Android Central's Best of CES 2023

Android Central's Best of CES 2023
(Image credit: Android Central)

The tech world hit the ground running this year as CES 2023 took off in Las Vegas. The annual event showcases many new tech products that we can expect throughout the year (and sometimes beyond), oftentimes kickstarting new tech trends.

Companies like Samsung, Amazon, Sony, and more displayed some exciting tech at CES 2023. Yet, while there's plenty that happened at the event, we wanted to highlight some of the products that really stuck out to Android Central, from phones to wearables, gaming, and even some concepts that may or not see the light of day.

Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola: All work and all play

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Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola next to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Who ever thought a business-oriented smartphone would ever be so appealing? Well, that's what Lenovo and Motorola set out to do, and they seemed to knock it out of the park. The new Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola is a sleek flagship smartphone with impressive hardware and interesting software that lets it work seamlessly with Lenovo's ThinkPad series of computers.

Powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and 12GB of RAM, the ThinkPhone allows users to easily transfer files from the phone to a ThinkPad or mirror apps on the PC, among other useful features that make it easy to switch between devices without missing a beat. And all this is protected by Lenovo and Motorola's top-notch security software, so you don't have to worry about your data being exposed.

There's no release date yet, but Lenovo says to expect it "in the coming months."

ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip: The vibe is right for this Chromebook

ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip

(Image credit: ASUS)

We may not have Stadia anymore, but that's not stopping ASUS from launching an absolute beast of a gaming Chromebook. The ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip (opens in new tab) is a versatile machine with a 360° hinge that allows you to game from all sorts of angles. It also looks incredibly sexy, especially sporting the orange WASD keycaps and 4-zone RBG keyboard.

But it's the inside that really counts. The Vibe CX34 Flip is powered by 12th Gen Intel processors coupled with Irish Xe graphics and comes with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Of course, when it comes to cloud gaming on services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW, power isn't all that important, but it's sure nice to have. What's also nice is the 144Hz 14-inch FHD display, Wi-Fi 6E, and 10-hour battery life.

The ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip will be available in Q1 2023, and we can't wait to get our hands on one.

Citizen CZ Smart: This smartwatch will tell you if you're doing the most

Citizen CZ Smart in various colors and designs

(Image credit: Citizen)

More Wear OS 3 smartwatches are coming out of the woodwork, and the latest one has some interesting powers. The latest Citizen CZ Smartwatch aims to help you battle fatigue with the new CZ Smart YouQ application developed using technology and research from NASA and IBM. Using results from an Alert Monitor test and other metrics, the watch can help determine ways to mitigate moments of fatigue and help you stay alert during the day.

Aside from running Wear OS 3, the watch is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset with 8GB of storage and a bevy of health sensors. Citizen claims 24+ hours of battery life and fast charging that can bring the watch to a full charge in just 40 minutes.

The Citizen CZ Smartwatch is now available for preorder in two styles and a Hybrid variant, although it's not expected to ship until March.

Nanoleaf Sense+ Controls: You turn me on like a light switch

Nanoleaf Sense+ Controls switch

(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

Nanoleaf is one of our favorite smart home companies, launching some of the best smart lights money can buy. The company took to CES to unveil (opens in new tab) some impressive new skylights and a lighting kit that syncs to your TV, but what caught our eye was the company's new smart light switches.

The Sense+ Control smart light switches have taken years to develop because they use a combination of sensors, AI, and Matter to learn how you like your lighting conditions throughout the day. So after some time, it will pick up your habits and suggest various lighting conditions for you instead of you having to manually set them. Sounds like smart lights are becoming truly smart.

The Sense+ Control light switches will be available in Q3 2023, but Nanoleaf plans to keep them relatively affordable.

Hisense ULED X: ULED for everyone

Hisense ULED X television

(Image credit: Hisense)

Hisense is known for its relatively inexpensive TVs that actually have a ton of value. The company's latest ULED X TVs take things up a notch by throwing in a ton of high-end features like a 144Hz refresh rate, Wi-Fi 6E, and more than 5,000 dimming zones. What's great about ULED is that it aims to provide more vibrant colors and better contrast without the high cost associated with OLED displays. This is thanks to the use of mini-LEDs, which will pit the company's latest TVs against OLED models from competitors like LG.

The new Hisense TVs also run Google TV and are offered in models priced under $500 with the U6K series, putting it within reach of more consumers. We don't know the exact availability, but hopefully, we won't have to wait long.

HTC Vive XR Elite: I wear my VR glasses at night

Swapping out the head strap on the Vive XR Elite

(Image credit: HTC)

Some exciting VR headsets are coming in 2023 from Sony and Meta, but HTC kicked things off this year with the launch of its new Vive XR Elite. This headset is unique because it invites the user to wear it just like a regular pair of sunglasses for lighter VR experiences, while the regular strap allows it to perform more like the best gaming VR headsets. It's also a modular headset, so users can swap out batteries and other components to extend or enhance the device.

It's powered by the Snapdragon XR2 chipset and features 12GB of RAM. It also supports W-Fi 6E, which should help give users faster connections to support content on the LDC display, which supports 4K at 90Hz. But don't expect anything remotely affordable — it'll set you back $1099 and ships in February.

Qi2: MagSafe, but make it Android

Close-up of Pixel 7 Pro with Spigen MagSafe Adapter installed

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

This isn't really a product so much as it is a new standard that will influence future products. Qi has been a popular wireless charging standard for years, but it's finally getting an upgrade with Qi2, which is set to bring features like MagSafe-like tech to more Android phones by implementing a Magnetic Power Profile. 

This could help solve some common wireless charging problems, especially if it supports higher-charging speeds. For now, the spec for Qi2 is still in the works, so we may have to wait until much later in 2023 to see phones with Qi2, but it's exciting nonetheless to have a MagSafe standard for all phones.

Sony's Project Leonardo: Gaming made accessible

Sony's Project Leonardo gaming controller with modular parts

(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 is an impressive hunk of a gaming console, thanks in part to the DualSense controller. But as cool as DualSense is, it's not the most accessible when it comes to players with disabilities. That's where Project Leonardo comes in. It's a highly customizable gaming controller for players with limited motor control. It has a unique circular design and allows users to swap out components for their preferred layout.

There's no launch date yet, but Sony continues working with accessibility experts and game developers to create an experience that can allow more people to enjoy gaming.

Samsung Flex Hybrid: But wait... there's more.

Samsung Flex Hybrid with a foldable and rollable display

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung loved to show off its display tech at CES, and this year is no different. The company showed off a rather interesting mobile display concept, the Flex Hybrid. The device sports a 10.5-inch display at a 4:3 aspect ratio when folded out. However, it also slides out to reveal even more display, giving you a tablet-sized 12.4-inch display.

Samsung also demoed a larger 13 to 14-inch display that extends from two sizes to provide a 17-inch screen.

Like Samsung's other concepts, it's unclear if or when we'll see these on commercial devices, but it's always cool to see what the company is working on as it dominates the foldable phone market.

To see other notable announcements from the event, check out Android Central's list of the best smart home gadgets and gaming Chromebooks from CES 2023.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.