After a delicious. Breakfast and good discussion about the Lumia 710 and 900, day 2 of CES was mostly spent in the south hall of the Las Vegss convention center. This huge space was full of people, sights and sounds and wad some sort of gadget heaven. My first stop if course was the Nokia booth which you can read about here. But there were many other interesting sights and sounds to be had.
Its rare to get up close and personal with Fujitsu phones in the USA. A representative at the booth explained that they struggled to agree a deal with US carriers, which is a shame because the devices I saw were interesting and would surely win some fans.
Firstly, they showed off their waterproofing technology with several phones in a tank, obviously still on and working. Next I took a look at 2 devices they had: the Fujitsu Arrows Z and Toshiba IS12t. Toshiba and Fujitsu have some sort of collaborative deal going for mobile devices. These phones can’t in several colors, had large screens, big internal storage and 13.1mp cameras. They are also slim waterproof devices and the Arrows series has LTE support too. I thought the yellow Toshiba windows phone quite striking in looks (it comes in other colors too) and with that 13.1MP camera plus 32GB built in storage, it should be one of the higher spec Windows Phone devices around. The negatives – screen wasn’t as nice on that as in my Lumia 710 – those blacks are very grey.
The Zagg booth drew me in partly because I wanted to see if I could get a screen protector for my N9 which, I’m ashamed to say, I scratched. No idea how. Anyway, while there they had a raffle/prize draw going on which took me around various parts of the Zagg booth and some of it was really kind of interesting. There was the wooden headphones which really did give quite a nice sound, then there was the sticky backed phone themes and lastly was Zagg keys – Bluetooth keyboards for mobile and tablets. There are others on the market, and so I doubt there’s anything too special about Zagg’s ones, but they seemed to me to have done a nice job.
I was trying to find the Navteq booth (something i never did do in the end) and stumbled across Ubuntu. Being something of an occasional linux user (almost always dual -booted Windows and Linux) I was interested t see Ubuntu’s latest and greatest and it looked pretty sweet. I came away with an installation CD so sometime I might go back to dual booting with that, provided it will support my wireless keyboard, mouse, NAS and printer.
The Boogie board seemed a neat idea, and they have been out a while now so you might have seen them before in BrookStone stores, but I hadn’t seen them until CES. It basically is an electronic replacement for the notepad by the phone or on the fridge – one where you scribble notes that you never need once you are done with that page, like “be back soon” or remind yourself to call someone. Well, rather than using a pad of paper, use a Boogie Board which requires effectively no electricity until you erase, and then only for a second. Think of it like an electric blackboard. The had a larger version which can save but this seemed too big and a lot less elegant than the more basic models.
WiFi memory cards
There were several of these about. I’m not going to pretend I understand everything about them and how they work, but the basic use case is they can transfer their contents on to devices on your network without a cable connection. This picture I took from Toshiba’s version gives a fair idea of what may be coming to expandable memory slots in your house, but I do remember seeing a few variants of this idea.
Verizon, Kodak, Huawei, Skullcandy and Pure
So a few things to mention, and I didn’t spend much time at any of these booths. I went to the verizon booth to see what Windows phones they had – answer is None. Still, at least I was able to see that. Sprint and AT&T didn’t have a booth at all (or if they did, i couldn’t find it). I was also amazed how little of the AT&T booth was devoted to mobile, with much larger spaces devoted to FIOS, and various forms of business and home internet services.
Kodak was next to nokia and we now know they have filed for Chapter 11 bancruptcy. It was a large area with very few people andthat probably tells it’s own story. I’m told the Blackberry booth was like this too, though i didn’t go there myself.
Huawei had a big booth to show off their nice new Android phones running Ice Cream Sandwhich. I dind’t take a long look, but the handsets there looked nice enough. It will be ineresting to see if they and ZTE (who also had a large suoth hall booth) will gain any US prominence this year.
Skullcandy were bringing the party with them and to their section of the hall which really was an audiophile heaven of sorts with Senheiser just next door, someone else who’s name I should remember near by, plus a selection of more serious living room and studio speaker manufacturers. I was really amazed in the end between this area, plus the Central hall which I visited on day 3, how many headphone makers tuned up to this with big booths. Skullcandy though, were the only one with a DJ dropping some serious dub step on the south hall floor.
Pure had their radios here which I was keen to see having known about the company since my dad had a Pure 1 DAB digital radio back in England. Here in the US it’s not DAB or even HD or Sirius, but internet radio’s with added FM functionality. It’s a shame Digital radio here doesn’t mirror that of the UK, but these internet radios could, I’m sure, be cool device for some people.