This year’s expo will likely feature a lot of technology related to the wearable market and virtual reality. Just as the Apple Watch stole the show in 2015, so will the Oculus Rift’s official launch at CES 2016. Here’s what we can expect for mobile and wearables.
Samsung’s most anticipated device at the moment is the rumored Samsung Galaxy S7, as well as the Edge variants, which we may get a peak of at CES 2016. The Galaxy S7 is likely slated to arrive at Mobile World Congress in February, but we could see the Galaxy A9 at the show. It’s a mid-range phone that hit China in December. Also keep an eye out for the company’s new camera technology called Britecell, which it may demo.
Apart from that, the Korean company recently unveiled TipTalk, a smart watch strap that turns your finger into a speaker so only you can hear. It connects to a watch or a phone and transmits audio when you touch your ear, which increases clarity in noisy environments. Samsung also showed off a wearable fitness belt, Welt, that looks like your ordinary leather belt. Inside it is a sensory array that gives it fitness band functionality — allowing it to count your steps, measuring the amount of time you spend sitting down, and more. It works with a special app that displays your data. Samsung will also give us a peek at Rink, an advanced hand-motion controller, for its Gear VR that can be used to control games or navigate menus when using a VR headset.
Huawei had a good 2015, especially considering the praise Google’s Nexus 6P received. The Huawei-made device is the runner up in the mobile category for our Best Products of 2015 awards. At CES, its Honor brand of smartphones may make their way into the United States. According to rumors, we could see more information on the Honor 5X and Honor 7i launches, as well as details on a potential Honor 7 Plus. Huawei is reportedly going to get serious about establishing itself in the States, and that may come with the launch of its Mate 8 smartphone. The device is already available in China. It’s also rumored that the company will bring feminine variants of its Huawei Watch, and could even offer more information on the second-generation Huawei Watch.
Fitbit is one of the first to hold a press conference on January 5, where CEO James Park and other executives will take the stage. The company may either have a new device in store, or new software for its line of fitness-tracking wearables. Its invitation card says we can expect “some exciting news that is sure to ignite the world of health and fitness in 2016.” It will be interesting to see what the fitness-focused company has in its 2016 lineup, especially after its successful holiday season.
Since the Oculus Rift is finally debuting at CES 2016, it may take a large bulk of the VR buzz, but HTC is holding its own with the Vive. The company is expected to launch and demo the second-generation Vive, which looks more polished than the previous iteration. Pairing with the Vive will be the controller, which also looks greatly refined and retail-ready. The company is also partnering with Under Armour to launch a connected scale that measures weight and body fat, which we’ll likely see at the joint conference on January 6. Rumors about a fitness band also exist, but we won’t likely see a new phone just yet. The HTC One M10, if it arrives, will probably hit at MWC.
While it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a successor to the LG G Flex 3, we may see another smartphone the company is rumored to be working on. Notable leaker Evan Blass, or @evleaks, says the company is working on a handset with a curved display that “wraps over the top of the device.” Hopefully we’ll find out at CES what exactly this rumored device will looks like. We may hear more about the company’s Watch Urbane 2, which is rumored to be scrapped, as the company found hardware issues that affected the smartwatch’s day-to-day performance. Though unlikely to be unveiled so early, keep an eye out for information about the LG G5, too, as it’s rumored to launch in early 2016.
Fossil and Misfit
Now that watch company Fossil has bought wearable fitness-tracking company Misfit, it’s safe to assume the two are working on a new smartwatch. Misfit’s CEO said the company will unveil two new devices at CES 2016, but only one will be a fitness tracker. It’s unclear if the other will be another Fossil smartwatch, but we’ll soon find out. Fossil recently launched its own selection of smart fitness trackers and an Android Wear smartwatch.
ZTE is likely going to unveil the Nubia Z11 at CES, as the company’s official Weibo account teased an image of a phone, with the text “Hello, world. January 5, the new release.” Known for its budget phones in the United States, it’s clear the company is vying for its smartphones to move to the flagship category. ZTE could also pop out a few of the mid-range and budget phones it typically sells in the States, too.
Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Intel
It’s equally important to pay attention to the tech that powers our smartphones. Qualcomm will be at CES to discuss improvements to the Snapdragon 820 chip. Nvidia launched the Tegra X1 at CES 2015, so it’s possible we’ll see a new processor from the company. Intel is sure to have some goodies, but we haven’t heard much, or if it will be mobile-related.
And that’s not all. Expect to see hundreds of companies such as Asus, Blackberry, Motorola, Sony, and more showing off their latest tech at the show. There will also be dozens of smaller companies and wearable startups to check out. Stay tuned to our coverage when CES 2016 kicks off next week.