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Phone News from CES 2021

It’s all a bit different

CES 2021 was a little different this year. Usually, nearly 120,000 visitors attended across 3 days. They would have visited more than 4,000 exhibitors showing off the latest in technology and innovation.

This year, for obvious reasons, the event was online. Exhibitors were showcasing their technology with video and virtual conferences.

Phone manufacturers are usually some of the biggest investors in CES.  Show floors would be flooded with the latest devices and massive marketing campaigns. This year, however, there was an apparent absence from the likes of LG, Xiaomi, and Huawei. Perhaps politically driven, their absence was also due to the challenges of launching in lockdown .

However, there were some big announcements from Samsung, Motorola, and TCL.

Samsung Announcements at CES 2021

Flagship phones are typically announced at the Mobile World Congress event. This is now at the end of June for 2021. So, Samsung dominated CES by announcing several devices. The Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra were their headline devices.

As usual with phone launches, the line-up concentrates on performance improvements, camera capabilities, and screen. There really isn’t much innovation here—evolution, not revolution. All of the new Galaxy devices were there, but in reality nothing created much of a buzz.

Motorola Announcements at CES 2021

This time around, Motorola focussed on more of a budget phone line-up. Revisiting familiar names such as the G-series and Motorola One, the brand appears to have just refreshed existing models. Improving and updating technology is always part of a manufacturer’s strategy. A number of devices appeared, but nothing that innovated in any way.

Motorola has revamped older models and refined some of the features. Models such as the Moto G Stylus have improved screens and processors. The Moto G Power and Moto G Play have been seen in other regions but are now being launched in the US.

TCL Announcements at CES 2021

Introducing its new TCL 20 line of affordable Android handsets, the manufacturer also launched a cheap 5G device.

However, the TCL AMOLED rollable display was arguably the most interesting. It was a great demonstration of screen technology, allowing a user to expand the screen by unrolling it without creases. Time will tell whether this will be adopted in real devices, but the idea was excellent and exciting.


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