CES 2018 wasn’t only an excuse for tech leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to spend a week in Las Vegas; it also proved to be one of the most exciting showcases of how the mobile device industry is changing. Here are five pieces of news from CES that made us sit up and pay attention.
Razer is Making Phones
Now Known primarily for their distinctive gaming peripherals and laptops, Razer has delved into the phone market with an incredibly solid-looking (and heavy) handset geared for gaming. The Razer Phone contains a Snapdragon 835 backed by a gargantuan 8GB of RAM. Beyond its beastly specs, its display also boasts some of the best features in the industry. Specifically, it has a QuadHD screen that refreshes at 120hz, nearly double the refresh rate of virtually every phone on the market. Razer is also offering a laptop like dock that uses the phone as a touchpad. The Razer Phone is still unavailable in many regions, but enthusiasts will do doubt find a way to get their hands on it.
Huawei Loses US Distribution
One of the most shocking moments at CES 2018 was the emotional and earnest defense of Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei by its CEO, Richard Yu. If you’ve never heard of the company before, they are one of the largest producer of phones and tablets in China. During a keynote speech, Yu went off-prompter, calling out US mobile carriers and defending his company’s reputation after an eleventh hour termination of a distribution deal with AT&T. Especially at such carefully choreographed and stage managed event, it’s rare to see an executive go off script and speak from the heart.
Digital Assistants are in Everything
Now The craze of AI-driven digital assistants shows no sign of slowing, despite concerns of privacy and long-term use that cropped up during the last holiday shopping season. Google specifically announced that its Google Assistant would be coming to so-called “smart displays,” as well is integrated into wearables and virtually everything other kind of electronic.
Wireless Charging is Taking Off
One of the lesser-discussed features announced in both the iPhone 8 and iPhone X last year was the addition of wireless charging. Other phones have offered wireless charging for years, but Apple’s adoption of the technology amounts to an industry-wide endorsement, and a strong sign to manufacturers that the tech is worth rolling out in other devices. There was no end of wireless charges shown off at CES, and we expect many more phone manufacturers to follow suit. Heck, even some new luxury cars are offering wireless charging pads as standard equipment.
…And So is Wireless VR
The virtual reality renaissance kicked off by the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive continues. HTC unveiled the newest iteration of the VR headset, which axes the wires altogether in favor of wireless transmitters. The new headset will boast a better resolution for a richer image fidelity and better refresh rates to reduce motion sickness in users. No word on when or how much the new headset will cost, but enthusiasts should expect to pay premium prices for it.