Smartwatch roundup: All the best wearables we could find at CES 2019

Smartphones may have been almost a no-show at CES 2019, but that wasn’t the case for smartwatches. From fitness companies to fashion brands, we’ve seen plenty of companies launch new wearables at this year’s trade show.

Here’s our list of the best smartwatches we could find at CES 2019.

Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2

Don’t miss

Fossil launched quite a few new smartwatches at CES 2019, and the most impressive on is the Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2.

This is one of our favorite watches because, unlike last year, the Scallop Smartwatch 2 doesn’t sacrifice function over form. It’s still as pretty as ever, and this time around comes with a GPS, heart rate sensorGoogle Pay support, and a 3ATM water resistance rating.

Overall, it’s a pretty smartwatch with all the features you could want.

Withings Move and Withings Move ECG

The Withings Move and Withings Move ECG are hybrid smartwatches, so they look like analog watches more than anything. Don’t let the design fool you though — they can both track your steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep.

The Withings Move ECG, which won our Best Fitness Product Award at CES, comes with a built-in electrocardiogram. If you or anyone you know frequents the doctor for ECG tests, Withings’ new watch might be a great way for you to keep your eye on your heart health.

These watches are also customizable, so you’ll be able to mix and match different colors to match your style.

Matrix PowerWatch 2

Matrix may not be a well known company, but it’s actually doing some fantastic things in the smartwatch space. The company’s new watch, the Matrix PowerWatch 2, runs on your body heat and solar energy, so you should never have to charge it.

As far as I’m concerned, every smartwatch should work like this.

It’s a little chunky and the design won’t be for everyone, but the forward-thinking technology crammed into this device certainly makes for a compelling product. Plus, it has an on-board GPS, heart rate sensor, and it’s compatible with Google Fit.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music on Verizon

Garmin has been making smartwatches for a long time, so it’s a little surprising to hear it’s just now releasing its first 4G-connected smartwatch. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is launching on Verizon sometime in 2019 with support for the carrier’s 4G LTE network. That means you can receive and respond to messages from your watch, even when your phone isn’t around.

The biggest news with this watch are the built-in safety features. If at any time you feel unsafe in your current situation, you can press and hold the side button to send a discrete message and current location to your emergency contacts. The same message/location feature will also be activated if the watch senses you’ve experienced an impact while walking, running, or cycling.

If you’d like more nitty-gritty details about the Vivoactive 3 Music, check out our first look article here.

Michael Kors Access Sofie

Michael Kors’ new Access Sofie smartwatch is the first from the brand in a few years. It comes with an updated design and new hardware features to bring it to 2019 standards.

See also

Under the hood, the new Access Sofie features a GPS, heart rate sensor, NFC, and a 300mAh battery. It also has three physical buttons on the side — two of which are remappable.

If you’re looking for a classy Wear OS watch, this might be a great option.

Fossil Carlie and Fossil Neutra hybrids


Fossil has launched two refreshed versions of its popular hybrid smartwatches.

The new Fossil Carlie hybrid (above, right) will appeal to people with smaller wrists. It’s offered in a rose gold case with a pink leather strap, or a black stainless steel case and black leather strap for $155. It’s also available in rose gold stainless steel with a rose gold stainless steel strap, and a silver stainless steel case and stainless steel strap for $175.

The new Fossil Neutra hybrid smartwatch (above, left) features a smaller dial on the watch face that will give you an overview of your daily activity. It’s available with a brown leather strap ($155) or a stainless steel silver strap for $175.

Both watches measure 37mm wide and feature 16mm interchangeable straps. Since they’re powered by a coin-cell battery, Fossil expects the battery to last up to six full months without a replacement. And just like other hybrid watches from the company, all of these watches will track your fitness, give you smartphone notifications, and also feature customizable buttons on the side.

New colors for Skagen Falster 2 and Skagen Holst hybrids

Skagen Falster 2 ‘glitz’



The Skagen Falster 2 is getting a new ‘glitz’ finish, featuring black hematite stones around the bezel of the watch case. These are still quite understated designs despite their flashier materials.

Skagen is also launching a new reflective silver strap for the Falster 2. Again, this new strap isn’t overly eye-catching — it’s a subtle reflective strap and doesn’t look overly flashy.

Skagen is also launching two new finishes for its Holst hybrid smartwatches.

Mobvoi TicWatch E2 and TicWatch S2

Mobvoi launched two new Wear OS smartwatches at CES 2019: the TicWatch S2 and TicWatch E2.

Both new watches are for a sportier, younger crowd. They both had GPS and heart rate sensors on board, along with 5ATM water resistance ratings. Mobvoi also says it worked hard to bring two-day battery life to both smartwatches, too.

What’s more, Mobvoi says they’ll receive new fitness and health features in a future update, including fall detection, on-device workout guidance, and more.

Coolpad Dyno smartwatch

Last but certainly not least, the Coolpad Dyno kids smartwatch will help parents keep track of their children. The Dyno’s fun, inviting design will help make sure kids keep the watch on at all times, while the 4G connectivity will ensure parents can find their kids at all times.

Parents can call or message their children through the Dyno watch, and even set up safe zones to make sure their children won’t wander off. The Coolpad Dyno is launching at the end of January 2019 for just $149.

Next: Weird CES: The bizarre things we didn’t expect to see

Corning shows us its new specialized glass for AR wearables

YouTube

At CES 2019, we had the chance to test out a new AR wearable prototype partially developed by Corning. One of the pillars of Corning’s business is the development of Gorilla Glass, which is used on almost every flagship smartphone.

Although Corning has set the industry standard for smartphone glass, the creation of glass for augmented reality lenses is a whole different beast.

Editor’s Pick

One of the biggest problems with the adoption of wearable technology like AR and VR visors is the ability to scale supply. Corning wants to lead the visor glass market just like it does in the smartphone market. To achieve this, the company is refining the process of creating visor lenses which it will then hope to sell to various companies creating the visor hardware.

Corning is backing a company called WaveOptics, which developed a method for displaying augmented reality which Corning believes is the winning formula. It is very technical, but there are multiple methods for displaying AR content; for example, think of the difference between something like Google Glass and something like the now-defunct Intel smart glasses.

According to Corning, its research concludes that the thing consumers care the most about when it comes to a visual wearable is the look of the device. As such, the company is working hard to make a wearable visor which won’t look like you’re wearing some futuristic headset.

We had the chance to try out a very early prototype of what Corning and WaveOptics are putting together. Check it out below:

The headset was bulky and had a huge pack attached to it which made it awkward to wear. However, as you can see from the image, the glass itself wasn’t much bigger than a large pair of sunglasses. There’s obviously a lot of room for improvement, but the basics are there.

As for the imagery depicted while wearing the glasses, it worked as you might expect. I could see clearly in front of me and could also see the AR elements, like icons, film clips, mock smartphone screens, etc. It certainly showed a lot of promise.

Corning is working hard to develop a glass manufacturing process that will allow companies to create lenses for equipment like this quickly and cheaply. It’s early days yet, but Corning is clearly going all-in on visor lenses and believes they will be a big part of the future.

NEXT: 10 best augmented reality apps and AR apps for Android

Android Authority’s CES Top Picks 2019 Awards: Our favorite products from the show

We’ve spent the last week meeting with companies and roaming around the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center to find the very best of CES 2019. From laptops, to smart home devices, to drones, there’s certainly a lot to take in — that’s why we’ve created a list of the best products announced at CES 2019.

Here are Android Authority’s CES Top Picks 2019 Awards.

The best smartphone: Alcatel 1X

The Alcatel 1X is proof that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a decent smartphone. For around 130 Euros, Alcatel’s new budget-friendly phone offers a 5.5-inch display, Android 8.1 Oreo, a 3,000mAh battery, and support for 4G connectivity. It also comes with this beautiful sandstone texture on the back that will instill nostalgia in any OnePlus One fan out there.

What’s more, it packs a dual 16MP and 2MP rear-camera setup, which actually turned out to be quite impressive during our hands-on time with the device. Portrait mode is surprisingly good too.

The best laptop: Dell Alienware Area-51m

Dell’s Alienware went back to the drawing board to overhaul its popular gaming laptop design. Called Alienware Legend, the move marks a significant change in the overall Alienware brand. That includes a reimagined shape and new color options: Lunar Light and Dark Side of the Moon. The underlying sci-fi theme fans love still remains highly relevant.

The first product based on this new Alienware Legend identity is the Area-51m. In addition to the new outward appearance, Alienware revised the internal design to provide better overclocking and a thinner form factor. All this plays host to the latest Intel Core processors and GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics. The Area-51m initiates a new era for Alienware and its fans.

The best smartwatch: Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2

A ton of smartwatches were announced at the trade show this year, and the best one came from Kate Spade. We’re giving the Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2 an award this year because it was clear the team listened to user feedback. With an on-board GPS and heart rate sensor, the Scallop Smartwatch 2 is now a capable fitness companion — not just a pretty watch.

Watch: The best smartwatches from CES 2019

Let’s be honest, this is still a pretty watch, though. The flower-like design surrounding the bezel adds to the classy aesthetic, backed up by the understated silicone strap and stainless steel case. Of course, the iconic spade icon is scattered throughout, adorning the rotatable crown and on the top of each Kate Spade watch face.

A pretty, feature-packed smartwatch. What more could you ask for?

The best fitness product: Withings Move ECG

Don’t miss

The Withings team is back in full force after its brief time at Nokia, and it just announced two new fitness watches called the Withings Move and Withings Move ECG. The Move ECG won Android Authority’s Best Fitness Product Award due to the overall quality of product and benefit users will get out of the electrocardiogram.

ECGs can be literal life savers for some people, and the fact that it’s packed into an attractive, affordable, and customizable fitness watch should not be overlooked. At $130, the Withings Move ECG is a no-brainer if you frequent the doctor for heart problems.

The best smart home product: Google Assistant Connect

For years Google has been trying to become the one-stop shop for smart home products, and the Google Assistant Connect is its next big push to bring even more Assistant-connected products to your life.

Assistant Connect is a set of capabilities that product manufacturers can use to connect their own products to Google Assistant-powered devices like the Google Home or Home Hub. If a product was developed with Assistant Connect, it’s able to talk to nearby Assistant devices and display your personal information (i.e. calendar events/weather) on the screen.

The most obvious example is if a company were to create a simple display without any mics or speakers, including Assistant Connect would allow it to show you content from your linked smart speaker. In this case, the smart speaker would handle all the computing on its own while using Assistant Connect to transfer and display that content on the display.

It’s an inexpensive and easy way for companies to bring Assistant to their products, which is why it’s deserving of our Best Smart Home Product award.

The best audio product: Audio Technica ATH-ANC900BT

Few audio companies have the professional history of Audio-Technica, and when they throw their hat in the ring, we pay attention. Taking aim at the top end of active noise cancelling headphones, the ATH-ANC900BT has the firepower to be a blast.

By using a more energy efficient Bluetooth 5 connection, the ATH-ANC900BT has the specs to outlast the likes of Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser’s top-of-the-line headphones. Additionally, they’re also the most affordable entry into the top-end of ANC headsets, coming in at only $299.

The best concept: Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven

Whirlpool surprised us this year when it showed off its Smart Countertop Oven, produced under its WLabs brand.

The WLabs Smart Countertop Oven automatically detects the type of food you’re cooking. You can then choose from additional cooking options based on your preferences. For example, if you’re cooking pizza, the Smart Countertop will give you a range of crispiness to to choose from.

Related

Whirlpool is also the first on the market with a product that can distinguish between frozen and non-frozen food. Its current cooking algorithm is set to a 95 percent confidence interval too, so cooking times and settings should be very accurate.

What impressed us most, however, is Whirlpool’s planned distribution model for this product. Whirlpool will ship just two thousand units in the coming weeks for $799 each. We’re told the reasoning behind launching under the WLabs brand is so that Whirlpool can better gather user feedback and tweak anything accordingly. That way, it can improve the experience even further before launching a mainstream consumer product.

Overall, we were quite impressed with Whirlpool’s work as is. So, we’re very happy to see a commitment to develop the concept further.

The best mobile accessory: Corning Gorilla Glass Personalized Phone Case

The Corning Gorilla Glass personalized phone case is a surprisingly fun new addition to the mobile protection market. Corning will print any photo you like on the back of its Gorilla Glass 5 which then gets embedded into a rubberized case for your smartphone. The final product is a sturdy case with a smooth, elegant glass back that also has a picture of your spouse, kids, family, pets, or anything, really.

Eventually, Corning will have vending machines that will print you a case in a matter of minutes. Just upload your photo to a web server, tell the machine which phone you own, and a few minutes later your brand new case will pop out. Keeping your phone free of scratches and dents has never been this cool.

Best innovation: LG Signature OLED TV R

LG’s Signature OLED TV R is something we’ve only ever imagined or seen in a movie or TV show. It may shape the future of TVs forever, which is why it wins our Best Innovation Award.

Watch: LG’s rollable OLED TV at CES 2019

A prototype of the TV was shown off at CES 2018, but this year the rollable TV is a real product that consumers will actually be able to buy. The way it beautifully rolls and rises out of the sound bar feels like pure magic. The TV is there when you want it, and disappears when you don’t. It can even be there when you only partially want it. The horizon-line view shows only a fraction of the display for quick access to basic functions. It’s cool, futuristic, and will be a game changer to the TV industry.


Spotlight Awards

It’s easy to focus on the biggest names in technology at trade shows as big as CES. That’s why Android Authority has chosen six of our favorite innovative tech products that may have flown under the radar.

Jabra Elite 85h


Elevating their wireless headphones game, the new Jabra Elite 85h are noise-cancelling cans made for folks on the go.

Equipped with SmartSound, these over-ear headphones adapt automatically to produce the best sound for phone calls, music, and more. Coming in four colors with a rain resistant build, enjoy ANC on the go for up to 32 hours of battery life, even longer with ANC turned off. ANC auto switching turns on and off the service based on your environment. Of course, the Jabra Elite 85h also sound great, and you can adjust the EQ and sound profiles through the Jabra Sound+ app for extra sound clarity.

Insta360 ONE X

Weather you’re skiing down a mountain or hiking up a cliff, the Insta360 ONE X should be just the thing you need to capture great 360-degree video. This 4K-capable camera features Insta360’s FlowState Stabilization, which means smooth footage even in the most

Nuu Mobile G4

Nuu Mobile showed off its brand new G4 smartphone at CES 2019, and it provides some killer value at a cheap price. It comes with a big 6.2-inch display, a 2GHz MediaTek Helio P60 processor, dual 16 + 8MP rear cameras, and it runs Android 9.0 Pie.

The best part? You can get all of that for just $249 in March 2019.

Next: All our favorite CES 2019 announcements in one place

Use the DJI Osmo Pocket with your iPhone or Android for the best experience

Best answer: The DJI Osmo Pocket works with iPhone as well as Android phones with the help of a USB-C connector, but with the right cable or adapter you can also hook up a phone with Micro-USB.

Works with iOS and Android

Included with the Osmo Pocket in the box are magnetic connectors for both USB-C and Lightning ports, for hooking up either an Android phone or an iPhone directly. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless connection involved without buying the additional wireless module from DJI.

DJI also makes a point of including a little note that the Osmo Pocket doesn’t support Micro-USB, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Use with Micro-USB with a workaround

With either a USB-C to Micro-USB cable or an adapter like the Apple USB-C to USB dongle, you can use the Osmo Pocket with a Micro-USB device.

It won’t necessarily work with all devices, and you’ll still need a good quality Micro-USB cable, but you can definitely get the two working together.

Either way, if you’re purchasing to use exclusively with a Micro-USB mobile device know that you aren’t guaranteed support.

Requires iOS 10 or Android 5.0

To get the most from the Osmo Pocket, including access to some of its shooting modes like pano or motion lapse, as well as updating the firmware, you need to use it with your phone and the Mimo companion app.

Thankfully, it supports software versions back to iOS 10 and Android 5.0, so even older iPhones will be able to hook up to the Osmo Pocket.

Also compatible with iPad and Android tablets

The Osmo Pocket is also compatible with the iPad and Android tablets, connecting either through the magnetic dongles or via a cable from the USB-C port on the base.

However, the app isn’t optimized for tablets on either platform. The experience is also a little worse on the iPad.

On Android tablets, the Mimo app at least scales to fit the screen as if it were just a very large phone. This doesn’t happen on the iPad, so you’ll either use it incredibly small or without filling the display. For folks who want more screen to work with though, the option is at least there.

No worries

DJI Osmo Pocket

$349 at Amazon

Compatible with most modern smartphones

As long as you’re using a Lightning-based iPhone or a USB-C toting Android phone, you can connect directly to the DJI Osmo Pocket.

Right adapter

Apple USB-C to USB adapter

$19 at Amazon

An easy way to use the Osmo Pocket with Micro-USB

Used with a good quality Micro-USB cable you can hook up the Osmo Pocket to smartphones without USB-C or Lightning.

Here’s what to do when your PS4 won’t accept a disc

Best answer: There are several things that you can do when your PS4 won’t accept a disc, but some of the most common causes may be the easiest to fix. Either simply clean your disc with a microfiber cloth or attempt to restart your console from safe mode.

How will I know what’s wrong?

You generally won’t know exactly what the problem is until you go through a few steps to fix it first.

If your PlayStation 4 won’t accept a disc, there could be a myriad of factors involved, both on the hardware and software front. Whether it’s the former or the latter plaguing you with problems, you can fix it yourself either way… to an extent. I wouldn’t recommend completely gutting your PlayStation 4, but there are ways to take it apart and make minor adjustments that could prove to be the solution if cleaning your disc or restarting the console doesn’t work.

Check if a disc is already in your PS4

You’d be surprised at how many people don’t tend to think of this one because it’s just so easy to gloss over. If your PS4 isn’t accepting a disc, it may be because a disc is already in it that you have forgotten about, or one was placed in there without your knowledge. If this is the case, eject that disc first. And if it doesn’t eject, you’ll need to use the manual eject screw like a few of the steps below.

Clean the disc

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you should carefully clean the disc. While at first glance a disc may seem fine if you’re checking it quickly, it could still need a quick polish to get rid of some superficial scratches or dust. Try rubbing it down with a dry microfiber cloth and also check that there are no small cracks on the disc that may be hard to see.

You should not use a liquid cleaning agent as you are wiping it down.

Restart and update from Safe Mode

  1. To begin this step, make sure your PlayStation 4 is completely powered off and not just in Rest Mode.
  2. Once off, press and hold the power button for several seconds.
    • You’ll hear an initial beep and then another beep after 7 seconds. Release the button after the second beep.
  3. Connect your DualShock 4 controller to the console using your USB charging cable as instructed.
  4. From here you’ll see a black screen with listed options to choose from. Either choose the first: Restart PS4, or the third: Update System Software.

Your console should boot up as normal after this.

Tighten manual eject screw

Note: This requires you to unplug every cable from your PS4.

No matter what model console you’re playing on, be it the original PS4, the PS4 Slim, or a PS4 Pro, each has a manual eject screw associated with the disc drive should problems arise and your disc gets stuck. Sony thankfully has diagrams showing exactly how to tighten this screw, which conveniently also tends to solve the issue of your PS4 not accepting a disc to begin with.

Original PS4 Model

If you purchased your PS4 between 2013 and the middle of 2015, you likely have either a CUH-1000 Series model or CUH-1110 Series model.

  1. Gently slide off the left HDD bay cover panel as seen below.

  2. You will now see two sets of vents. From the front, follow these vents until you come across a slot that is not grouped with any other slots. This is where the screw will be. (Use a flashlight if needed).

  3. Once located, tighten the screw as needed.

  4. Place the HDD panel back on and plug in your console.

PS4 CUH-1200 Model

From mid-2015 to around September 2016, anyone buying a PS4 likely picked up the PS4 CUH-1200 Series.

  1. Like the above steps, start by removing the HDD cover bay. Using your fingers as leverage, apply even pressure near the seam to slide the top panel away. (The panel should move about 7mm and a click will be heard).
  2. You’ll now need to partially remove the HDD itself. You’ll see a screw with the PlayStation symbols. Simply unscrew this counter-clockwise so you can move the HDD out of the way.

  3. You should then see the manual eject screw as seen in the diagram below.

PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro

And if you bought a PS4 from late 2016 until today, you’ll probably either have the PS4 Slim or PS4 Pro, which are quite easy to tell apart.

This is the easiest out of the batch to tighten.

  1. Flip over your console and look for the circular hole directly above the PlayStation logo.

  2. Insert your screwdriver here and turn.

Voilà!

Send it to Sony

As a last resort, this just might not be a problem that you can fix. In which case Sony will need to step in and take it from there. It’s easy to put in a service request.

Bottom line

The absolute first things you should do are clean the disc and restart your console before you start to take it apart. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then it’s something that Sony may need to take care of.

Our pick

MagicFiber Microfiber cloth 6-pack

$9 at Amazon

No scratches

Normal cloths or paper towels tend to be too rough and abrasive to clean the sensitive face of a disc. Instead, pick up a softer microfiber cloth to do so without risking any unnecessary scratches and damage.

Oppo quietly launches the R15 Pro with a Snapdragon 660 and 6GB of RAM

Oppo

Established as one of the top smartphone manufacturers in India, Oppo announced the R15 Pro earlier today. The phone is not to be confused with its higher-end cousin, the R17 Pro.

Starting on the outside, the R15 Pro features dual rear 16- and 20-megapixel cameras and a 20MP selfie shooter. As with a growing number of smartphones, the R15 Pro supports AI scene recognition. The phone can identify 120 scenes and automatically tweak the camera settings to hopefully take sharp pictures.


Meanwhile, the front camera supports several portrait modes and Oppo’s AI beauty mode. We actually tolerated the beauty mode on the R17 Pro, so the same might be said of the mode on the R15 Pro.

Editor’s Pick

The R15 Pro also sports a headphone jack and USB Type-C port at the bottom, a fingerprint sensor around back, and a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a 2,280 x 1,080 resolution up front.

Under the hood, the R15 Pro features Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a 3,430mAh battery that supports Oppo’s fast VOOC charging. Unfortunately, the phone runs the older Android 8.1 Oreo instead of the newer Android 9 Pie.

Indian residents can pick up the R15 Pro from Amazon India for 25,990 rupees (~$368). The phone is available in Cosmic Purple and Ruby Red.

Google’s Project Stream beta to end Jan. 15, AMD Radeon GPUs used for gaming service

AMD

Google launched a public best test of Project Stream, its PC game streaming service, back in October 2018. It allowed people to stream and play the full version of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p/60 in the Chrome web browser either on their PC or a low-end Chromebook.  Now, the search giant has confirmed on its FAQ page for Project Stream that the beta test will officially end on Jan. 15.

At the time of the beta test launch, Google didn’t reveal much about the hardware backend of Project Stream. Today, however, AMD announced that Google’s service is using its Radeon GPUs. The reveal was made during AMD’s CES 2019 keynote address today (via VentureBeat) by the company’s President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

Specifically, the cloud server service uses AMD’s Radeon Pro GPUs that rely on its Vega architecture. Hu added that AMD has worked closely with Google to optimize Project Stream so that this kind of service can work well without any buffering on the gamer’s end.

A screenshot from Google's Project Stream service. Google

Hu, unfortunately, didn’t provide any other concrete details on AMD’s partnership with Google on Project Stream.

If you have yet to check out Project Stream, live in the U.S., and are 17 years of age or older, you can still sign up for the beta test at the link below before the deadline. If you do play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for at least one hour on Project Stream before Jan. 15, you will be able to get the PC version for free with a Ubisoft Uplay account. 

Google has not yet revealed what plans it has for Project Stream beyond the end of the beta test, but we will keep an eye out for more news on this exciting venture in the coming weeks and months.

Square Enix turned Final Fantasy into a digital card game

While CES 2019 occupies everyone’s attention in the U.S., Square Enix quietly announced the free-to-play Final Fantasy Digital Card Game.

Announced for PC and smartphones, Final Fantasy Digital Card Game takes the popular Final Fantasy franchise and turns it into a turn-based card game. You can make your own decks that consist of various characters and summons from the Final Fantasy series. These characters show up as 16-bit sprites when placed on the grid.



From the sounds of it, you’ll be able to level up characters in your deck. The character customization is probably where the in-game micro-transactions come in since you’ll likely be able to buy new cards if leveling up doesn’t sound like fun.

Editor’s Pick

The battles aren’t designed to take too much of your time — each battle features a time limit and 12-turn limit. When combined with the 16-bit character pop-ups and castle backdrop, card battles look like 16-bit dioramas.

Other gameplay details remain light at the time of this writing. That said, Square Enix will run a closed beta test from January 18 through January 25. You can go to Final Fantasy Digital Card Game’s official website to sign up for the beta. The beta will accept a maximum number of 10,000 players.

The game will launch on the Yahoo! Japan Game Plus platform sometime this year. We’re not sure if the game will be released in other regions. We should note that Square Enix released numerous Final Fantasy titles for mobile around the world, so we could see Final Fantasy Digital Card Game follow the status quo.

CES 2019: All the announcements in one place

The Consumer Electronics Show, held annually in January in sunny Las Vegas, is one of the biggest tech events of the year. Almost every major technology brand is at the event, ready to show off their newest products, some of which could be the ever-fabled “next big thing” in 2019.

As with most new technology releases, many CES 2019 products are shrouded in mystery. Even behind-the-scenes here at Android Authority, we often make appointments to meet with companies and don’t necessarily know all the details of what we’ll see until right before the show begins.

Related: Catch the top five must-watch CES 2019 press conferences right here!

Of course, we’ll be bringing you coverage of all the major announcements as they happen and we have a crack team on the show floor to sample all the best new tech so we can share our impressions with you, our awesome readers.

Below, you’ll find our roundup of everything announced so far and everything else we expect to see at the Las Vegas show.

When do the CES 2019 announcements happen, and what will Android Authority be covering this year?

The CES 2019 showroom floor is now officially open, but you’ll hear about most of the announcements from the key press events that place between Sunday, January 6 to Wednesday, January 8.

While Android Authority is traditionally a mobile-first publication, the reality is that mobile news only makes up a small portion of what will be shown at CES 2019. You can expect announcements related to PC and gaming hardware, smart home, VR, AR, car technology, robots, and lots of random things like electric toothbrushes or smart rubber duckies (yes, really). Most of the year’s biggest mobile releases — including the Samsung Galaxy S10 — will happen a bit later in the year, likely at or around Mobile World Congress 2019, which happens at the end of February.

Obviously mobile is the bread and butter of Android Authority but at this year’s show we’ll also be covering plenty of other exciting technologies such as smart home, laptops, gaming computers, television/monitor technology, and just anything that we feel our audience would find compelling.

All the CES 2019 announcements so far

Google

Google had a huge exhibit space at CES 2019 (complete with its own roller coaster) and it had plenty of announcements as well. One was that it expects its Google Assistant digital helper to be available on one billion devices by the end of January 2019, which is a huge jump from the 500 million device milestone it achieved in May 2018.

Google Assistant was all over CES 2019, as tons of companies announced its use in smart speakers, connected home products and more. That includes the long-awaited support on the Sonos One and Sonos Beam speakers. Google also announced more features for Google Assistant this week, including its integration into Google Maps, and how it can help you check into your airline flight. Android users will let you use Google Assistant to respond to text messages on your phone, via SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages, and more. Verizon also announced the Google Assistant-based HumX, which will give you info on your car’s diagnostics when plugged in.

If you own a Google Home smart speaker or Smart Display, Google announced a new Assistant feature that might come in handy: Interpreter Mode. It will offer audio translations of someone else’s language into your local language on Google Home speakers, and text translations on Smart Displays.

Also, Android phones will soon get an update that will allow people to set up their phone so they can access features on Google Assistant without having to go out of the lock screen, including search results, setting up alarms and more.

Finally, Google announced Google Assistant Connect at CES 2019. It will allow companies to connect to an Assistant-based smart speaker or Smart Display without the need to include their own speakers and microphones. For example, the smart speaker could connect to an e-ink display to show information like the current weather conditions. More information on Assistant Connect will be revealed later this year.

LG

LG Signature OLED TV R

Originally, there were rumors that an LG foldable smartphone would debut at CES 2019. That didn’t turn out to be the case, however.

Instead, we got LG’s usual scattershot-style presentation with all kinds of announcements stumbling up against each other with very little connective tissue aside from the word “ThinQ” being repeated every 10 seconds.

The big reveal was the LG Signature OLED TV R — a TV with a rollable OLED display that hides inside the stand when you’re not watching. LG also announced that its new TVs will support AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit, which was kind of a running theme for TV makers at CES 2019.

As well as a raft of other announcements relating to its TV tech (including 11 new OLED/LCD models), LG also showcased its new smart alerts system for home appliances and a smart beer maker. No really, it’s called the LG HomeBrew and it sounds awesome.

With all that and the three soundbars with Google Assistant and Dolby Atmos support, LG had a fairly busy CES 2019, but aside from the rollable TV, it didn’t really deliver much of a wow factor.

Samsung

Samsung CES 2019

As expected, we didn’t see the Samsung Galaxy S10 at CES 2019, but the South Korean giant still had plenty to show off.

In addition to the 75-inch, modular MicroLED TV revealed ahead of its press conference, Samsung brought a whopping 98-inch QLED 8K TV to Las Vegas with HDMI 2.1 support.

Elsewhere in TV land, Samsung confirmed that its smart TVs will soon offer iTunes movies and TV shows and support Airplay 2. You’ll also be able to control Samsung smart TVs via Google Assistant- or Amazon Alexa-powered devices.

New smart fridges and robots also debuted at the show, as well as the Notebook 9 Pen and a brand new Odyssey gaming laptop.

Samsung also quietly confirmed in a press release that its Bixby assistant will soon be able to control Google apps.

Lenovo

Lenovo logo MWC

Lenovo always reveals a ton of new and upcoming products at CES, and 2019 was no exception. That included some new PC laptops, including some new high-end notebooks made for the growing hardcore gaming audience that also have  NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 20 Series discrete graphics for laptops. It also revealed a couple of nice gaming PC monitors, including a huge 43.4 inch screen.

The company also introduced the Lenovo Smart Clock, a small smart speaker with a 4-inch display that can also serve as your bedside alarm clock. You will use voice commands for the most part with this clock, powered by Google Assistant, which it comes out this spring for $79.99, which also makes it the cheapest Google Assistant smart display-based speaker you can get.

Lenovo also announced new Yoga PC products, including an all-in-one PC with a big 27-inch screen that’s made for digital artists. Finally, it announced two Smart Tab Android tablets that come with their own charging dock that doubles as a smart speaker as well. Both are due for release in March.

Sony

Sony had a strange CES 2019, eschewing its usual flurry of announcements for something of a victory lap.

The Japanese giant talked up the success of its audio division, its hit feature film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and boasted to the world that it has now sold more than 91.6 million PS4 consoles worldwide.

Of course, there wasn’t any mention of Sony’s flagging smartphone division. In fact, the Xperia brand was entirely absent from the show for the first time in years. We did get a surprise appearance from singer/rapper Pharrell though, so there’s that.

As for what products were announced, Sony revealed its first 8K TV sets, some new 4K TVs, and a whole bunch of audio products.

HTC

HTC has had something of a rough time in the mobile sector in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped the company from forging ahead with its other major business: VR.

HTC’s Vive brand delivered two new virtual reality headsets at CES 2019 — the Vive Pro Eye and the Vive Cosmos.

The Vive Pro Eye is an upgraded version of HTC’s flagship head mounted display and features eye-tracking technology.

The Vive Cosmos, meanwhile, is aimed at entry level users with a much simpler set-up procedure and compatibility with a much wider range of PCs.

Pricing and availability for both the Vive Pro Eye and Vive Cosmos have yet to be confirmed.

Nvidia

Nvidia CES 2019

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced on stage at CES 2019 that more than 40 new laptops will arrive later this month packing the company’s new GeForce RTX 20 series discrete graphics processors.

While we already saw the RTX 2080m, RTX 2080 TI, the RTX 2070, and the Titan RTX in 2018, Nvidia saved the least powerful member of the series — the RTX 2060 — until its CES 2019 keynote demo. The company showcased how ray tracing correctly renders reflections and refractions.

Huang demonstrated that the RTX 2060 can run Battlefield V at 60 frames per second using a 1440p resolution with ray tracing switched on. The GPU is expected to provide a huge boost for gaming laptop manufacturers and cut down on the bulky builds we’re used to seeing from the product category.

Nvidia also revealed it’s working on drivers to support A-Sync monitors. Nvidia’s intent is to bring G-Sync capabilities to these panels so gamers aren’t forced to purchase a new display. The company already tested 400 but for now only 12 qualify. Nvidia will dub these supported panels as “G-Sync Compatible monitors.”

Razer

Razer CES 2019

Unsurprisingly it was Razer that led the charge for the new Nvidia RTX 20 series laptop announcements with the reveal of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced.

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced lineup are now offered in RTX 2060, RTX 2070 with Max-Q, and RTX 2080 with Max-Q configurations. The new RTX 20 family brings several improvements over older Nvidia GPUs including real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading.

The Blade 15 Advanced lineup are powered by the Intel Core i7-8750H6, feature 16GB of dual-channel system memory (upgradeable to 64GB), and up to 512 GB of SSD storage. The Blade 15 Advanced feature a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate, though 4K variants of each GTX 20 model will also be offered.

In addition to a new esports-ready Razer Raptor monitor, Razer also teased a Blade 15 with a 15.6-inch Full HD display capable of 240Hz refresh rates and a second Blade 15 variant with a 4K OLED touch display.

You can read more about all of Razer’s new products and prototypes in our hands-on.

Intel

Intel’s CES 2019 press conference centered on its new Ice Lake laptop chips. The mobile chip range is Intel’s first “volume” 10nm PC processor for thin laptops, which should provide better battery life and less thermal-induced throttling.

Ice Lake uses Intel’s Sunny Cove micro-architecture, which allows for more tasks to be executed in parallel, and packs algorithms to reduce latency. The range also promises faster AI performance, Thunderbolt 3 integration, and Wi-Fi 6 support.

Intel also announced a 10nm Snow Ridge SoC for 5G base stations, and 10nm Cascade Lake Xeon and 10nm Lakefield processors.

If we had to summarize Intel’s CES 2019 in a word? That’d be ’10nm.’

Huawei and Honor

Over the past year, Huawei has been dogged with controversies surrounding its alleged ties with the Chinese government. Several countries — including the United States — have barred the use of Huawei networking equipment, citing security concerns. The government even stepped in to prevent Huawei smartphones from coming to the country.

But that didn’t stop Huawei from bringing new wares to CES 2019, albeit in a more muted fashion than it would have no doubt liked.

While there were no smartphone announcements from either Huawei or its Honor sub-brand, the Chinese giant did have new laptops and tablets to show off.

The MateBook 13 is Huawei’s latest mid-range laptop/MacBook Air-rival that sits somewhere between the company’s ultra-slim MateBook X and its semi-premium MateBook D.

Huawei also revealed the family-friendly Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite, which is built from durable aluminium to protect it from bumps and bruises from younger members of the family.

Acer

Acer Chromebook 315

Acer introduced the Chromebook 315 during CES 2019. Scheduled to arrive in Q1 2019, it will be the company’s first Chromebook based on an all-in-one “APU” processor manufactured by AMD. Acer typically guns for Intel-based processors in Chromebooks, but the company chose custom APUs for this model to better support Chrome- and Android-based apps. APUs (standing for “Accelerated Processing Unit”) combine a CPU and GPU in a single chip.

Acer also announced a new Windows 10 laptop, the Swift 7. The 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 touchscreen notebook has very thin bezels, allowing it to have a 92 percent screen-to-body ratio. The body of the notebook is also very thin at just 9.95mm and is incredibly light at just 1.96 pounds, as it is made of magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys.

HP

HP went big with Chromebooks at CES 2019 with the announcements of the HP Chromebook x360 14 G1 and HP Chromebook 14.

The latter comes with either AMD’s A4 or the A6 series of processors inside, along with either Radeon R4 or R5 GPUs. It will also have a 14-inch 1,366 x 768 display with a 180-degree hinge, along with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of SSD storage. The HP Chromebook 14 will also weigh 3.40 pounds and have a top battery life of 9 hours and 15 minutes.

The more powerful Chromebook x360 14 G1 comes with Intel’s 8th generation Pentium, Core i3, i5, or i7 CPUs inside, depending on which model you want. It has 16GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage.

Everything else!

Our predictions for what else you might see at CES 2019

Every year there seems to be a primary focus that’s hot and new, or trying to make new waves at least. Past years have focused a lot on AR/VR and smart home. This year, we expect much of the same, with a greater focus on refinement than emerging tech categories. Voice-powered devices will likely make a huge splash at CES once more, making their way into TVs, appliances, and even random things like toilets (which actually happened last year).

Of course you can expect at least a few new trends attempt to take off at CES. We expect foldables will get at least a little attention, though early whispers indicate it’ll probably be companies like Royale showing off its achievements.

While we can’t cover every rumor, below we’ll make a few predictions for some of the bigger companies that will be in attendance at CES this year.

TCL: Alcatel / BlackBerry

BlackBerry continues to surprise us with successful releases of Android smartphones with physical keyboards — something most would assume wouldn’t sell well in 2018, let alone 2019. That being said, we don’t expect to see a new BlackBerry smartphone at CES 2019. Instead, we expect BlackBerry to push its automotive-based software, BlackBerry QNX.

Alcatel will also likely also make a few announcements in the smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch categories — at least given what we’ve seen from them in past years.

Google

Last year was Google’s first time at CES. While the show was mostly a showcase for existing Google Assistant products, its biggest announcement was Google Pay and smart displays. Although there haven’t been any specific rumors about Google this year, we think it’s pretty likely the focus will be on Assistant once again.

Given what we know from CES 2018, most of these Assistant announcements will probably be in the form of partnerships, but it’s certainly possible Google could have some of its own hardware on display.

Lenovo

Lenovo logo MWC

Lenovo typically focuses on its laptop lineup and we expect that to continue this year. A recent listing from Lenovo for the Legion Y530 and Y7000P mention the NVIDIA GTX 1160, so it’s certainly possible these machines could make an appearance.

In addition to laptops, we could also see some VR or smart home related announcements — at least if previous Lenovo CES presentations are anything to go by. In fact, the Lenovo Smart Display made a big appearance at CES last year.

Asus

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

Asus typically uses CES as a showcase for its laptops and Chromebooks, and we have every indication that Asus is set for a major Chromebook push again this year. At least one Chromebook is expected to utilize Intel’s Gemini Lake series chips, and a rumor from Android Headlines suggests we might see a high-end Chrome OS tablet as well.

Other possibilities include routers, computer accessories, and smart home accessories. While it’s not completely impossible that we might see something on the Android phone or tablet front, we haven’t heard any substantial rumors on that end.

We wouldn’t expect much from HMD Global, Motorola, OnePlus, or Essential

Unfortunately, we have word that HMD Global won’t make an official appearance at CES this year. Instead we expect big announcements from them closer to MWC 2019. The same story goes for Essential, who is having a bit of a hard time right now.

OnePlus never formally participates in CES and that’s not going to change this year either.

We’re a little less sure about Motorola. In the past, Motorola hasn’t done much at CES and we expect a similar situation at CES 2019 but we can’t say this with 100 percent certainty.

Buzzwords at CES 2019

5G signal on Galaxy Note 8

While every company will be trying to push its own product as being innovative and original, we can expect a few buzzwords to get repeated ad nauseam during CES 2019. Here’s our list of the words we’ll probably be sick of by the end of the event:

  • 5G — The network of the future is coming in 2019, and many companies will be touting how its products will take advantage of the new speeds.
  • XR — As if VR (virtual reality), MR (mixed reality), and AR (augmented reality) weren’t already buzzwords, the new all-encompassing XR (extended reality) is starting to make the rounds.
  • AI — Even though AI has been a big buzzword in 2018, it will continue to be a hot topic in 2019, with more and more products having AI capabilities.
  • 8K — Televisions and computer monitors will be at CES 2019, and some of them will have 8K resolutions. Now that 4K is more ubiquitous, companies are looking to 8K to entice consumers to upgrade their current displays.
  • Blockchain — Gary Sims explains Blockchain here. We expect a lot of companies to use this in advertising materials.
  • IoT — IoT stands for “Internet of Things.” As smart home products become more accessible to everyday consumers, IoT is going to be a big buzzword.
  • Big Data — Although this has been a buzzword for years now, it will continue being a buzzword in 2019 for sure.

And that’s a wrap for now ladies and gents! We’ll be sure to add more announcements and reactions over the coming days!

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