CES 2011: Smartphone Trends To Watch03 Jan 2011
Smartphone trends, rumors to expect in CES
Traditionally, CES isn't the most exciting show for phones as we have Mobile World Congress in Barcelona the following month and then CTIA in the spring. We're excited about this year's show, however, because the phone rumor mill has been really heating up. Read on to find out some more plausible trends at this year's show.
More Windows Phone 7 devices
After the big launch in October, the buzz about Windows Phone 7 has died down a bit, but expect to see Microsoft's mobile operating system on a few new phones launching at CES. We've already heard about the HTC 7 Pro announced in October, but expect it to officially launch at CES. The 7 Pro has a QWERTY keyboard, a 3.6-inch display and a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture. The other hot rumored Windows Phone is the HTC 7 Trophy. According to leaked promotional material from Microsoft, the Trophy has a 3.8-inch display but no physical keyboard. Microsoft has confirmed a January Windows Phone 7 update, which will deliver copy and paste functionalities, among other undisclosed new features. We're expecting at least the details about the update to be revealed at CES.
One of the many new features in the Android 2.3 (aka "Gingerbread") update is support for multiple cameras on a device. In the camera interface, you can click a small icon at the bottom of the screen and switch between the front-facing or back-facing camera. With a front-facing camera phone, video chat is much smoother over a faster connection, with 3G expected to explode in the country this year. So expect more buzz around this topic at CES later this week.
A Better Gaming Experience
With the Nexus S sporting a gyroscope (much like the one found in the iPhone 4), we will probably see more and more Android phones equipped with one as well. Gyroscopes allow for more accurate controls in games, which, when coupled with the new Nvidia Tegra processors we expect to see at CES, opens the door for a much better gaming experience than what is currently being offered on the platform. The Tegra processors couple the CPU with the GPU (graphics processing unit), giving you smoother and cleaner 3D graphics and video playback. With better controls and graphics, developers may begin to see these Tegra-powered phones as entertainment powerhouses.
Affordable Android Phones
LG's Optimus line has made Android more affordable for smartphone buyers on a limited budget. It's a largely untapped market that the other big-name phone manufacturers would be foolish to ignore. Chances are high that others besides LG will try to get a slice of the budget Android action and debut some lower end phones alongside their existing hardware. Recent trends suggest that we are seeing the end of "dumbphones" (non smartphones) in favor of low-end Android powered devices. Read more: Budget Android Phones Shootout
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