Top tech stories from CES 2017

All the biggest mobile stories from Las Vegas...
Top tech stories from CES 2017

Carphone Warehouse reports from CES 2017

Carphone Warehouse are live at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, scouring the halls and press conferences for news on the latest mobile tech trends. Here are our top five favourites so far.

Alexa is everywhere

The real star of CES 2017 has been Amazon Alexa. You can’t move ten steps without finding her integrated with another speaker, night-light or fridge.

Crafty Amazon worked out the system would become more popular - and earn the company a lot more money - if it was opened it up to developers. And those developers have really taken the bull by the horns. Even one of the Vegas strip’s top hotels, The Wynn, has announced that Alexa will feature in each of its rooms, where she’ll help you order room service and open and close your curtains.

The reason this is relevant to mobile tech is that Huawei announced the first phone to have Alexa built in, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro. This phablet size phone isn’t coming to the UK, however if you own a Huawei P9, it’s fair to say you can expect it as an update soon. And it will definitely be a feature of the P10, which we’re hopeful will launch at Mobile World Congress at the end of February.

Honor 6X

The mobile star of the show, in our opinion, is the very affordable, but spec heavy, Honor 6X. It’s the first low-cost phone to feature a dual camera on the back. In this case it has a 12MP and 2MP lens, and it can refocus shots once you’ve taken them. It’ll also do the fancy blurred background shots you find available on a lot of the high end handsets.

The battery is the real star of this handset. At 3,340mAh, you can get a good two days of reasonable usage out of the phone, which isn’t to be sniffed at.

Honor 6X will be available to order from Carphone Warehouse very soon.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor

If you’re a fan of flagships, then your next processor is going to be super speedy. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 was announced last year, but we didn’t have much detail to go on. Qualcomm has fleshed this out a bit more at CES, and we know it will have eight cores, that will run in a big.LITTLE configuration. The processor has shrunk by 35%, but has a performance gain of 20% with 25% faster graphics rendering.

That all adds up to extra multitasking capability, plus faster charging through USB-C and a much greater ability to display VR content without buffering.

Huawei VR headset

Speaking of VR, Huawei announced its first VR headset in a media event on Wednesday night. But rather than coming up with its own proprietary platform, the Chinese company has jumped on the Google Daydream bandwagon instead.

The new VR headset, known as Huawei VR, works specifically with the Mate 9 Pro, which, as we mentioned above, isn’t set to hit the UK. But it’s great news that Huawei is helping Google build on its excellent Daydream platform, rather than doing something different. The more manufacturers who jump on board, the more great content we can expect.

Sony Wireless ear buds

We’re great fans of Sony’s noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, the MDR-1000X. Available in brown and black, the noise-cancelling is excellent, and we particularly love the feature that lets you cup the right ear cuff to temporarily disable the noise-cancellation, in order to hear what’s going on around you. Take your hand away, and you’re transported right back into high quality, uninterrupted music.

Well, the good news is that Sony is bringing its noise cancelling prowess to earbuds now, too, showing off concepts and a behind the head solution last night at a press conference. We can’t wait to try them out.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned to The Lowdown for regular updates from CES 2017, as we’ll be in Vegas right through to Sunday.

Can't get enough of CES 2017? Check out our rolling blog right here to keep up to date on the latest news.

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