In just a couple of days, geeks from all over the world will pack their bags and head on a trip to Las Vegas. And no, it won’t be because of Sin City’s cabarets, casinos, and drive-through chapels (although these are a pretty solid reason to go there too). It’s all about the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, where all of the world’s major tech companies will show off their latest products and innovations. In other words, it’s like nerd heaven on Earth!
But what products are we talking about exactly? Well, that’s a pretty good question because a great deal of the gadgets that are to be exhibited have not even been announced officially. Thankfully, the rumor mill knows no rest. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing a lot about upcoming devices from Samsung, Sony, HTC, Asus, and the rest of the gang, so we decided to put all that we know so far together in one place. Let us begin with…
We know that Samsung has quite an announcement to make at CES 2013, but that probably won’t have much to do with the rumored Galaxy S IV, whether we like it or not. Instead, what we’re expecting to see is a thorough brand overhaul: word on the street has it that Samsung is now ready to alter its identity in order to be perceived as a global company, rather than a Korean one. A new logo is also to be introduced.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that no gadgets will be present on stage, but we have little clues as to what they might be. Our guess is that Samsung won’t miss the chance to show off its bendy AMOLED screens, among which this time may be a 5.5-inch panel with 1280 by 720 pixels of resolution. And speaking of smartphone screens, it is rumored that a non-bendy, Super AMOLED display with Full HD resolution may make an appearance. That’s 1920 by 1080 pixels across 5-inches of screen real estate for you! And that’s a pretty big deal because until recently, AMOLED technology didn’t allow such high pixel densities, but it seems like Samsung has already figured out how to pack the dots closer together. If the rumors are to be trusted, this panel is going to land on the Samsung Galaxy S IV, which is likely to be announced in Q2 of 2013.
Now would also be a good time to mention that Samsung might be working on a couple of new tablets as well, although the evidence behind this claim isn’t very solid yet. The first one of these rumored devices issaid to be a 13.3-inch slate designed to mimic the functionality of an Asus Transformer. In other words, it will come with a physical keyboard dock. The second tablet is believed to be a Samsung Galaxy Note 7(or something like that) with a model name GT-N5100. The Android device was spotted on GLBenchmark, so we know that its screen has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels and that it comes with a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 chip. If any of these two tablets is meant to ever hit the market, CES 2013 seems like a great time for an official announcement.
UPDATE: The Samsung Galaxy S IV might be at CES 2013, but only the company’s executives will be allowed to see it. There’s also the chance to hear something about the upcoming Tizen smartphones by Samsung. Could that be the huge surprise the Korean maker has for us?
That Sony is working on several new Android smartphones is anything but a secret. What we don’t yet know, however, is whether the Japanese company will make them official during CES 2013, or will bring them forth a month later at MWC. Either way, what’s in stock, according to leaks and speculations, is the5-inch monsterphone known as the “Yuga”, alongside the equally potent “Odin”and the mid-range “HuaShan” Android smartphones. The first two handsets supposedly come with 1080p screens and Exmor RS cameras, while the specs of the latter are expected to be significantly inferior, although no exact details about it have been revealed yet.
HTC & NVIDIA
The quad-core Tegra 4 chip by NVIDIA is expected to launch commercially in Q1 of 2013, so an announcement during CES in January seems highly plausible. With its four Cortex-A15 cores and 72 GPU cores, the new SoC should be several times more powerful than its predecessor without taking a toll on battery life. The question is, however, what device the potent piece of silicon will debut in.
Sources from the far East claim that HTC will be the first manufacturer with Tegra 4 hardware on the market, but whether that will be a tablet or a smartphone remains unclear. We’ve been hearing rumors about a phone called the HTC M7, which is supposed to be the maker’s flagship for Q1 of 2013 with its 1080p screen and all, but that device is said to be powered by a Qualcomm S4 Pro chip. That’s why seeing the Tegra 4 inside of an HTC tablet isn’t out of the question, even though the company’s previous offerings didn’t do very well on the market. And speaking of tablets, HTC is said to be preparing two of them – a 7-inch and a 12-inch slates running Windows RT. But who knows, and Android tablet may be in HTC’s plans as well, although that could only be wishful thinking. Hopefully, we’ll get to learn more about these smartphones and tablets at CES 2013
Recent leaks indicate that LG has a new high-end Android device in the making, packed with a 1080p display measuring 5 inches and powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro chip. Judging by what we know about the device so far, it will most likely be offered through AT&T in the U.S. Its release date isn’t known yet, but an announcement during CES 2013 isn’t out of the question. Could that be the rumored LG Optimus G2?
What we’re also hoping to hear more about during the event is the new lineup of SoCs that LG will soon bring to the market. The chips, based on Cortex-A15 processors paired with Mali-T604 graphics, will be used to power not only mobile devices, but also smart TVs and presumably other gadgets.
Huawei & ZTE
Don’t underestimate any of these two Chinese companies because they will be bringing the big guns at CES 2013. At least a trio of Huawei handsets will be shown off, the most peculiar of them being the Huawei Ascend Mate. The gigantic handset is made to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the likes, which is why it comes with a massive 6.1-inch screen packing 1920 by 1080 pixels of resolution. At the same time, it will likely retail for a very reasonable $500.
Next up we have the Huawei Ascend D2, which is another flagship handset. It comes with a 5-inch Full HD screen, quad-core processor, 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,000mAh battery, which seems quite promising, doesn’t it? The third smartphone we expect to see during the show is the Huawei Ascend W1 – a very aggressively priced Windows Phone 8 device. It offers a 4.3-inch WVGA screen and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which isn’t too shabby for something that should cost about $240.
From the folks at ZTE we expect to see the Grand S Android smartphone, which definitely doesn’t lag behind in terms of specifications. It also has a 5-inch 1080p display to offer, and according to its maker, it will be the slimmest Full HD smartphone to date with a thickness of only 7.6 millimeters. Further specs of the ZTE Grand S have not been revealed yet, but we might see a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro under its hood and a 13MP camera on its back.
If rumors are to be trusted, Asus will bring a couple of 7-inch tablets to CES 2013, alongside the rest of its flashy gadgets. One of them – the Asus ME172V, is expected to be an extremely affordable Android slate with pretty modest hardware specs, such as a 7-inch 1024 by 600 pixel display and a low-end processor made by VIA. Sure, it doesn’t sound too impressive, but what is expected to make the ME172V grab consumers’ attention is its price tag of about $130 or so.
The rumored Asus ME371MG might also make an appearance at CES 2013, and what makes it special is that it has an Atom processor running inside it. Its 7-inch IPS display has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, and a 3-megapixel camera is said to be also on board. It is believed that the device might go on sale for under $250.
We have plenty of evidence to believe that Acer has a new, low-end tablet in stock. The Acer Iconia B1, as it is called, is a 7-inch slate sporting a modest 1.2GHz processor and a 1024 by 600 pixel screen. Yeah, its specs sheet won’t make any jaws drop, but the price will surely draw in some customers. Rumor has it that the Acer Iconia B1 will be sold for as little as $99, which is a killer price no matter how you look at it.
But in addition to that, Acer might also bring a couple of smartphones to CES 2013. These are the Acer V350 and V360, both running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The former is clearly more capable than the latter as it is equipped with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip and a 720p screen. The Acer V360, on the other hand, has to offer a 4.5-inch qHD display, dual-core 1GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel main camera.
UPDATE: More photos and details about the Acer Iconia B1 have leaked.
What not to expect at CES 2013
We already mentioned that the Samsung Galaxy S IV is extremely unlikely to appear at CES 2013, but that isn’t the only device that its too early to get excited about. For example, you might have heard the reports claiming that Google is working with Motorola on a so-called “X Phone” and a tablet of some kind. Even though both of them are said to be scheduled for release in 2013, they will most likely be made official at Google’s I/O conference in May.
We can also add Nokia on the list of companies that aren’t going to steal the show at CES. In fact, the Finns might have decided to skip the event and focus on MWC instead, according to rumors. That’s why we aren’t expecting to see any new Nokia handsets or a Windows RT tablet next month. And speaking of Windows, Microsoft won’t be present either. 2012’s CES was the company’s last appearance in Vegas, so announcements revolving around Windows or Windows Phone will be scarce.