by Scott Baughman

A new year means new beginnings, resolutions and PLENTY of new technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! So this year the main thrust of new products wasn’t necessarily TVs or computers. Oh sure, there were plenty of those revealed which I’ll mention in a bit, but this year the main focus was on some new smartphone technology. Later this year when you decide to reach out and touch someone you just might be doing it on a much faster, and much SMALLER smartphone. Here are some of the major revelations from the show:

  • Samsung: The giant behind the Galaxy series of phones introduced “Lite” versions of their flagship devices the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10. So, Lite isn’t necessarily a reference to weight or size of the phone, but rather the more modest hardware inside them. For starters, the two phones have slightly slower processors for their main chips. But it should still be plenty powerful enough for the average user. The phones still have the enormous 6.7-inch AMOLED screen and the hole-punch selfie camera facing the front. The Galaxy S10 Lite has a Snapdragon 855 chip and the Note 10 Lite has the Exynos 8895 chip inside. There are a few differences in the rear-facing cameras as well. For the S10 Lite, the camera has a 48-megapixel main lens and a 5-megapixel macro lens with a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens. The Note 10 Lite has a triple 12-megapixel lens setup. The price and release date have not yet been set for the two Lite phones.
  • TCL – The TCL company started its big push into the smartphone market just last year, but has made a big splash so far. The flagship phone for the group is the TCL Plex but at CES 2020 the company introduced its 10 series range. I mean, why bother to have any phones before number 10 – just start with 10, right? Anyway, the company has the TCL 10 L, the TCL 10 Pro and the TCL 10 5G. The 10 L and the Pro will get a release in the USA later this year, but the 5G phone is set for a global release at some point in the so far undefined future. All three phones will be priced around $500 making them not a bad deal for current smartphones. 
  • Cat S32 – Need a smartphone that’s rugged and REALLY tough? I mean, like, physically tough? Look no further than the Cat S32. This is the latest rugged smartphone to bear the Cat name and it is reportedly very, VERY durable. According to the official specs, the phone can survive a drop of 1.8 meters and has an IP68 water and dust-resistance rating. It has a MediaTek A20 processor, a 5.5-inch screen, a 5-megapixel selfie camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera. And the battery has a 4.200mAh capacity to keep it going through several days of use.

And now, how about those TVs? Yes, there were PLENTY of big screens on display, but which had the best – well – display?

  • Samsung Q950TS 8K TV: Ok, so this year’s CES didn’t involve any major technological leaps as in years past like 8K or QLED, but that didn’t stop the manufacturers from releasing some really top notch stuff. For example, this incredible bezel-less 8K TV. OLED-based TVs usually have an edge when it comes to tiny edges because they don’t require a backlight. But QLED TVs are not quite the same and that’s a big deal when it comes to Samsung’s achievement engineering this little marvel. This isn’t an OLED TV but it sure looks like one. But it isn’t merely about the looks, the Q950TS has some impressive tech on the inside. It has a unique Artificial Intelligence picture engine that teaches itself how to upscale non-8K content to 8K resolution. This means, the more you watch it, the better your content will look. 
  • TCL 6-series mini-LED: TCL didn’t have much to say at CES this year about its TVs, instead it focused on its new Vidrian Mini-LED backlight technology. Back in 2019 the 6-series was already a great value for a modern television with a cool Roku Operating System, a bright QLED display and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos at prices that made it a great choice for consumers. But the 2020 version of the TV has a drastically improved backlight technology inside it increasing the number of individual LEDs and local-dimming zones compared to traditional backlit QLED TVs. It could make this highly affordable TV the kind of performance-based model usually only seen on TVs that cost twice as much.
  • Vizio 4K OLED TV: Vizio is bringing its first OLED TV to the U.S. this year and CES 2020 is where the company decided to introduce the set for the first time on American shores. There’s not much known yet about the devices other than it will be available in the 55 and 65 inches sizes. But in the past in the EU, Vizio has delivered consistently good performance models and is usually a great value for the money. And now that the company has decided to sell an OLED TV, you can bet it’ll be great. 

That about wraps it up for this year’s CES. So until next time…download complete.