This week in Android: Our CES 2019 Awards!

Our best of CES awards are included in our CES 2019 wrap up

This week was all about CES and appropriately most of our top stories from this week came from that event. We gave out our Best of CES Awards, awarded the best audio devices, and even rounded up the best smartwatches and wearables. We saw expansion of Google Assistant in both hardware and software, too.

Outside of the trade show, we got news of Samsung’s latest flagship coming earlier than we expected. February 20 is the official date of Samsung Unpacked when we expect to see the Galaxy S10, and maybe even a folding phone! Speaking of Samsung, the iPhone turned 12 this week, and we compared it to our Best of Android 2018 winner, the Note 9, to see how far we’ve come.

Add to that a rugged phone, a gaming phone, and a chat with OnePlus, and you have yourself a pretty full week!

Here are your top stories for the week

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

We scoured the show floor to find the very best that CES had to offer. Come check out what impressed us!


Samsung to launch Galaxy S10 on February 20

Samsung’s next flagship phone is coming sooner than we all thought and we have the details here!


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

You want wearables? CES has all the wearables! We found the best ones for you.


Best audio products of CES 2019

Our sister site, SoundGuys, found the best audio products on the show floor for your inner audiophile.


Google Assistant Connect makes it easier for companies to create smart products

Google wants the Assistant built into more devices, and now it’s easier than ever for more products to tie into that ecosystem.


Hands-on: The Lenovo Smart Clock is a cheaper Home Hub for your bedside table

But, if you don’t want to wait for that, you can have a Google Assistant powered alarm clock from Lenovo.


Hands-on with the Cat S48c rugged phone, available now on Verizon

Want a smartphone that you couldn’t break if you tried? Cat has some good news for you.


The iPhone turns 12: Here’s how it compares to the best Android phone of 2018

Since the iPhone turned 12 this week, we thought it would be interesting to look back and see how smartphones have evolved since that time.


We talk with OnePlus about T-Mobile, the new TV, and the invite system

While at CES, we had a chat with OnePlus about the past, present and future of the company. You don’t even need an invitation to read it!


Nubia Red Magic Mars hands-on: Best budget gaming phone?

The Nubia Red Magic Mars is a sharp looking gaming phone for under $400, which is pretty awesome if you ask us.


Who wants to win a OnePlus 6T?

This week, we’re giving away a brand new OnePlus 6TEnter this week’s Sunday giveaway for your chance to win!

Don’t miss these videos

That’s it, folks! We’ll have another giveaway and more top Android stories for you next week. To stay up to date on all things Android Authority in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters at the link below.

Join our newsletters!

Join over 200,000 subscribers for the latest tech reviews, hot deals, and exciting giveaways.
We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will never be shared. Sign up now and get FREE access to our upcoming exclusive AA Insiders Club:

5 best desktops of CES 2019 – for gaming, business, and personal use

best desktops

Laptops grabbed a lot of attention at CES 2019. Loads of great models debuted, including the Lenovo Legion Y740, Razer Blade 15, and Dell XPS 13. However, we also saw a number of awesome desktops in Las Vegas aimed at gamers, artists, and business owners. Here are the five best desktop computers to be announced at the show.

MSI Infinite S

best desktops

MSI’s Infinite S is aimed at gamers. It’s a very compact tower at just 348 x 244 x 128mm, but it still packs impressive specs. It’s powered by the 9th generation of Intel’s Core processors (up to Intel Core i7) and sports Nvidia’s new RTX 2060 GPU. The device also features MSI’s Silent Storm cooling system and up to 32GB of RAM.

The Infinite S received two CES Innovation awards and is designed with performance and space in mind. The PC looks cool too, with a rugged case and a customizable RGB strip on the front.

The MSI Infinite S will go on sale somewhere in late Q1 or early Q2. Pricing will be between $700 and $800 depending on the configuration you choose.


Lenovo Yoga A940

best desktops

Designed for digital artists, the Lenovo Yoga A940 is an all-in-one desktop PC that looks similar to Microsoft’s Surface Studio. It sports a 27-inch touchscreen display, which you can tilt down to a 25-degree angle. It also features Lenovo’s Precision dial that can be placed on either side of the display and gives you more precise control over your work. You can adjust the brush size, opacity, and other settings in programs like Photoshop.

Editor’s Pick

The device is powered by the Intel 8th-gen Core i7 processor and comes with up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. It also has an integrated wireless charging pad for charging a supported smartphone while working.

The Lenovo Yoga A940 will go on sale in March starting at $2,350, making it quite a bit cheaper than Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2. The retail box includes a mouse, keyboard, and digital stylus, in addition to the Precision dial and the device itself.


HP Omen Obelisk

best desktops

At CES 2019, HP announced upgraded versions of its Omen Obelisk desktops, which now come with the 9th generation Intel Coffee Lake Refresh processors and Nvidia Turing graphics.

HP’s high-end Omen Obelisk desktop comes with the Intel Core i9 processor and will go on sale in March.

There are two versions of the desktop available. The entry-level model sports an Intel Core i7-9700K processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, while the high-end variant offers an Intel Core i9-9900K processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti GPU. Both have 16GB of RAM.

The computer looks more or less the same as the original, which isn’t a bad thing. The case is gorgeous and has a tool-less design, making it easy to upgrade components. It also comes with a second SSD slot for adding more storage. The new HP Omen Obelisk will be available from March and will start at $2,250.


Corsair One series

best desktops

There are three new desktops in Corsair’s One range. The most powerful is the One Pro i180, a compact gaming device with top-of-the-line specs and a high price tag. It features the Intel Core i9-9920X processor, Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and 32GB of RAM. There’s a 960GB SSD and 2TB HDD drive on board as well as customizable RGB lighting. The device comes in at a whopping $5,000.

If that’s too rich for your blood, the One i160 might be a better option. It’s cheaper than the Pro model but still quite expensive at $3,600. It’s a powerful device, packing the Intel Core i9-9900K processor, a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, and 32GB of RAM under the hood. It has a 480GB SSD and a 2TB HDD.

Editor’s Pick

The least powerful and cheapest of Corsair’s new PCs is the One i140, featuring an Intel Core i7-9700K processor and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. You’ll get the same storage and RAM as the i160 model, but the price is lower at $3,000.

The Corsair One Pro i180 and One i160 are already up for pre-order, with sales officially kicking off on February 12. The i140 model can be purchased right away.


Asus ProArt PA90

best desktops

Asus is marketing the ProArt PA90 as a device for content creators. It’s extremely compact, with a height of 365mm and a diameter of 176mm. It weighs around 5.8kg (12.7lbs). The PC is powered by the Intel Core i7-9700K or i9-9900K processor paired with either the Nvidia Quadro P2000 or P4000 GPU.

When the CPU is under heavy load, the top of the device raises to allow for increased airflow.

The PC has a simple and elegant design with LED lighting on top that changes color to show the load of the CPU. When under heavy load, the top of the device raises to increase airflow and cool it down. It’s pretty cool — check it out in the video below.

Unfortunately, Asus did not share when the device will go on sale — it only said the computer would be available in the coming months. Pricing has also not been announced, as it will likely differ from market to market.


There you have it. These are the best desktops we’ve seen at CES 2019. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

The best mobile accessories at CES 2019

From the “standard” smartphones, laptops, and smartwatches to the jaw-dropping, futuristic, and bizarre, there were a lot of devices, products, and new technologies shown off at this year’s CES. There was also a slew of useful and interesting accessories announced at the event to help you get the most out of your smartphones or tablets. Here’s a roundup of the best mobile accessories at CES 2019!


JBL Link Drive

JBL Link Drive Harman

The JBL Link Drive brings Google Home and Android Auto-like features to your car by acting as a bridge between your phone and your car stereo. Simply plug the compact Link Drive into a cigarette lighter port, pair it with both your phone and your stereo, and then issue “OK Google” commands without needing to touch your phone.

You can answer calls, have text messages read to you, get directions, and do a whole lot more. It’s equipped with two noise-canceling mics to remove engine and road sounds and never miss a command. If your car stereo doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities, you can also connect the device using an aux port. The JBL Link Drive also features a 2.1A USB port for charging your device on the go. The Link Drive will land sometime this spring at a retail price of $59.95.


Anker ROAV Bolt

A promotional image of the Anker Roav Bolt in an automobile.

The JBL Link Drive isn’t the only way to get the Google Assistant in your car. Also announced at CES was the Anker ROAV Bolt. It also plugs into the cigarette lighter port of the car and connects to your phone via Bluetooth and the car stereo via Bluetooth or the aux port. You get to control everything with your voice and brings to the car everything that the Google Assistant is capable of.

It has a couple of advantages over the JBL Link Drive as well. You get two USB ports with the ROAV Bolt and it is also slightly cheaper, priced at $50. The Anker ROAV Bolt will be available in February.


Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1

Anker PowerPort Atom PD

Anker showcased a lot of devices at CES this year, including the ROAV Bolt, a new Bluetooth speaker, a mobile projector, and more. However, what the mobile accessories company is best known for is its charging devices, and these weren’t left behind either. First announced back in October, Anker PowerPort Atom PD range is now ready to go on sale.

It’s one of the first chargers in the market to use gallium nitride (GaN), which is capable of handling high temperatures and allows for higher efficiency and output in a more compact package. This USB-PD charger provides a 30W output, letting you charge any smartphone that supports the standard, as well as devices like the Macbook Air and Nintendo Switch.

This ultra-compact wall charger will be available later this month, priced at just $29.99. Anker will also launch a 60W charger with 2 USB-C ports and a 100W charger with 2 USB-C ports and 2 USB-A ports later this quarter.


Corning Gorilla Glass personalized case

Last year, Corning introduced its new Ink Jet technology for its line of Gorilla Glass, allowing you to print photo-quality images onto Gorilla Glass, opening up the door for fully-customizable glass backs for smartphones. Although not at the back of an actual phone, Corning brought Ink Jet to CES 2019 and demonstrated it using glass-backed smartphone cases. Creating a case and getting the final product in your hand is surprisingly quick and easy, as Android Authority’s own C. Scott Brown can attest to.


iOttie One Touch Connect car mount with Alexa built-in

iOttie car mount with Alexa built-in

We don’t really expect much from our car mounts except for it to hold your phone in place properly. However, with the on-going surge of AI assistants, is it really surprising that this tech has made its way to our car mounts as well? Meet the latest iOttie Easy One Touch Connect car mount with Alexa built-in!

This doesn’t need to connect to your phone in any way, with Alexa integrated directly into the car mount itself. Two noise-canceling mics ensure that the device doesn’t miss a command and you get access to everything Alexa is capable of, including a range of over 70,000 Alexa Skills. Of course, you also get to take advantage of iOttie’s Easy One Touch Connect mechanism to easily place and remove your phone from the car mount. No pricing information is available yet, but the car mount will be available later this quarter.


iOttie Auto Sense car mount

iOttie auto sense car mount

If you’re too lazy to use the Easy One Touch Connect mechanism found with other iOttie car mounts, the company has a solution for you. The Auto Sense car mount uses a proximity sensor to know when you are moving the phone towards the car mount and opens its motorized arms to let you keep the phone. The arms then automatically close and hold the phone in place. The car mount also comes with a 10W wireless charging pad to charge any smartphone that supports the Qi-wireless charging standard. The iOttie Auto Sense car mount will launch later this year priced at $55.


Nomadplug travel adapter

nomadplug travel adapter Nomadplug

Travel adapters are a dime a dozen, but what makes the Nomadplug stand out is the fact that it is guaranteed to work in 195 countries, while most work in up to 160 and often not even that many. The premium build quality is a huge positive and its unique design makes for a device that is quite compact despite its impressive capabilities. The travel plug also features a built-in 5,000mAh power bank with two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. Prototypes of the device were shown off at CES and the final product is expected to ship to Indiegogo backers in March. When released, the Nomadplug is expected to be around $120.


Mophie Powerstation PD portable power banks

mophie powerstation PD

Mophie introduced two new portable power banks at CES – the Powerstation PD and the Powerstation PD XL. The former comes with a built-in battery of 6,700mAh and the XL stays true to its name with its 10,050mAh capacity. Both power banks come with a USB-C PD input and output port and a USB-A port, allowing you to charge two mobile devices simultaneously. Both Powerstations come with a textured design that looks great and keeps them safe from scratches and scuffs. Both the Powerstation PD and the Powerstation PD XL are available now from Mophie and are priced at $59.95 and $79.95 respectively.


So there you have it for this roundup of some of the best mobile accessories that were seen at CES 2019! Don’t forget to check out our extensive CES coverage for a ton of cool new products that were launched at the event, and you can find more roundups like this below –

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

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

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.

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!

Google Assistant Connect makes it cheaper and easier for companies to add Assistant to their products

Google Assistant Connect e-ink display concept at CES 2019

Google Assistant Connect e-ink display concept at CES 2019

Google Assistant will likely be available on 1 billion devices by the end of January, and it looks like the company is gunning for the next billion. Google just announced a new set of capabilities — called Google Assistant Connect — that will allow companies to add the Assistant to even more devices around the home.

Google Assistant Connect is a way for companies to bridge the gap between their existing products and an Assistant-powered smart speaker or Smart Display — without the need to add microphones and extra computing components.

Also read

Google gives the example of a company creating an e-ink display that can project the weather or a calendar, while harnessing the power of Assistant Connect 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 e-ink display.

At Google’s event at CES 2019, the company had a handful of e-ink display concepts with Assistant Connect. They weren’t working, but you could imagine sticking one of these displays on your fridge or bathroom mirror and always having access to your calendar or weather.

Assistant Connect will let integrated products respond to voice commands too, even if your smart speaker is in the other room. For instance, you could tap on your air conditioner and say “increase temperature by five degrees,” while the smart speaker in the other room handles the command.

The company will announce more details about Assistant Connect later this year. We might have to wait awhile for third-party companies release Connect-integrated products, but it seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, companies will now be able to spend less money and time producing expensive smart products. Instead, Google is planning on doing the heavy lifting for them.

Head here for more CES 2019 coverage!

Wear OS smartwatches can soon be used to control Whirlpool smart appliances

Whirlpool Smart Appliances

If you own a Wear OS smartwatch and own one of Whirlpool’s smart kitchen and laundry appliances, you should soon get some nice extra features. As part of its CES 2019 announcements, Whirlpool revealed it will be adding Wear OS smartwatch support for its smart devices sometime later in 2019.

In its press release, Whirlpool stated that once Wear OS support is added, those smartwatch owners will be able to control the company’s smart stoves with their wearable devices in addition to being able to see the current oven status.

For its smart clothes washer, Whirlpool says Wear OS device owners will be able to adjust any active cycle on the fly, so you can switch from a normal cycle to one focused on delicates or brights. Finally, its smart clothes dryer can be controlled with a Wear OS device, and users will be able to see how much time is left in the dryer cycle.

Unfortunately, Whirlpool has not announced when its Wear OS support will roll out.

Editor’s Pick

Whirlpool’s smart appliances already support Google Assistant voice commands. If you own a Google Home smart speaker that’s connected to the Whirlpool smart device, you can simply say, for example, “Ok Google, preheat the oven to 450 degrees”, and it will do as commanded.

Google Assistant support will be coming to many more countries soon, including Canada, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the U.K., and India. Other device brands under the Whirlpool parent company, including Maytag and KitchenAid, are also supposed to add Google Assistant support at some point.

Mavin Air-X true wireless earphones pack next-generation performance at CES 2019

Taking the wraps off its new Air-X true wireless earbuds at CES 2019, Mavin now boasts one of the few units employing Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Stereo Plus feature. By doing this, the earphones avoid the most common pitfalls of true wireless headphones, and offer signal strength rivaling Apple’s W1 chip.

A manufacturer render of the Mavin Air-X.

The Mavin Air-X is among the first true wireless earbuds to make full use of Qualcomm’s latest Bluetooth features.

The Mavin Air-X has very small earbuds, weighing just 0.16oz each. However, they pack a lot of attractive features into one unit. They’re IPX5 rated (can take a splash), boast 50 hours of battery life, and have a class 1 (100ft. range) antenna. They even offer support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

However, the main reason you’d choose the Mavin Air-X over anything on the market currently is because they can use Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Stereo Plus feature. This means a phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or 855 can connect to each earbud individually, which will bring better battery life and a stronger connection. The Air-X also employs the latest aptX codecs, so you won’t be stuck with AAC or SBC.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but we’ll update this article when we get more information on the subject.