CES 2021 has now officially started! Thanks to the pandemic, the Las Vegas-based trade show is a fully virtual event this year. While this adds new challenges, many companies are still making plenty of announcements and media companies like Android Authority will be doing our best to bring you all the latest!
How Android Authority covers CES will certainly be a bit different this year. We will have fewer opportunities to go hands-on with new products since we won’t be there in person. But you can still expect interviews with companies, detailed coverage on the latest devices, and more.
Typically many smaller companies announce products around CES even if they aren’t physically at the show. This year the line between what’s a CES announcement and what’s just a tech announcement is pretty blurred. We’ll be covering any major mobile/tech announcements in this hub, even if some announcements aren’t technically associated with CES. In the meantime, here’s everything we know and expect from the event.
CES 2021: Important info
- When is CES 2021? CES 2021 officially takes place from Monday, January 11 through Thursday, January 14, 2021. Despite the digital-only nature of this year’s event, many companies have already announced some pretty exciting announcements.
- Where is CES 2021 held? CES is traditionally held in Las Vegas, Nevada, primarily at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Separate events, keynotes, and product unveilings happen at various locations around Las Vegas. In 2021, there will be no physical show floor or venue.
- Is CES 2021 open to the public? CES’ physical show floor and events are not open to the public but the online nature of this year’s show means that some events will be available to the public virtually.
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CES 2021: All the announcements so far
LG’s virtual conference occurred on January 11, 2021 at 8 AM ET, though several of its announcements actually happened ahead of the conference. The LG conference began with a ton of new OLED TV announcements and a look at the next-generation EVO OLED technology. At least for Android Authority, easily the most exciting part of the event was a sneak peek at LG’s upcoming rollable phone.
Here are some of the biggest announcements from LG:
LG Rollable Phone: While we don’t have an official name just yet, the company showed off its new rollable phone at the very end of the event. The device’s top screen can retract back into the rest of the phone via a motorized mechanism. This allows you to transform the device from a phone to tablet at your convenience.Unfortunately, there were no details on if and when this might actually arrive as a commercial project.
LG shows off a unique bendable OLED display: LG is showing off a new prototype OLED display. LG’s 48-inch OLED is bendable to a 1,000R radius but flattens for shows and other materials where a curved display might be too distracting. While it doesn’t have the highest refresh rate, the display does offer a respectable 120Hz refresh rate, as well as a nearly instantaneous response time
LG announces 2021 Gram laptops: LG has introduced five new laptops in its Gram series ranging from 14-inch to 17-inch models. The newest iteration feature 11th-gen Intel Core processors, Iris Xe graphics, and support up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. Even more impressively, several LG Gram models reportedly offer battery life of up to 19.5 hours.
Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
While it’s official CES press conference kicked off on the 11th, Samsung’s biggest announcement at CES has yet to come. We’re talking about the upcoming Galaxy S21, which Samsung is scheduled to formally announce on Thursday, January 14. While we wait for the S21 we can content ourselves with some other juicy announcements such as the reveal of Samsung’s new 2021 smart TV lineup, new smart home devices, and a new Chromebook.
Here are just some of the biggest CES-related announcements from Samsung so far:
Samsung announced the Galaxy Chromebook 2: The new Galaxy Chromebook actually takes a step down from its predecessor when it comes to pricing. At just $549, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is much more affordable than the $999 Galaxy Chromebook. As you’d expect a cheaper price tag requires some concessions. There’s just a Full HD display over 4K, and Samsung uses plastic for inner sections of the laptop. The good news is it’s still an exquisite laptop, featuring an aluminum outer body and a QLED display.
2021 Samsung smart TV models are on their way: Samsung has plenty of new TVs on the way, and a few models will even feature the company’s new Neo QLED display technology, which uses Quantum Mini LEDs for better picture quality and clarity. Samsung also announced new very large TVs, as big as 110 inches, with its Micro LED technology that will be sold by the end of the year. Lastly it revealed its frame smart TVs are getting even thinner, at half the thickness of previous models.
Samsung announced its new JetBot AI Plus robot vacuum during CES 2021 week: The JetBot AI Plus will use sensors found on self-driving cars to find the best path to clean floors and avoid hitting big or delicate objects. Speaking of smart home products, Samsung also announced the SmartThings Cooking software service. It will use AI to make meal recommendations, will list the ingredients you need, and it will connect to grocery stores so you can buy those ingredients.
TCL is probably best known as a TV maker in the US, at least recently. At CES 2021 the company announced several new Roku-powered mini-LED, OLED, and QLED TVs. Outside of the realm of TV, Alcatel showed off a new foldable phone concept and introduced a handful of new phones under the TCL and Alcatel brands.
Here are some of the biggest announcements from TCL:
TCL 20 family announced: TCL announced two new devices using the TCL 20 moniker: the TCL 20 5G and TCL 20 SE. The former is the more powerful of the two, featuring a Snapdragon 690 processor that’s backed by 6GB of RAM and offers 5G support. The SE is a much more budget-oriented product, with just a Snapdragon 460 processor with 4GB of RAM. There are at least three other TCL 20 devices coming in the future, though we have no specifics just yet.
New Alcatel phones: Before launching phones with its own name internationally, TCL focused mostly on the Alcatel brand. Alcatel focuses on extremely entry level devices and that remains true with the Alcatel 3L, 1S, and 1L. The Alcatel 3L is the most capable of the three. It features a MediaTek Helio A25 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 4,000mAh battery with 10W charging via microUSB.
Every year CES is flooded with tons of great wearable announcements. With that in mind, we’ve gathered up all the best wearable announcements here from brands like Fossil, Skagen Jorn, and more.
Fossil announces new LTE watch: The Fossil Gen 5 LTE was announced at CES 2021. This is actually not an all-new smartwatch but a new version of 2019’s Fossil Gen 5 with 4G LTE connectivity baked-in. Initially it will be a Verizon Wireless exclusive for $349 later this spring, but will be available worldwide later in 2021.
Skagen Jorn reveals new hybrid watch: The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR watch uses an e-ink display combined with physical watch hands. The display can be customized for up to three widgets to show features like the owner’s daily activity, heart rate, and more. It goes on sale on January 26 for $195 in five different styles.
Michael Kors announces Gen 5E watches: Fashion brand Michael Kors has announced two new Wear OS-based smartwatches for CES 2021. The Michael Kors Gen 5E Darci has a stainless steel case and a seven-link bracelet for the price of $350. The Michael Kors Gen 5E MKGO has an aluminum case, a silicone strap and is priced at $250. Both smartwatches share the same hardware specs, including a 1.19-inch AMOLED display, NFC support, and up to 36 hours of battery life.
Amazfit GTS 2e and GTR 2e are launching globally: The Huami Amazfit GTS 2e and GTR 2e are the same smartwatches that the company first launched in December in China. However, the worldwide model will lack its XiaoAI voice assistant. The GTS 2e looks more like an Apple Watch with a rectangular design, while the GTR 2e has a more traditional circular watch frame. Both watches go on sale in North America on Tuesday, January 12 for $139.99.
Credit: Lily Katz / Android Authority
Of course, CES will have lots of new audio hardware reveals for 2021. Here are some of the more noteworthy announcements that have been made so far from Sennheiser, JBL, Mobvoi, and others:
Sennheiser HD 250BT coming to the US: These wireless on-ear headphones are finally on their way to North America. They have an awesome 25-hour battery life, an integrated microphone system, and support for AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency audio formats. It will go on sale later in January for $69.95 in the US and $89.95 CAN in Canada.
Mobvoi Earbuds Gesture announced: These earbuds have motion-sensing technology that allows owners to answer an incoming call just by nodding their head. The stems also have multi-touch controls for media controls and activating your smart digital assistant. They last up to 10 hours on a single charge, and the included USB-C case can keep the music playing for up to 40 hours. It’s now on sale at Amazon for $89.99.
Edifier announces two wireless earbuds: The TWS NB2 Pro have futuristic-looking angled stems, and they have seven hours of playback on one charge with noise-canceling turned on or nine hours without it. It will launch in March for $99. The GM5 earbuds have more of an Apple AirPod inspired look, but its charging case does have a unique looking almost transparent shape. It will go on sale in March for $79.
ZTE LiveBuds revealed: These affordable true wireless earbuds are meant to work with the ZTE Axon 20 smartphone. They have an IPX4 rating, and last up to four hours on a single charge, with the charging case extending that up to 20 hours. They are on sale now for the rock bottom price of $40.
Belkin Soundform Freedom announced: Belkin’s new wireless earbuds have features like built-in noise cancellation and an IPX5 water resistance rating. You should get up to eight hours of use on a single charge, with up to 20 more hours with the included charging case. These are due in April but no price has been announced.
JBL announced lots of stuff: JBL had a bunch of CES 2021 reveals. They included the JBL Tour One over-the-ear wireless headphones with up to 25 hours of playback time for $299, and the Tour Pro Plus wireless earbuds for $199, for a launch in May. There’s also the JBL Charge 5 wireless Bluetooth speaker with a IP67 dust and water-resistant rating and up to 20 hours of battery life. It will be priced at $179 when it launches in April. There’s also the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos support that’s due this spring for $399.95.
JLab JBuds Frames revealed: JLabs has made wireless earbuds designed to connect to the frames of your favorite glasses, so you can listen to music and look cool doing it. Each earbud has its own 16mm dynamic driver for its audio, and they will last up to eight hours on a single charge. They will go on sale this spring for $50.
Laptop, PC, and monitor announcements
There’s plenty of laptop announcements at CES 2021 as well. Here’s just a few of the highlights so far:
Lenovo introduces new laptops and a tablet: Lenovo has announced a trio of new IdeaPad notebooks: the IdeaPad 5i Pro, IdeaPad 5 Pro, and IdeaPad 5G. The IdeaPad 5G is easily the most compelling of the three, just for the novelty. As you might have guessed, the IdeaPad 5G supports 5G networks (sub-6), but falls back to LTE if 5G isn’t available. The laptop is powered by the Snapdragon 8cx 5G SoC and reportedly has a battery life of up to 20 hours.
Acer Chromebook Spin 514 will feature AMD chips: The Acer Spin 514 will make the move to an AMD Ryzen 7 3700C or Ryzen 5 3500C processor, which is a pretty big deal. Intel continues losing ground to Intel with high-end laptops, and now AMD is setting its sights at the Chromebook market. Aside from the processor you get a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 360-degree rotatable touchscreen display, up to 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and the usual ports like USB and USB-C. Unlike many Chromebooks, there’s even a microSD card reader.
HP launches new Envy 14 laptop and Elite Folio 2-in1 tablet: At CES 20201 HP announced the new HP Envy 14, a premium laptop that slots below the Spectre line but is considerably higher-end than most Envy models, starting at $999. The Envy 14 is aimed at creators and gamers, packing a GeForce GTX 1650Ti graphics card and an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor. Aside from the Envy 14, HP also revealed the Elite Folio 2-in-1 tablet, which is essentially a Microsoft Surface competitor.
Other interesting announcements
Of course, there are plenty of other announcements aside from some bigger ones covered above. Here are some other CES announcements worth checking out:
- New Eufy RoboVacs have a splash of color to bring some style to your cleaning
- Roborock S7 debuts with skills to scrub your floors 3,000 times per minute
- HyperX announces a new slate of colorful gaming peripherals
- New OtterBox Gaming line includes Xbox controller grips, smartphone clips, more
CES 2021: Companies with announcements yet to come
The CTA opened attendee registration for CES 2021 on December 3, and we’ve seen a steady stream of companies announcing their plans for the virtual expo. Check out all the major participating companies below. Keep in mind there will be a ton of smaller announcements from companies not listed below. We’ll be sure to add more details to our hub as they arrive.
Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
The Amazfit range of trackers and smartwatches have garnered a reputation for delivering plenty of bang for the buck, and we can expect more of the latter at CES 2021.
Huami posted a teaser video revealing that it will be offering at least one new Amazfit smartwatch at the event. However, GSMArena reports that we’ll be seeing more GTS 2 and GTR 2 products at CES. Presumably that means the recently announced GTS 2e and GTR 2e watches but for the global audience.
Amazfit-affiliated wearable brand Zepp has also confirmed that it will be holding an event at CES 2021, kicking off on January 12 at 12 AM ET.
Graphics and CPU giant AMD has confirmed that it will have a presence at virtual CES 2021, with president and CEO Lisa Su holding a keynote address on January 12, 2021 at 11AM ET.
“During the keynote, Dr. Su will highlight AMD’s high-performance computing and graphics solutions portfolio and outline the company’s innovative vision for the future of research, education, work, entertainment and gaming,” AMD wrote on its website.
We’re guessing the company has more Ryzen goodness in store, so hopefully we see laptops getting some love in this regard. Don’t count out new GPU announcements either.
The US PC stalwart has already revealed a variety of wares ahead of CES proper, namely its latest Latitude laptops. Dell also announced a slew of monitors, as well as a couple of new Optiplex desktop machines.
We’re also expecting the Alienware division to come out swinging, if CES 2020 is anything to go on. Last year, Alienware announced several gaming monitors, a keyboard, and the M15 gaming laptop. However, we’d argue that the most interesting announcement was the Alienware UFO Concept, essentially being a PC in a Nintendo Switch-style form factor.
In other words, we’re expecting to see more gaming monitors, laptops, and peripherals. Wouldn’t it be cool if we got pricing and availability for the Alienware UFO Concept? I wouldn’t count on it given the concept trappings, but it’s an intriguing device nonetheless.
Veteran chipmaker Intel will be holding a couple of conferences at CES 2021, with the first taking place January 11 at 4 PM ET. This press conference will focus on Intel’s progress on “process technology, packaging and architecture” for the benefit of consumers and businesses. This sounds an awful lot like the company could announce a switch to a new manufacturing process.
The second presentation takes place January 12. Scheduled for 1PM ET, this one will focus on autonomous driving and Intel’s Mobileye subsidiary.
Graphics kingpin Nvidia made tech headlines late last year with its RTX 30 series GPUs, delivering a massive boost in graphical performance over the first generation RTX cards. It isn’t stopping here though, as company has announced the Geforce RTX: Game On event for January 12 at midday ET.
“Join us as we unveil the latest innovations in gaming and graphics,” reads a line about the event on the Nvidia website. We’re guessing that the firm will reveal the mobile versions of its RTX 30 series GPUs.
Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Gaming giant Razer is no stranger to CES, and it’s fortunately throwing its weight behind the virtual CES 2021 conference as well. The company will be streaming its event on January 12, 2021 at 1PM ET.
Last year, Razer announced the Kishi gaming controller, a 5G router, the Tomahawk gaming desktop, and an e-racing simulator concept. There’s no word on specific products to expect this year though. However, the Razer Twitter account noted that it will offer “innovative product unveils, exclusive content, a special guest appearance, and more.”
The veteran tech colossus is always a fixture at CES, and it’ll be at CES 2021 as well. Sony’s main conference will take place on January 11 at 5PM ET, with the firm only saying it will “showcase its innovations” at this event.
This isn’t the only Sony conference to expect though, as it’ll be holding a Bravia TV-related announcement on January 7 at 1PM ET. So those in the market for a high-end TV experience might want to check this out.
That’s all we know about CES for now. Be sure to bookmark this hub and check back regularly for updated info. Catch up on the best of last year’s event right here, as well as our roundup of everything that was announced at the show.