The top stories as read by you from CES in Las Vegas!
We've seen a lot over the past week here at CES 2015. A lot of Android. A lot of tech in general. Some good. Some great. Some that doesn't have nearly as much potential its company thinks. Some that perhaps we didn't give enough credit in the frenzy that is the first major tech week of the year.
We published more than 120 stories this week, Android all. (Or mostly. Something weird might well have slipped through.) And it's interesting to see what you fine folks found most important this past week. And we've got data. Lots and lots of data. (Thanks for that, by the way.)
So here, now, are the top Android stories of CES 2015 — the most important, if you will — as visited by you fine folks out there.
The webOS LG-Audi smartwatch
Wait a minute. This isn't Android! But that was very much the point. After initially being told by company officials that the high-end watch we'd seen teased during Audi's event in Vegas was running some sort of Android Wear variant (and in retrospect that probably should have been a red flag), we broke the news that it was, in fact, running Open webOS, which is what's left of the operating system beloved by many — especially the faithful from our sister site webOS Nation, the original (and still premier) site for all things webOS.
We'll deal with the OS when the time comes, perhaps. But the simple fact remains that this makes us even more excited for LG's next crop of Android Wear smartwatches. We've seen significant design growth already form the LG G Watch to the LG G Watch R. And this new guy is gorgeous — probably the best we've seen so far, and we've seen a lot of great Android Wear watches.
The YotaPhone 2 is coming to a U.S. carrier
Another exclusive, this time coming from our CES Live stage. I was hosting with Cali Lewis when YotaPhone exec Matthew Kelly let slip that the YotaPhone 2 would be coming to "one of the big four" carriers this year. That means it's either AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon.
The original YotaPhone didn't get a whole lot of play around here, as it pretty much was limited to Russia. But Europe already has the YotaPhone 2, and we've got a couple in our hot little hands already. And I can speak for pretty much everyone I've seen play with the phone in saying that it's surprisingly impressive.
You do have to live with the fact that e-ink displays are slow to refresh. We've known this for year, and it remains true today. But there's something ridiculously fun about placing your phone face down (or is it face up?) and seeing this black-and-white display feeding you a ton of information, or just showing interesting pictures. It's a really cool twist on what we've enjoyed with the "breathing" Moto Display. And it's low-power, to boot, so the more you use it the more you save.
This is going to be a fun phone to watch.
SanDisk brings USB 3.0 storage to your phone
Interesting. Looks like you guys love you some USB storage, eh? And faster is always better.
Here's the skinny:
The new SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 sports a slick retractable design for easy usability, as well as a longer micro-USB connector to accommodate device cases or port covers. The USB drive offers a convenient way to transfer and share content via an Android-powered smartphone or tablet's micro-USB port without the need of cables, email or wireless set-up. The drive also offers USB 3.0 performance at up to 130MB/s3 from the drive to the computer for users to quickly transfer and back up photos, videos and other files originally taken with their smartphone. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 is available worldwide in 16GB to 64GB capacities with MSRPs of $22.99 to $64.99, respectively, at www.sandisk.com.
So it's fast and affordable.
The Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet
Never mind the clunky name. You want to check out this tablet. I've not used something this thin. It's a little blocky, perhaps – this guy can't be bothered with curves. But the high-resolution OLED display — 2560 x 1600! — is gorgeous. And did I mention it's thin? And starting at $399, it doesn't break the bank, either. The speaker at the top (or bottom, if you choose to hold it in that orientation) looks a little odd, killing the symmetry. But that display ...
We've already got one of these guys on the way. Can't wait to spend some serious time with it, especially since we've not really done so with the latest generation of Intel Atom processors.
And given that there wasn't too much in the way of high-end tablets on display at CES 2015, Dell stood out that much more.
- Check out our hands-on with the Dell Venue 8 7000
The LG G Flex 2 is announced
This was one of the few traditional smartphone announcements we saw this week in Vegas. Even if you weren't a fan of the original phone, the LG G Flex 2 is one you should take a look at. It sort of lives between 2014's LG G3 and whatever new flagship we'll get later this year, but that's not to say he's just some sort of standby phone. It's packed full of a lot of the tech we loved in the G3, only with the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, making it the first to have that newest-spec system on a chip. (It's not the only 64-bit phone on there, though, but it's among the most powerful, for sure.)
The flexible body and self-healing plastic are added bonuses, and we're very much looking forward to giving the camera a go, as it's mostly what we have in the G3.
And it looks like we're not alone in that sentiment, as you folks make it one of our most-read stories of CES.
The $1,100 Sony Walkman
I don't get it either. A thick device running an older version of Android. For $1,100. But that's the new Sony Walkman NW-ZX2, which sports PHA-1A headphone DAC/amplifier and is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
But it makes perfect sense that it's one of our most-read stories of the week because it doesn't make sense. Why is there a high-priced, Android-based, high-quality digital audio player? Is it just a status symbol? Does it really sound that much better than your $300 phone? Can you even tell the difference?
But it also makes perfect sense for CES. For Vegas. In any other context, we'd dismiss this thing on principle. But here amid the glitz and the glamor? It's just one more expensive shiny thing that folks who have to have such status symbols might actually care about.
- Check out our hands-on with the Sony Walkman NW-ZX2