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CES 2017: From tech to futuristic cars, the event sees new launches

Here are some highlights of the world’s largest consumer technology event in Las Vegas where biggest product launches take place

Written by Anuj Bhatia | Las Vegas |
January 6, 2017 2:53:21 am
CES 2017,CES, Las Vegas, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Smartglasses, Chip maker, Honor 6X, Honor 6X smartphone, smartphones, CES 2017 product launch, Toyota, Asus ZenFone AR, ZenFone 3 Zoom, Casio smatwatch CES 2017, CES 2017 day 2 highlights, CES 2017 highlights, ZTE crowsourced smartphone, Sony 4K OLED TV, BlackBerry Mercury, Samsung chromebooks, technology, technology news The Toyota Concept-i car. (Reuters photo)

CES kicked off on Wednesday in Las Vegas, and there are a lot of announcements and product launches. This is the world’s largest consumer technology show, and some of the biggest product launches take place here. From technology that will hit the market in 2017 to futuristic cars. Here is some highlights:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm’s big announcement was its flagship SoC called the Snapdragon 835. Although there were hopes the company would announce the first smartphone to be powered by the latest mobile processor, Qualcomm chose to focus on the groundbreaking features of the Snapdragon 835.

These are improved battery life, power efficient, better AR/VR integration, fast internet connectivity, and much more.

There were a few surprises, though. Qualcomm also announced the first Snapdragon 835 devices, and they aren’t smartphones. Qualcomm has partnered with ODG which is the Osterhout Design Group to launch R-8 and R-9, which will be the first devices powered by the 835 processor, and these are actually Augmented Reality SmartGlasses.

The chip maker discussed its plans to make automotive smarter and also highlighted wearables using using Qualcomm chipsets. One of the new smartwatches is from Swarovski, and it will eventually be unveiled at Baselworld. Huawei bets on affordable dual rear camera smartphones

CES 2017,CES, Las Vegas, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Smartglasses, Chip maker, Honor 6X, Honor 6X smartphone, smartphones, CES 2017 product launch, Toyota, Asus ZenFone AR, ZenFone 3 Zoom, Casio smatwatch CES 2017, CES 2017 day 2 highlights, CES 2017 highlights, ZTE crowsourced smartphone, Sony 4K OLED TV, BlackBerry Mercury, Samsung chromebooks, technology, technology news A Samsung QLED television at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Reuters photo)

Huawei’s e-brand Honor chose day 1 at CES to unveil the Honor 6X, a smartphone with dual rear cameras. While the smartphone isn’t extraordinary, it still packs a lot of features given its asking price of $250 (or approx Rs 17,000). With the global announcement of the Honor 6X, we’re now expecting to see many more manufacturers following Honor’s footsteps.

The future is all about ‘connected vehicles’

Faraday Future unraveled its first production vehicle called the FF91, at CES in Las Vegas. This is unlike any other electric car as it can accelerate from zero to 60mph (97 km per hour) in 2.39 seconds, claims the company. The FF91 was shown in a live demonstration with pre-recorded video footage of a speed test on a closed road.

Faraday Future didn’t disclose a price tag for the FF91, but said they would begin to accept deposits ahead of production, which will start in 2018. Faraday Future will go head-to-head with Tesla in the autonomous electric car segment.

Asus ZenFone

Asus on Wednesday announced the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. Notably, the ZenFone AR is the world’s first smartphone to be both Tango and Daydream-ready; the latter is Google’s virtual reality platform. The other smartphone which is ZenFone 3 Zoom, features a dual-camera system and a large 5,000mAh battery inside.

CES 2017,CES, Las Vegas, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Smartglasses, Chip maker, Honor 6X, Honor 6X smartphone, smartphones, CES 2017 product launch, Toyota, Asus ZenFone AR, ZenFone 3 Zoom, Casio smatwatch CES 2017, CES 2017 day 2 highlights, CES 2017 highlights, ZTE crowsourced smartphone, Sony 4K OLED TV, BlackBerry Mercury, Samsung chromebooks, technology, technology news Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom has two cameras and a big 5,000mAh battery.

ZenFone AR is definitely an interesting device as it integrates two different platforms into one single device. At the press event, Asus said it has worked closely with Google to ensure the smartphone works perfectly with both Google Tango and Daydream platforms. Both companies are partnering with well-known brands to bring the Tango experience to consumers.

Internally, the ZenFone AR is a powerful smartphone. It packs in a Snapdragon 821 processor and 8GB of RAM. While Qualcomm is targeting the Snapdragon 835 as its next flagship SoC, the company says the Snapdragon 821 is designed to deliver unmatched AR and VR experiences. The front of the phone features a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD (2560×1440) pixels resolution, making the experience wholesome when viewing content in virtual reality.

Being a Google Tango-ready smartphone, the ZenFone AR features three-cameras. The main camera consists of a 23MP Sony IMX 318 sensor with OIS and 4K video recording support and other two for motion-tracking and depth sensing, which help the phone react to a user’s every movement.

In addition, Asus ZenFone AR boasts an external five magnet speaker that supports Hi-Res audio and DTS virtual surround sound to deliver the ultimate AR and VR experiences. The smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. Asus also says the Zenfone AR is the thinnest project Tango smartphone in the world.

Meanwhile, ZenFone 3 Zoom is a smartphone targeted at mobile photography enthusiasts. Encased in an aluminum body, the ZenFone 3 is claimed to be the lightest and thinnest phone featuring a 5,000mAh battery. It is only 7.9mm thick and weighs in at 170 grams. The phone comes with a 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED display and is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor and will ship with different RAM and storage configurations. The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, instead of the latest Android 7.0 Nougat.

Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom has two cameras and a big 5,000mAh battery.

CES 2017,CES, Las Vegas, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Smartglasses, Chip maker, Honor 6X, Honor 6X smartphone, smartphones, CES 2017 product launch, Toyota, Asus ZenFone AR, ZenFone 3 Zoom, Casio smatwatch CES 2017, CES 2017 day 2 highlights, CES 2017 highlights, ZTE crowsourced smartphone, Sony 4K OLED TV, BlackBerry Mercury, Samsung chromebooks, technology, technology news A Sony FES watch. (Reuters photo)

The main highlight of the ZenFone 3 Zoom is a dual-camera setup on the device. On the rear, you get a 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor with 25mm wide-angle lens and f/1.7 aperture along with a dedicated 12MP, 56mm lens for 2.3x optical zoom. The front facing camera is rated at 13MP.

ZenFone 3 Zoom will be available in February 2017. The ZenFone AR will be made available in Q2 2017. Pricing of both smartphones will be announced at a later stage.

(The writer is covering CES 2017 on the invite of Qualcomm)
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