CES 2015: Smartphones Unveiled
CES 2015 is off to a traditionally hot start: the show is open for the next few days, but the biggest announcements are happening in the first day when some of the mobile industry’s most powerful executives gather in Las Vegas to share their plans for the year.
What we care deeply about is one type of devices in particular: smartphones. Luckily, we have LG, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Asus, and many others showcase new handsets at the Consumer Electronics Show, so variety and abundance of novelty is a must.
What’s interesting about the announcements this year, though, is that they are a sign of a bigger change that one can sense coming over the next few years. The wind of change is quickly bringing us futuristic technologies and the flexible screen of the LG G Flex 2 is one brilliant example of the type of innovation we’ll see soon. We’re also seeing affordable devices picking up a lot of the marquee features of pricier phones. All good things for the consumer. See all those exciting CES 2015 new smartphone announcements right below to get a taste of the future.
LG G Flex 2
Release date: Q1 2015
The LG G Flex 2 is the first big announcement to come out of CES 2015: after testing the waters with futuristic curved phones in 2014, LG has taken the experiment and concepts to reality with a well-thought out mass-market gadget, the G Flex 2.
After the gigantic, 6-inch original G Flex, LG has taken a more moderate approach and claims to have found the optimal size for the G Flex 2: it’s a 5.5” display. The signature features include the same, 700R (700mm) curvature, plastic OLED display with a 1080p resolution, the new octa-ocre 64-bit Snapdragon 810 system chip, scratch self-healing back cover, and quick charge technology. What’s not to like?
Asus Zenfone 2
Price: $250 (4GB RAM model) / $200 (2GB RAM model)
Release date: March 2015
Asus is focusing on a single Zenfone 2 that will come in two versions, the most notable difference between the two being that one of them will offer the whopping 4GB of RAM, while the other will stick with “just” 2 gigs. Asus is sticking with Intel once again, and has opted for an LTE-enabled, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor with four cores that can reach frequencies of up to 2.33GHz, and a PowerVR G6430 GPU with OpenGL 3.0 support. The Zenfone 2 comes with a Gorilla Glass 3-protected, 5.5-inch device with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.
Asus Zenfone Zoom
Release date: Q2 2015
With 3x optical zoom, the Asus Zenfone Zoom manages to stay fairly compact. It comes with a hearty 5.5″ 1080p IPS-LCD display with 400 nits of peak brightness, a 64-bit quad-core Atom processor, and a 3000 mAh battery. The selfie phenomenon is taken care of by a 5 MP wide-angle front camera.
Lenovo Vibe X2 Pro
Release date: April 2015
Besides the design of the Lenovo Vibe X2 Pro, the other noteworthy thing to stand out from our cursory look is its iridescent 5.3-inch FHD IPS display. Running the latest VIBE 2.0 user interface, it’s a minimalist experience that primarily features a personalized lock screen, Instant On camera, elegant transparent icons, and much more. Certainly, the interface has a slick new appeal, but it’s still running on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. Powering this bundle of joy is an octa-core 1.5GHz 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB of RAM.
Release date: February 2015
The Lenovo Vibe X2 Pro might be device for the lighthearted folks who take pride is snapping selfies of themselves, but the Lenovo P90 is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Rather, it’s the mobile professional’s type of smartphone, as it’s meant to be one serious workhorse that’s going to be long-lasting while on the road. In reaching that, the Lenovo P90 is hoping that its Goliath sized 4000 mAh battery will be ready to tackle the challenge that sometimes makes other smartphones fall short in making them true work horses.
Alcatel PIXI 3 series
Release date: N/A
The PIXI 3 smartphones will come in 4 different sizes – 3.5”, 4”, 4.5”, and 5”, and all of them will be compatible with 3 different operating systems to install – Firefox, Windows Phone, and Android. We’re yet to see how this works out, but this OS neutrality from none other but Alcatel is an interesting concept. Keep in mind that all of these upcoming devices are affordable, and not really power-lifters when it comes to specs.
Release date: Q1 2015
While it’s not a true smartphone (far from it), the Nokia 215 does bring a few smart features that granted it a place in this list. At a full off-contract price of $29, the Nokia 215 is a traditional candybar phone with buttons, but what it stands out with is support for Facebook Messenger and a truly long-lasting battery. The Nokia 215 comes with a 2.4” display with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels (keep in mind that it’s not a touchscreen). Along with Facebook, you can also use Twitter and MSN Weather on it, and the 215 also features the Opera Mini browser with Bing search. This might not seem like much, but you ought to put this in the context of the cheap price of the phone.
HTC Desire 320
Release Date: Q1 2015
HTC Desire 320 offers the same specifications as the Desire 310. The device comes with a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor (unknown chipset), coupled with 512MB RAM of 1GB of RAM, depending on the region. Internal storage will also be region dependent – 4GB or 8GB, with both models equipped with a microSD card slot for further memory expansion.
Camera wise, it offers a 5MP fixed-focus rear shooter with support for full-HD video recording and an LED flash, and a VGA front snapper. In terms of connectivity, the Desire 320 offers 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. The Android 4.4 KitKat running smartphone is backed by a 2,100mAh battery, which is rated to deliver 12 hours of talk time on 3G networks.
HTC Desire 826
Release Date: January 2015
Desire 826 sports a 5.5-inch full HD display, and is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset clocked at 1.7GHz, mated to 2GB of RAM. There’s 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. A 2,600mAh battery fuels the handset. The Desire 826 is a dual-SIM device, supporting a pair of nano-SIM cards. Apart from its UltraPixel shooter, which enables it to take better selfies in low light, it also gets a 13MP primary camera with LED flash at the rear. HTC’s Eye Experience camera software is also on board. The smartphone runs Android Lollipop with HTC’s Sense UI on top.
Kodak Instamatic 5
Release Date: Q1 2015
The device comes with the moniker Instamatic 5 and is a basic mid-ranger with its launcher being focused towards photography. It features a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
Taking charge of the processing department is a 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of internal storage on offer, with a microSD card for expansion by another 32GB. It runs a customised (almost stock) version of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and the same will be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop as well.
For its imaging features, it comes with a 13-megapixel camera at the rear and a 5-megapixel camera up front. The whole point of the device is to provide a smartphone with a simple UI that is great for snapping and sharing images. Whatever you shoot gets added automatically to your lockscreen, but you can choose which photos to add there.
The launcher gets dedicated Print, Gallery and Camera icons. The smartphone is pretty light at 120 grams and has a 2,150mAh battery for fuel.
Alcatel Onetouch Hero 2C
OneTouch Hero 2C, a slightly toned-down version of the One Touch Hero 2 which is already on sale globally. The French company hasn’t announced the pricing of the device yet, but it is is known that it will first hit Latin America, followed by other regions.
The Hero 2C sports a 6-inch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels instead of the full HD display of the Hero 2. The device appears to be a bit wider than the regular variant and would require both hands for operation. It runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and there is no word about the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the time being.
Under the hood of the smartphone is a 1.2GHz quad-core processor whose make is unknown but we are guessing it is a Snapdragon 400. An Adreno 305 GPU is in charge of the graphics department. At the rear of the smartphone, a 13-megapixel camera is present with the ability to shoot 1080p videos while the front of the device gets a 2-megapixel camera. A 3,400 mAh battery is what gives it the juice to run.
It gets 4G connectivity too but the rest of the specs of the Hero 2C are yet unknown
ZTE Grand X Max+
Release Date: N/A
ZTE has announced Grand X Max+, successor of last year’s Grand X Max in the US at CES. It has a 6-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD display, is powered by a 1.2 quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat). It has a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
It has Dolby audio for enhanced audio experience for music, movies and gaming. It even has 4G LTE support. This has 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage with expansion slot, compared to 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage in the Grand X Max. It packs the same 3200mAh battery.
Yezz Billy S5 LTE
As far as specification, Billy 5S LTE sports a 5-inch IPS HD capacitive multi-touch screen. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor paired with Adreno 306 and 1GB of RAM, with 8GB of internal storage which can be further expanded via a microSD card.
The dual-SIM capable smartphone supports 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. Other features of the handset include a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Billy 5S LTE runs on Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box.
Acer Liquid Z410
As far as the specifications of the Liquid Z410 are concerned, the handset comes with a 4.5-inch qHD (540×960 pixels) display, and is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT6732 processor paired with ARM Mali-T760 GPU. Other features include a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The company hasn’t specified the amount of battery, RAM, and storage it is packing in the handset.
Running on Android 4.4 KitKat, the handset also offers three interesting features namely AcerRAPID, Acer QuickTouch, and AcerExtend. Acer Rapid lets one “access a rich set of customizable actions with one touch.” The built-in application is aimed at adding “speed, flexibility and personalization” to the user experience. The QuickTouch, on the other hand, offers gesture-based controls for app shortcuts and operations, and AcerExtend lets one control the smartphone via cable or wirelessly using the Windows PC.