The Best Tablets and Smartphones of CES 2013
Year after year, CES serves as the launching point for some of the most anticipated smartphones and tablets, and this year’s show was no exception. We’ve traversed the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, hunting down the hottest, most innovative devices. We’ve rounded up the front-runners, which are certain to be contenders for our regular Best of CES awards. So, without further adieu, here are the mobile devices that could soon be topping your wishlist.
Sony’s Xperia Z
The Xperia Z isn’t just one of the best looking phones at CES, it’s one of the best looking Android phones we’ve used. With a sleek, minimalist design, powerful hardware, and Sony’s renowned video processing and camera technology, the Z is the new flagship in the Xperia line. While Sony has yet to commit to specific pricing, carriers, or release beyond a general Q1 estimate, the Xperia Z could turn out to be a key player in the Android market. To read more about the Xperia Z, check out our hands-on impressions.
Huawei’s Ascend Mate
This year, China-based manufacturer Huawei introduced the largest smartphone display to-date. Clocking in at a whopping 6.1-inches, the Ascend Mate is absolutely massive, but don’t be fooled — it’s hardly a gimmick. The Ascend Mate is thin, well-designed, and the 1080p IPS+ display is absolutely gorgeous. It’s got plenty of power inside provided by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and it’s running the latest version of Android — 4.1 Jellybean. Of course, such demanding specs require significant power, so Huawei has dropped in a staggeringly large 4,050mAh battery. Of course, there’s no telling if smartphone shoppers will want a phone so large, but it’s without question one of the coolest devices on-display in Las Vegas this week. Read more of our hands-on impressions.
Vizio’s 5-inch and 4.7-inch Android Phones
In 2011, Vizio introduced a smartphone prototype at CES, which unfortunately never made it to market. However, this year, the company is back in the game with a pair of Android handsets scheduled for release in China (and later, possibly North America). While Vizio’s first foray wasn’t much to look at, it’s latest efforts look great. Both feature sleek designs, powerful internals, and bright, colorful 720p displays. Now, if only we could persuade the company to offer them in the United States.
Samsung’s Curved Display Prototype
(Image Credit: The Verge)
Malleable display technologies have been touted at CES for years, but this week, Samsung showed off the idea in a fully conceived prototype smartphone. While details about the device were sparse, the company showcased the concept during its press conference and in private demos. The device uses a 5-inch 720p OLED display, which curves along the edges to conform with the frame of its plastic casing. The concept displays email notifications and other alerts along the curved edges of the display, offering a unique utility over current flat screen technologies. There’s no word on when we might see the concept brought to market, but we’re excited nonetheless. For more, check out The Verge.
The Razer Edge
While not without its flaws, Razer’s new gaming tablet is an exciting piece of tech. For the first time ever, high-definition PC gaming performance is now available in a tablet form factor. Packing Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, Nvidia’s GT 640M LE GPU, and a full version of Windows 8, the Edge is capable of running most current PC titles at 720p at mid-range graphics settings, providing exceptional transportability. Of course, it comes at the cost of battery life, but the future of PC gaming tablets is unquestionably bright. For more, check out our hands-on impressions.
Panasonic’s 20-inch 4K Tablet
You’ve heard of 4K TVs, now introduce yourself to the world’s first 4K tablet. Showed off in a prototype form, Panasonic’s massive 20-inch Windows 8 tablet packs an absolutely stunning display driven by powerful internals and housed in a sleek, brushed metal and glass exterior. We’re not sure when it’ll be coming to market or for how much, but one thing is for sure: it’s one of the coolest tablets we’ve seen all week. For more, check out our hands-on impressions.
Vizio’s Tegra 4 and Windows 8 Tablets
Along with its return to the smartphone business, Vizio made a big push into tablet devices at this year’s show. First, they introduced their very first Windows 8 tablet, which uses a 1080p, 11.6-inch display powered by AMD’s new Z60 mobile processor. Then, later in the week, it showed off one of the first Android tablets to use Nvidia’s new Tegra 4 processor, which boasts six times the performance of its predecessor. Both take cues from the company’s laptop and desktop lines, and feature sleek, unibody designs with aluminum enclosures. We expect to learn more about Vizio’s tablet efforts soon, as the first devices are expected to ship this spring.
For more from CES, check out IGN.com/CES.
By Scott Lowe