CES 2014: Smartphones roundup

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CES 2014: Smartphones roundup
The Consumer Electronics Show saw some new technology trends, from 8K TVs, to smart wearables and devices for toddlers. Smartphones of course, were not to be left behind, and companies like: Acer, Alcatel, Asus, Huawei, Sony, and ZTE introduced new handsets to whet our smartphone appetites.

The CES 2014, which is this year's first personal technology tradeshow, showed an array of handsets, and few of those found a way of standing out in the crowd. Here are some of the newly launched smartphones that caught the eyeballs.

Acer started off its CES 2014 campaign with the launch of its 5-inch budget Android smartphone, the Acer Liquid Z5. The Acer Liquid Z5 has been priced at priced at 169 Euros (roughly $230 or Rs. 14,300) and would be available in France, Benelux, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine and the UK from mid-January. Acer has been touting the Liquid Z5's Float UI, which allows additional app windows to be overlaid, for better multitasking.

Alcatel launched two new smartphones dubbed One Touch Idol X+ and One Touch Pop C9 at the CES 2014. The Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ will be available in China starting January 15 and has been priced at $330, with no word on global availability, while there is no mention of the pricing and availability details of the Alcatel One Touch Pop C9.

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor clocked at 2GHz along with 2GB of RAM. The Alcatel One Touch Pop C9 is a budget phablet featuring 5.5-inch display.

Asus-PadFone mini-CES-2014-635.jpg

Taiwanese computer electronics giant, Asus at CES 2014 unveiled two new smartphone-tablet hybrids, the 4-inch Asus PadFone mini that fits into a 7-inch tablet dock, and the 5-inch Asus PadFone X that fits into a 9-inch tablet dock. The company did not reveal any details about pricing and availability of the two hybrid devices, however, it did mention that the PadFone X will be available in US exclusively with AT&T.

Asus also unveiled its new line of low-end smartphones at the CES 2014, the ZenFone range, which includes three handsets namely the Asus ZenFone 4, Asus ZenFone 5 and Asus ZenFone 6.


The newly launched Asus ZenFone handsets feature the ZenUI skin, which is built with simplified, easy-to-access icons and menus, select themes to match the device colours, and a What's Next feature to keep a track of a user's daily schedule.

Huawei, the popular Chinese handset maker announced the new Ascend Mate 2 4G, a refreshed version of the Ascend Mate phablet at CES 2014 bearing the same 6.1-inch HD IPS+ LCD display, but with an upgraded chipset, more built in storage, and bigger front and rear cameras.

The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G packs a 4050 mAh battery, which comes with a 'reverse' charging feature, allowing the phone to be used to charge other devices.

Sony surprisingly revealed its two premium smartphones, an Xperia Z1 variant exclusive to T-Mobile, and an international mini-variant at the CES 2014. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is a mini-variant of the flagship smartphone, Xperia Z1 and boasts of similar innards, except the screen size and the battery.


Sony also announced the Xperia Z1S, which will be available in US through T-Mobile starting January 22 and will be priced at $22 per month for two years or will be available at $603 outright (without contract), this translates to roughly Rs. 37,500. Notably, the Sony Xperia Z1S comes with similar specifications to the Xperia Z1.

ZTE expanded its Grand smartphone line-up and launched the Grand S II at CES 2014. The highlight feature of the Grand S II is the voice recognition unlocking, voice photography and an upgraded ZTE My-drive assistant.


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Further reading: Acer, Alcatel, Android, Asus, CES, CES 2014, Huawei, Mobiles, Sony, ZTE
Ketan Pratap Ketan Pratap covers daily news and rumours at Gadgets 360. He attended IIMC (Indian Institute of Mass Communication), majoring in English Journalism. Ketan is a ... More
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