Smartphones Unveiled at the CES 2017


CES 2017 is underway and we have seen some amazing products from different brands. From stunning LG’s 1.5 inch W-TV to smart appliances running Amazon Alexa, it has been one fascinating event. Even though home appliances, laptops and robots were the dominant at CES 2017, smartphone brands also launched some amazing new products and kicked off 2017 in style. Let’s have a look at which smartphones got unveiled at the CES 2017.

Asus Zenfone AR & Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom

Asus is one of those brands that through its products proves how determined they are to become one of the key players in the smartphone industry. The company unveiled two stunning smartphones at the CES 2017, the Asus Zenfone AR and the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom.

Asus Zenfone AR combines both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (AR) with a set of nifty features. The device is compatible with Google’s DayDream VR handset and along with that supports the Google Tango platform. The Zenfone AR is equipped with a tri-camera system that allows for the creation of indoor 3D maps. The cameras are optimized for depth tracking, room mapping and motion tracking. The smartphone makes use of Sony’s latest IMX 318 sensor with a 23 MP resolution. The combination of VR and AR, sound interesting and showcases Asus vision for its devices.

Asus Zenfone AR

The device is equipped with a whopping 8 GB RAM and a Snapdragon 821 SoC which has been tweaked to support both the VR and AR capabilities. Asus Zenfone AR sports a 79% screen-to-body ration with 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. The specs of the smartphone hints to which direction devices in the future will take and what aspects will be focused on. Asus Zenfone AR will be hitting the markets in second quarter of 2017, at the moment the price point has not been announced.

The second device that the company unveiled at the CES 2017 stage is the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom, through not as impressive as the Zenfone AR is ‘built for photography’. Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom features a dual camera setup which is powered by a 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor and another 12 MP camera with a 2.3 x optical zoom capabilities. The features of the front facing camera area also boast worthy as the device makes use of a 13 MP Sony IMX214 sensor. Under the hood, the smartphone sports a 4 GB RAM, Snapdragon 625 SoC and a 128 GB internal storage. Along with that the device features a 5.5 inch Full HD display and a 5,000 mAH battery. At 7.9 mm thick, Asus claims it is the thinnest and the lightest smartphone. The Zenfone 3 Zoom is expected to arrive in the markets by February, the colors variants and prices will be revealed when it launches in the markets.

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom

Xiaomi MI Mix (Pearl White)

One of the popular Chinese brands, Xiaomi took center stage at the CES 2017 to unveil a pearl white variant of their bezel less Xiaomi MI Mix. Even though Xiaomi has not branched out to USA yet, they strategically picked the CES to showcase one their most impressive smartphones to the the US market. Well it looks as if Xiamoi is testing waters and assessing what would be a good time to venture into the US market.

Xiaomi Mi Mix was unveiled without any upgrades, the only noticeable element was the new Pearl White color of the device. Lets have a look the features of the MI Mix. The Xiaomi MI Mix boasts an impressive 91.3% screen to body ratio. With a 6.4 inches, 1080 x 2040 resolution display the device is stunning. The smartphone is equipped with a Snapdragon 821 SoC that clocks at 2.35 GHz, 4 GB RAM and a 256 GB. In contrast the Pro variant of the the MI Mix has a 6 GB RAM with 18K gold detailing near the fingerprint sensor and the camera. In addition it sports a 16 MP main camera with a 6MP selfie shooter. The smartphone is powered by a 4,400 mAH battery with a quick charging ability.

Xiaomi MI Mix- Pearl White

Alcatel A3 XL

Alcatel is known for producing good quality budget smartphones. This time around they unveiled their latest offering, Alcatel A3 XL at the CES 2017. The first thing that anyone notices about the this smartphone is it size. A3 XL is a phablet with a 6-inch IPS LCD display with a 720 x 1280 resolution.  A 3,000 mAH battery powers the smartphone, which may not look much at the first glance but looking at the lower resolution quality, it is enough. Alcatel A3 XL comes with a 1 GB RAM and an 8 GB internal storage. The smartphone sports a 5MP selfie shooter and an 8MP main camera. A3 XL is powered by Android 7.0 Nougat. The smartphone is expected to launch in Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific is the first quarter of 2017. The price point is also expected to be quite low looking the features offered.

Alcatel A3 XL

Honor 6X

Honor also unveiled their new smartphone, the Honnor 6X at the CES 2017. The device has a metal body construction that gives it a premium feel. The company with its devices aims at giving people premium specs at a mid-price range and with the Honor 6 they seem to be following the same route. The best feature of the Honor 6X is its dual-lens camera. A 12 MP main camera is paired with a 2MP sensor at the rear of the device which allows users to take pictures with some special effects. An 8 megapixel front facing camera graces the smartphone. Apart from that the Huawei Kirin 655 octa-core processor powers the device. The Honor 6X has a 3GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage with an extendable battery option. At the moment the smartphone comes with Android Marshmallow but the company promises that it will be updated to Android Nougat by the end of the first quarter. Honor 6X will be powered by a 3,3,4omAh battery and will be available in gray, gold and silver colors.

Honor 6X

ZTE Blade V8 Pro, ZTE Blade V8 & ZTE Hawkeye

ZTE also unveiled  3 devices at the CES 2017: Blade V8 Pro, Blade V8 and Hawkeye. ZTE with its new lineup seems is focusing on producing mid-range devices with good specs. ZTE Blade V8 Pro sports a 5.5 inch full HD display. Below the display is a home button with an embedded finger print sensor. The smartphone sports a dual camera which seems to be the norm among smartphones launched at the CES. The Blade V8 Pro makes use of two 13 megapixel sensors which are able to take some amazing shots. Under the hood the device makes use of Snapdragon 625 SoC and will come with both a 3GB and 4GB RAM variants. ZTE has made use of both metal and textured plastic for the design of this device which gives it a rugged sporty feel. ZTE Blade Pro will be available for sale in the USA and it is priced at $230.

ZTE Blade V8 Pro

The second smartphone that ZTE unveiled at the CES 2017 is the ZTE Blade V8 which is another mid range device. Like the Blade V8 Pro, the Blade V8 also sports a dual camera but is different in spec. The ZTE Blade V8 has a 13MP and 2MP maim camera sensors. The best part about the smartphone is its ability to take 3D pictures. What the camera does is that it combines different images together for a 3D shot. Seems like a nifty new features that we will have to keep our eyes on and see how that works out. The device has a 5.5 inch Full HD display and is powered by a 2730 mAH batter. Along with that it is equipped with a Snapdragon 435 chipset and is powered by a 2730 mAh battery. It will be shipped in two variants one with a 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage and the other one with a 3GB RAM and a 32GB internal storage. ZTE didn’t announce the price but expect it to cheaper than the Blade V8 Pro. The ZTE Blade V8 will be available in different markets globally by March 2017.

ZTE Blade V8 (PC: GSM Arena)

The third much talked about device by the company is the ZTE Hawkeye. At the CES 2016 ZTE announced Project CSX which aimed at producing a crowdsourced device. Everything from the device concept, design to specs and name would come from ZTE’s online community. The ZTE Hawkeye was available for public viewing at the CES but no one could test it as it is still under development. At the moment its specs are not clear apart from the fact that it has a self-adhesive ability and eye tracking features.

ZTE Hawkeye

Blackberry Mercury

Blackberry was present at the CES 2017, they didn’t unveil a smartphone but had a prototype out for their upcoming smartphone Blackberry Mercury. Chances are that this smartphone will officially launch on the MWC 2017. Under the TLC brand, the company is working towards bringing the best of Blackberry back. The prototype device available at the CES sported a physical keyboard on which one could swipe as well. With an aluminum build the focus is on giving the device a premium look. At the moment the specs of the device are not confirmed, as the company says that it is not final yet. Whether or not Blackberry would be able to make a successful come back with this device depends on how good the device is and which market is it targeting with its specs and features.

BlackBerry Mercury (PC: CNET)

At the CES 2017 some interesting devices were unveiled. One of the most prominent features across different smartphone brands has been the focus on camera. Most of the devices unveiled at the CES 2017 sport a dual-lens camera. Apart from that the focus on bringing mid-price range devices with premium features shows how competitive the market is and how different brands are vying for that space in the market. Well 2017 has kicked off with some nifty devices, we cannot wait to see what the year in store for us.

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