Smartphone standouts at CES 2017

CES phones 2017

As one of the largest gatherings of all things geek and gadgety, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) continues to blow the minds of techies everywhere. If you’re looking for your tech unicorn, then you’re sure to find it here. This year’s Las Vegas showcase was no exception. The floor of the show was littered with the most innovative technology our species has ever created. On that point, our species is growing increasingly mobile. We want to be on-the-go and engaging all the time. As for the brands we love? Well, they need to keep up. And keep up they have. There literally is a smartphone for everyone now but let’s take you through the three smartphones that had us salivating at this year’s CES.

Xiaomi Mi Mix smartphone

You’d expect the Samsungs, Apples and LGs of the world to outstrip anything else when it comes to smartphone tech. That’s what makes our first smartphone pick so outrageous. Calling something “revolutionary” these days is only ever-so-slightly dull. But any other word might not capture the true essence of this device. For months we’ve been hearing rumors of the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 giving their fans bezel-less displays. Xiaomi beat both of them to the punch. Take a second to imagine a phone with a screen-to-body ratio of 91.3 percent. It’s a thing of awe, wonder, and beauty.

Alright, so this has given Xiaomi some logistical challenges to get through. Where to put the selfie camera or the phone’s earpiece, for example. Perhaps its only failing is the placement of the camera, which can be found in the bottom right corner. Note: Flipping the phone on its head when snapping pictures gets around the awkwardness of the camera’s position. As for the phone’s earpiece? Xiaomi has gifted tech fans with ‘cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology’. Now if that sounds more like a spell from Harry Potter to you than an actual thing, you’re not alone. But rest assured it’s every bit as clear in its sound output as its competition.

Performance on this gorgeous piece of tech is staggering. It sports the world’s flagship smartphone processor running at 2.35 GHz, which is paired with a generous 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a massive 256GB of storage. Almost too good to be true? Well, it just gets better. The battery life almost beats its beauty and performance as an attractive prospect. Even the most heavy-handed phone users will get two full days’ worth of use from the Mi Mix. And Quick Charge 3.0 support will have it fully charged in next to no time.

It almost seems foolish to write about any other smartphone from the show. That’s how good the Mi Mix really is. Currently, the company is in the process of entering the global market with the Mi Mix set to be available in the US and the UK by mid-2017.

The Samsung Galaxy A series

Samsung’s latest update to A series Galaxy phones is significant because it closes the gap between mid-range and flagship smartphones. We can hear the collective sigh of relief as prices are sure to be more… competitive. The thing that is striking about this little phone is that it looks increasingly more like Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S7 (which has a sex appeal factor of ‘Yes’).

A slightly curved back and rounded edges fit snugly and comfortably in your hand. It has increased slightly in thickness since lasHuat year, but that’s because Samsung is offering you more features: a larger battery and a fingerprint sensor. Other than yet another speaker move from bottom to the right, the phone’s most significant difference is its waterproof rating. The A3 is now waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, you know, in case you want to take a phone call while you’re swimming.

So, the A3 is the smallest in the series, with a 4.7in screen. This is the sweet spot when it comes to screen size. Most flagships sit at around 5in, so the A3 gives you a great balance between functional, stylish and comfortable. The actual screen is Samsung’s HD Super AMOLED display which offers a bright and crisp experience without any ‘wow’.

A 1.6 GHz processor provides a responsive and speedy interface when you’re moving through the phone’s basics. A standard 16GB of internal storage can be upgraded to 256GB with the help of a microSD. Overall the phone’s improvements are significant enough to make us notice. It’s a great-sized, great-priced phone that appeals to those that might not be able to afford the Galaxy S7. Its good looks and continued hardware improvements will definitely make this little one popular amongst the Samsungnites.

The Huawei Mate 9

It wasn’t that long ago that you’d have laughed off a brand like Huawei. Credit to them. They’ve put on their gloves and climbed back into the ring. Today, they’re swinging with the best of them. The Mate 9 is a testament to that. The first thing you’ll notice about the smartphone is its impressive display. Huawei has somehow managed to squeeze 5.9in of screen into the smallest body. It’s chic and elegant and most would not write it off as a phablet.

In the hand, the Huawei Mate 9 is similar in size and weight to the iPhone 7 Plus and definitely not as uncomfortable as some of its 5.9in competitors. The display itself is Full HD resolution. We can hear the Galaxy S7 fans sniggering. ‘You call 1920x1080 HD?’ Well, we love it. Bright, crisp and frankly gorgeous. And at four times less the power consumption, your Galaxy S7 can shove it.

What’s most impressive about this little beast is the all-new Kirin 969 octa-core processor and 4GB RAM. This phone is absolute dynamite. It’s blisteringly fast. Head and shoulders above even its own flagship, the P9. Apps and the camera open instantly. Absolutely instantly.

All three of these smartphones were impressive in their own way. Suffice to say that they’re all at the very top of their game, with their competitors scrambling to catch up. And CES offered the perfect opportunity for these brands to throw down the gauntlet. Read more on what other brands have been bringing to the tech-topping party in one of our latest blogs. And be sure to keep an eye out for these new smartphones. They’re real game changers.

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