Welcome to a special edition of our ‘Device Advice’ blog series, in which we review some of the most innovative devices that were introduced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
The Consumer Electronics show (CES) is held each year in Las Vegas, and the extravagant location often reflects the nature of some of the products that are on display. Whilst the show attracts all manner of consumer electronics from car tech to the latest TVs, you can always guarantee a collection of the latest smartphones to be in the mix too.
Asus ZenFone AR
Asus used this year’s CES as a platform to release two new smartphones: the ZenFone AR and the Zenfone 3 Zoom.
The Zenfone AR, as the name suggests, features Google Tango – Google’s augmented reality computing platform. The device is also one of the first smartphones that is compatible with Daydream VR, alongside the Google Pixel, Moto Z and Moto Z Force. What’s more, this is the first smartphone to combine support for both Google Tango and Google Daydream, which gives it a lot of capability for immersive digital experiences. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor and 8GB of RAM and also boasts a three-camera setup, which includes motion tracking and depth sensing.
The main draw to this device is, of course, its AR and VR capabilities. Although a relatively new concept for mainstream technology users, predictions such as this report from Juniper Research state AR use in the enterprise will grow to $2.4billion in 2019. We’re only just beginning to touch the surface with AR and VR for business use, but it’s certainly wise to be ready and equipped for when this technology inevitably expands. The device will be available from April onwards, though the price is yet to be revealed.
Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom
The ZenFone 3 Zoom was the second smartphone to be announced by Asus. The standout feature of this device is its photography capabilities. It features two 12 megapixel cameras; one with a 25mm wide-angle lens, and a second with a 59mm lens. These Sony-manufactured lenses allow for 12x zoom, combining both optical and digital functionality. Building on the previous models in the Zoom range, Asus has slimmed down this device and upped the internal spec; the Zenfone 3 Zoom features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB of RAM.
Huawei Honor 6X
Another of the 17 smartphones announced at CES 2017 was the Huawei Honor 6X. The successor to the Huawei 5X, this device boasts a 5.5-inch full HD display, with a PPI of 403. This puts it above the iPhone 7 Plus in terms of pixel density, which is a good measure of a clear display. The device also
features a dual-camera configuration on the reverse of the phone. This is ordinarily only a feature on high-end handsets, however, the 6X retails in the UK for around £200. The 6X is also reported to have a battery life of over 24 hours, even for the heaviest of users. Overall, the specifications of this device are arguably quite average, but it does boast some high-end assets. Depending on the specific needs of your business, this device could be an ideal compromise between cost and capability.
Alexa and more
A review of CES wouldn’t be complete without a nod towards the non-smartphone world – and this year’s show certainly had a lot to offer.
Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa was showcased multiple times during the show. Notably, LG revealed the Smart InstaView Refrigerator. Complete with a 29-inch translucent touchscreen and interior cameras to track groceries, the fridge also features complete Alexa functionality. This means you can use the voice integration service to start a shopping list and order groceries – or even control the rest of the smart devices in your home. Alexa also made an appearance with Ford, which announced its cars will have full Alexa capabilities.
Along with the latest smart fridge, LG also announced a razor-thin television: the LG Signature OLED TV W7. This showstopper TV measures 2.57mm in thickness, which has set a new standard for television dimensions. Despite its size, the OLED W7 has a 4K HDR screen and harnesses LG OLED’s pixel dimming technology, which renders perfect black to offer a limitless contrast ratio, with one billion possible colours.