Huawei was big at CES. And that’s especially crazy, because a lot of the big guys (Samsung, Apple, Nokia) weren’t. So it was a great time for a less familiar brand to introduce itself. So who is Huawei?
But the problem with Huawei is that even though they have plenty of devices, they don’t work with any of the major carriers in the U.S. And they need to, because the major carriers have the power to sell phones at a discounted rate on contract: it’s those price points that consumers have come to expect, and any manufacturer would have a hard time moving units at an unsubsidized price.
But that’s only half the question: Huawei will also need phones that Americans want to buy. At CES they were showing off two devices that could have some appeal: the Ascend Mate and the Ascend D2. The Mate is a gigantic Android (4.1 Jellybean) device, with a 6.1 inch screen that pretty solidly qualifies it as a “phablet,” one of my absolute least favorite tech words. The Ascend D2 has a lot of similarities, but has smaller, more reasonable 5inch screen and a 13MP camera. Both resemble other phones on the market, like the Galaxy SIII and Droid DNA.
They might not be the most creative offerings, but they’re certainly on-par with some of the phones on the market and selling in the US. It’s not like all the phones we currently have to pick from are the most innovative either. So what do you think – would you welcome another phone maker to the market?
I shared a lot of my favorites from CES on the Today Show, but here are few I love but we just didn’t have time to get to on TV:
Apple Accessory: 30 Pin or Lightning Port Flash Drive This flash drive can be used with any Apple device, since it has the old 30 Pin connector AND the new Lightning port. That means you’ll be able to keep using it with any new Apple products that come out too. In addition to just storing and transferring files, you can also use it to stream movies or music to your iPhone or iPad. If you’ve got AirPlay set up you can then watch it on a TV. Play content from a flash drive to a TV? Pretty cool! Watch how it works here.
Unsung Hero: Liquipel Liquipel is actually a coating for your phone that helps it repel water. They stick your phone in a box and spray it down with the coating so that it completely covers the phone, but somehow it still manages to be basically invisible. Not gonna help if you have a habit of dropping your device, but it’s great protection from everyday water damage. Sending away an iPhone 5 for the Liquipel treatment starts at $59 + shipping, but you can check out their site for all the options.
One of the technologies I’m most excited about here at CES it e-Ink. Why? Because the problem with wanting to everything with our phones is that it drains the battery life. E-Ink is cool, because it uses way less power, which means you get more usage between charges. Two of the latest (and most exciting) developments in e-Ink are the flexible display, which is almost impossible to break, and color. In the video above, I go hands-on with both to give you a sneak peek of this upcoming tech!
This is not for everyone, but it’s definitely cool! If nothing else, it’s fun to see how many new and different tech products are being developed to take advantage of our phones and tablets: they’re so ubiquitous now that we’re starting to see interesting hardware innovations, not just app innovations.
Hardcore gamers will tell you: no touchscreen can ever be a good substitute for a real video game controller. Nyko has answered the call with a real controller I got a chance to demo in this video! This is compatible with almost any Android device on the market, whether a tablet or a phone, as well as hundreds of games! Check out the video above to learn all of the details as well as see it in action! Read More
This is some pretty amazing tech! In this video, I show off some stylus tech from Targus that lets you turn any Windows 8 Laptop into a touchscreen laptop. Seriously. Seeing is believing on this one, so check it out! Read More
CEO Eric Migicovsky announced at CES that the Pebble Watch will ship January 23rd.
Have you seen the Pebble Watch? It’s a customizable smart watch that uses Bluetooth to deliver info from your phone, like texts, emails, phone calls, iMessages and more. And of course, it tells the time. And it can run apps designed for it, and integrates with pre-existing favorite like RunKeeper. All of this shows up on the watch’s e-ink screen (similar to the screen in the original Kindles) that uses way less power than a traditionally illuminated screen like you’d get on your smartphone, so the battery can last way longer.
So why is this announcement especially exciting? Well, Pebble is interesting in that it’s a Kickstarter success story: it raised a record-breaking 10 Million, had something like 85,000 units ordered, and just generally signified a breakthrough that Kickstarter campaigns could and should be taken seriously.
We talk a lot about charging solutions: it’s hard to ever have enough battery life. Especially if you’re like us, constantly shooting video and using bluetooth. And let’s not get into the battery life on the iPhone 5.
MyChargePower is coming out with a bunch of options for iPhone 5 users that will feature the new lightning connector (of course) but provide different amounts of juice, depending on your needs. We run through all the options! Check out the video above for an overview of the options, and the one below to see how they look close-up.
The big news about this phone is that it’s waterproof, so we had to drop it in a fishbowl to see what happens. Plus it’s got great phone stuff, like a 12MP camera, Android Jellybean and you can use it while your fingers or the phone is wet. Seriously!