The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) brings together innovation and tech leaders from industries ranging from sports and vehicle technology to smart cities and health tech but has never traditionally been a place where major phone makers introduce new handsets.
That arena belongs to the GSMA Mobile World Congress which is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, featuring top-notch mobile technology developers, manufacturers, service providers and app developers from across the globe.
The industry had been speculating about Samsung showing off the Galaxy S10 or the much anticipated LG foldable phone, but that did not happen. But new smartphones were displayed at this year’s CES in Las Vegas.
Samsung 5G phone prototype – Though the South Korean company did not bring their anticipated Galaxy 10, it quietly showcased a prototype version of the 5G device. Rumour has it that the company's first 5G smartphone could be announced in the first half of this year. According to a report in Venture Beat, Samsung was quietly showing off a prototype of its first 5G smartphone at the ongoing CES tech fair. Samsung was the only handset maker to unveil a 5G smartphone prototype at the event, which ended on January 11, but major wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers turned out in force to demonstrate their 5G capabilities. From 4G, 5G is expected to offer a download speed of 10Gbps (gigabits per second), which is 100 times faster than 4G’s 100Mbps (megabit per second). This speed is fast enough to download a 4K resolution film within seconds.
Alcatel 1X and 1C – The Alcatel brand showed off two budget smartphones. The device is expected to cost Sh8,000 in emerging markets. The 1C has a low hardware specs and will only be running on 3G and comes with a 4.95-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 2,000mAh battery. While the 1X has a larger 5.5-inch display and doubles the RAM and storage to 2GB and 16GB, respectively. It comes with a dual rear camera, with a 12MP primary sensor and a 2MP secondary camera. It will support 4G wireless and come with a 3,000mAh battery, at a cost of Sh13,000. Both phones are due out later this year.
Royole FlexPai – It made a huge splash at CES 2019 as one of the first commercial foldable phone and tablet with a fully flexible display. The FlexiPai was officially launched in October 2018. The device does not have a commercial release date yet but becomes the world’s first commercial foldable smartphone with a flexible display. It can be used folded or unfolded, giving it the versatility and portability of a phone with the functionality of a tablet. Unfolded, the Flex Pai offers multitasking and split-screen mode, allows users to drag-and-drop between apps the way you can on a computer.
Hisense U30 – This China-based company are more known for its big-screen TVs and house hold electronics than its phones. Last week they quietly showed off a new phone, the Hisense U30. The device came in with a couple of interesting features. This is the first phone which will feature the new Snapdragon 675 chipset and that’s not even the best part. The phone has a large 6.3-inch with a 1080p display with a 20MP front-facing camera, placed on the top left of the screen. It also has two rear cameras: a massive 48MP main sensor, and a secondary 5MP camera. It is the first phone to do so and also a depth sensor next to the camera and a fingerprint reader. It is also rumoured to have 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a big 4,500mAh battery. The Hisense U30 will reportedly launch in March 2019 in China, Russia and parts of Europe. Africa was not mentioned, but who knows…most Chinese phones always end up here.
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