latest in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, VR, and gaming.” The chip giant is a big advocate for self-driving cars, recently announcing a tiny super computer to power them, so expect Huang to talk at length about the emerging technology.
5 hottest cars to look for in 2017Viva virtual reality
Consumers may have VR headsets in hand, or will soon, but what’s still lagging behind is content, and that’s where we expect – or at least hope – the focus will be at this year’s CES.
Qualcomm and Power Rangers team up
It’s not just game makers we’re talking about when it comes to content, but movie studios and streaming services need to step up their VR game, even expanding into new areas like comic books and visual novels. If they don’t, it’s going to be a rough year for the tech as consumers won’t have a solid enough reason to buy a headset, as cool as they may look.
There’s already good news on that front thanks to Qualcomm. The silicon king, in partnership with Lionsgate, has a Power Rangers VR experience planned for CES. This mighty morphin demo will showcase the power of the all-new Snapdragon 835 chipset, in turn giving us an idea of how the punch smartphones will pack in 2017.
We may also see some mobile and cheaper VR offerings make the trek to CES. Though pure conjecture, we wouldn’t be surprised if new Windows 10 VR headsets from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and/or Acer are unveiled right alongside laptops, monitors and desktops.
We say this because in mid-October, Microsoft announced VR headsets were on the way from these very companies for the tantalizing starting price of $299 (about £245, AU$295).
Finally, late 2016 reports out of Asia indicated HTC plans to take the wraps off the HTC Vive 2 during CES. The headset is said to be wireless, up the refresh rate from 120Hz to 90Hz and house two 4K displays. Whether we’re in for an official announcement, behind-closed-doors viewings or nothing at all is unclear, but there’s a chance we’ll learn more about the next Vive headset come January. [Update: Whelp, so much for that. HTC confirmed to UploadVR that it won’t reveal the HTC Vive 2 at CES this year. Oh well.]
CES is the perfect place to highlight new VR wares as the devices will get the benefit of the world’s attention without their respective companies having to hold a big standalone launch event.
The best VR headsets on the marketDrones, wearables, computing and more!
As for what else to expect at CES, drones made a big impression at the last version of the show, particularly in the form of the fixed-wing, auto-pilot Parrot Disco and the first drone big enough to carry a person. Drones in every shape and size are likely for CES 2017, so keep your eyes to the skies.
On the wearable front, players like Samsung and Fitbit could once again give us a reason to be excited about gadgets that straps to our wrists, but also look out for devices that go elsewhere on your body, like the Muse meditation headband we saw at CES 2016.
One wearable we know will be debuting at the 2017 show is the BodyTrak – a wireless, in-ear device that can monitor not only heart rate and fitness, but also core body temperature – allowing you to work out more effectively than ever.
Created by Inova Design in the UK, BodyTrak touts itself as the ‘first and only in-ear body monitoring platform to accurately measure multiple vital signs’.
Computing always comes on strong at CES, and one machine is already out of the bag. The just-announced Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 doesn’t just slap a hinge on the Dell XPS 13: it’s practically a new notebook that’s thinner and lighter, measuring 0.54-inches tall and weighing 2.7 pounds. It’s touted as the smallest 2-in-1 on the market. Dell also touted its first HDR monitor, the Ultrathin 27-inch S2718D with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 as the world’s thinnest.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
Dell also teased on November 2 that it plans to unveil its vision for the future of desktops at CES, likely during its January 5 press conference, which promises to hold a few surprises.
The computing giant looks set to unveil the Smart Desk, a PC with a knobby peripheral, second screen and plenty of room to work on – literally. Smart Desk is already drawing comparisons to Microsoft’s Surface Studio, so we’ll see which one comes out on top early next year.
Also look for the likes of Lenovo, MSI, HP and other computer producers to share their latest wares, from ultra-light laptops to eye-piercing monitors to innovations designed around virtual reality.
LG is packing a number of monitors for CES, including a 4K, HDR-compatible screen with a blistering 3840 x 2160 pixel count. Typically reserved for TVs, HDR should deliver a crisp viewing experience on the 32-inch monitor.
The firm also has a floating speaker in its CES carry-on – let’s just hope it doesn’t fly away before the show. LG also unveiled upgrades to its Tone range of headphones heading into CES, including chopping off a few wires.
Audio will make sound waves as it always does, and we expect to see more companies come out with multi-room audio solutions similar to Sonos. More soundbars should pack Dolby Atmos, and we predict a bigger push for object-based audio systems, or systems that support either Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
Samsung started the CES sound party early by announcing a new soundbar, speaker and Ultra HD Blu-ray player that carry its Ultra-high Quality Sound audio tech.
Lenovo, meanwhile, is getting in on the voice-controlled home assistant action, announcing its own voice-activated speaker, the Lenovo Smart Assistant.
Elsewhere in the connected home department, Belkin is announcing two new additions to its WeMo lineup. The WeMo Dimmer Switch will allow you to control your home’s lights without the need for a hub, and there’s also a smaller version of WeMo’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug.
Stay tuned as we keep this page constantly updated with the latest CES news and rumors leading up to the show!
Looking for more pre-show CES 2017 news? Check out the official CES.tech site