CES 2021: Latest announcements from LG, Samsung, and more
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.
CES 2021: All the best announcements
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’s 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. LG says a phone with this technology will launch sometime in 2021.
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.
LG QP5 Eclair revealed: A tiny soundbar that still delivers a decent punch? That’s what LG is promising with the Eclair, featuring 3.1.2 sound with Meridian tuning, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X support. There’s no word on pricing or availability yet though.
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.
Samsung Exynos 2100 mobile chips announced: The new Samsung Exynos 2100 mobile processor was revealed by Samsung, ahead of its Galaxy S21 phone reveal. This chip will power some international models of the S21, and will have Arm’s Cortex cores inside instead of cores designed by Samsung itself. It will have one Arm Cortex-X1 core clocked at 2.9GHz, three Cortex-A78 CPU cores at 2.8GHz, and four Cortex-A55 cores running at 2.2GHz. It will also have an integrated 5G modem, support for up to 200MP cameras, and will be 30% more powerful than the older Exynos 990 chip.
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. TCL also showed off a prototype phone with a rollable display that can go from 6.7-inches to 7.8-inches.
New TCL TVs with Google TV: TCL has announced its 2021 TV lineup. It will include smart TVs with Android TV installed, and the 2021 models will include the new Google TV UI. Also, all of its affordable 6-series TVs will include 8K resolution. TCL will also launch its first 85-inch TVs, under the XL Collection brand, with three models to choose from.
Sony always has some cool reveals during CES, and 2021 is no exception. In addition to new TVs and its 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite software, the company has announced its first flying drone.
Here are some of Sony’s big CES 2021 announcements:
Sony Airpeak drone announced: While the company is still keeping hardware specs a secret, we do know the Airpeak drone has been designed for commercial use. Specifically, the quadcopter is made for high-end aerial photography and can fly with one of Sony’s Sony’s Alpha cameras. It’s currently accepting applications for collaborators to help fine-tune the drone’s specs. The Airpeak is currently scheduled for launch sometime in the spring of 2021.
Sony’s 2021 Bravia TVs will include Google TV: Sony introduced its 2021 lineup of Bravia TVs. They all use the Android TV OS, and Sony announced they will also get the Google TV UI that’s currently available on the Google Chromecast with Google TV streaming dongle. The new models will go all the way up to 100 inches and will be available in 8K LED, 4K OLED, and 4K LED TVs versions. They will also have the new XR processor inside for better image quality, along with HDMI 2.1 support. We don’t yet know the pricing of these new TVs.
360 Reality Audio Creative Suite announced: Sony’s 360 Reality Audio now has a software plugin that will allow music artists to create tunes using the 360-degree audio standard with popular digital audio workstations. It will be made available by the end of the month. Also, Sony says that 360 Reality Audio supported speakers should launch sometime this spring.
Intel has used CES 2021 to reveal some new PC processors, including some new mobile chips for gaming laptops. It also offered a preview of its next-generation desktop chips that are coming later this year.
Here’s what Intel has announced so far at CES 2021:
11th Gen Intel Core H35-series mobile processors: Intel’s newest chips for laptops are made for ultraportable notebooks for better gaming performance. They will include the high-end Intel Core i7 Special Edition 4-core processor with clock speeds of up to 5GHz. Over 40 laptops from various PC makers will be sold with these chips inside by the first half of 2021. Intel also revealed an 8-core mobile processor that will start shipping to PC makers later this quarter.
“Rocket Lake-S” and “Alder Lake” platforms previewed: Intel briefly previewed two upcoming processor platforms. The “Rocket-Lake-S” 11th Gen Intel Core S-series desktop processors will be made for high-end gamers and enthusiasts later this quarter, let by the flagship Intel Core i9-11900K chip. Intel also showed a preview of its “Alder Lake” mobile processors, which will combine high performance with high efficiency. Those chips will launch in the second half of 2021.
Mobileye self-driving car announcements: Intel also gave an update on its Mobileye technology that’s being used in experimental self-driving vehicles. It uses an inexpensive camera as the car’s main sensor in tandem with a second sensing system to map up to 1 billion kilometers of roads so far. Later in 2021, Mobileye vehicles will be driven in Detroit, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Paris, with New York City planned as well, pending regulatory approval. A new lidar system-on-chip will officially launch for cars in 2025.
Razer is a perennial CES attendee, and the virtual CES 2021 was no different. The company offered new Razer Blade laptops, as well as a rather interesting gaming chair concept.
Here are some of the firm’s biggest announcements:
Razer Blade laptops with RTX 30 series graphics: The gaming-focused brand launched refreshed Blade 15 and Blade 17 Pro laptops at CES, packing RTX 30 graphics (up to RTX3080) and 1080p/360Hz, QHD/165Hz, or 4K/120Hz displays. These notebooks ship with 10th generation Intel Core H series chips, up to 1TB of SSD storage, and up to 32GB of RAM — but at least you can upgrade the RAM and storage.
A gaming chair concept with fold-out OLED display: The company has a penchant for showing off concepts at CES and this year saw two concepts. The most eye-catching one was its Project Brooklyn gaming chair with a 60-inch fold-out OLED screen. It also revealed a face mask concept with a built-in mic for clearer speech and (of course) RGB lighting.
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.
Honor Band 6 launches, costs just $35: Whatever Honor releases, you can rest assured knowing it’s probably the best you can get for the money. That’s especially true for the new Honor Band 6, a big-screened fitness tracker that costs only $35.
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.
Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear monitors make their debut: Winning one of our CES 2021 Top Picks Awards, the Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear monitors run on a slightly different version of Sennheiser’s 7nm Extra Wide Band transducers to deliver accurate audio. They have ergonomic flexible ear hooks to keep the ‘buds stable while keeping you comfortable, too. They’ll retail for $300 on January 19.
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: JLab 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.
Anker launches Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro: Anker is taking eyeing the AirPods Pro with its Liberty Air 2 Pro, packing active noise cancellation, up to 26 hours of juice with the case, and three hours of juice off a 15 minute charge. The case also supports Qi wireless charging and USB-C charging. Expect to pay $130 for these buds, and they’re available right now.
1More announces ComfoBuds with a somewhat familiar design: Prominent audio company 1More revealed ComfoBuds true wireless earphones, and they look like AirPods with a couple of tweaks here and there. These buds offer touch controls, an IPX5 rating, Bluetooth 5.0, AAC support, and four hours of playback (plus 14 hours more via the charging case). It all sounds pedestrian, but they’re available to purchase at a promotional price of $50 (regular price: $59.90).
V-Moda M-200 ANC are solid AirPods Max competitors: V-Moda’s new high-end consumer headphones are rugged, customizable, and also come with a 3.5mm cable and a USB-C-to-USB-C cable for charging as well — two things that the AirPods Max don’t have in the box. You can pick up your pair in March 2021 for $499.
TCL Moveaudio S600 true wireless earbuds announced: TCL added a new entry into its true wireless earbuds offerings with the Moveaudio S600. While they are more expensive than other ‘buds in TCL’s lineup, they at least feature Bluetooth 5, ANC, an IP54 rating, and over 30 hours of battery life.
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:
Dell launches new Latitude laptops: Veteran player Dell had a slew of laptop announcements before CES even got underway properly, with its business-focused Latitude notebooks getting 11th generation Intel chips. The new Latitude models include new Latitude 5000 series devices, new 7000 series options, and the Latitude 9420. You’re also getting Wi-Fi 6 or 6E, Intel or GeForce MX graphics, and optional cellular connectivity.
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.
Lenovo announces lots of new ThinkPad devices: Lenovo released a slew of new ThinkPad computers at CES, but the star of the show is the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga. It’s thin at just 11mm, has a 2K 13.5-inch display, Wi-Fi 6, 5G support, and of course a 360-degree hinge. It will cost $1,899 when it launches later this month.
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 AMD 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.
Acer launches five new laptops: Veteran player Acer had more than just a Chromebook on show, as it announced a slew of new laptops in general. The Predator Helio 300 and Triton 300 SE are the main attractions here, packing 11th generation Intel Core processors, and Nvidia GeForce RTX3080 and RTX3060 graphics respectively. But gamers on a budget can also look forward to the refreshed Nitro 5 laptop, available in either Ryzen 9/RTX3080 or Intel/GTX flavors. Otherwise, Acer also refreshed its Aspire 5 and Aspire 7 lineup.
HP launches new Envy 14 laptop and Elite Folio 2-in-1 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.
AMD introduces Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors: The US chipmaker announced that its Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 series processors would be coming to laptops, featuring the 7nm manufacturing process and up to eight cores. Its event covered three processors, namely the Ryzen 9 5900HX, Ryzen 9 5980HX, and Ryzen 7 5800U. All three processors sport eight cores and 16 threads, and 20MB of cache. But the HX chips also sport 45W+ TDP and 4.6GHz or 4.8GHz clock speeds respectively. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 7 5800U offers a 15W TDP and 4.4GHz clock speeds. Expect the first laptops with Ryzen 5000 series chips to debut next month.
Nvidia launches RTX3060 GPU, new laptop GPUs: Nvidia is going from strength to strength, and it announced the RTX3060 GPU at CES, being marketed as a follow-up to the venerable GTX1060 graphics. In the market for a new gaming laptop? Then it also announced that its RTX 30 series is coming to laptops, with RTX3060, RTX3070, and RTX3080 notebooks coming in late January/early February.
Asus reveals new ROG gaming notebooks: Asus has joined the likes of Acer, Razer, and others in offering gaming laptops at CES, launching three new models at the show. The top-end variant is the ROG Strix Scar 17, packing a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, RTX3080 graphics, up to 64GB of RAM, and a 360Hz display. Go a step down and we’ve got the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, featuring a second screen above the keyboard, an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics. Finally, the ROG Flow 13 is the lowest end device of the lot, which can be equipped with up to a Ryzen 9 5980HS CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU.
Asus announces fanless Chromebox, new Chromebooks: Need a compact desktop Chrome OS offering? That’s where the new fanless Chromebox from Asus comes in, offering a router-like form factor, Celeron to Core i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of eMMC storage or 256GB SSD. Asus also announced two Chromebook Flip models in the CX5 and CX9. Both feature 360 degree hinges, but the former is made for consumers while the latter has enterprise use in mind (complete with Titan C security). Otherwise, expect up to 11th generation Core i7 power and Xe graphics for both models, as well as Wi-Fi 6, and unfortunately a 720p webcam.
Asus launches new ZenBooks: The Asus announcements don’t stop there, as the company also revealed refreshed ZenBook models. The headline option is the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED, packing a second screen above the keyboard and a 4K main screen. The new laptop is a beast under the hood too, packing a Core i9 chip, 32GB of RAM, and RTX3070 graphics.
Alienware updates M15, M17 laptops: Yes, another gaming-focused computing brand had wares to reveal at CES, with Alienware refreshing its M15 and M17 laptops. Expect RTX 30 series graphics and up to 4TB of storage. The company also had a desktop on offer, as it announced the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10. This machine gives you the option of AMD’s latest Ryzen 5000 series CPU all the way up to the Ryzen 9 5950X CPU, along with either the Radeon RX 6800 XT or Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series GPU. Toss in up to 128GB of RAM and up to 4TB of storage and you’ve got a very capable platform in theory.
MSI launches plenty of powerful notebooks: MSI had a slew of capable laptops on offer, and all feature RTX 30 series graphics and Wi-Fi 6E. Prominent devices include the GE76 Raider Dragon Edition (RTX3080, Core i9), GS66 Stealth (with support for up to 300Hz IPS display), and the GP76 and GP66 notebooks (including Core i7 and RTX3080)
LG UltraFine OLED Pro monitor announced: Need a premium monitor for creative work or just for fun? You might want to consider the latest UltraFine screen by LG then. This 4K monitor delivers a 31.5-inch screen size, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and 99% coverage of the DCI-P3 and the Adobe RGB color spaces.
2021 Honor MagicBook Pro announced: Honor announced the MagicBook Pro at IFA last year, but it’s releasing a new version this year that it hopes to bring to the US and India. Just one downside: the 2021 laptop trades its Ryzen 4600H processor and Vega Radeon RX Vega 6 GPU for a 10th-gen Core i5 10210U CPU and NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU.
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
- Anker’s latest wireless charger could deliver on the AirPower dream
- Cowin’s new soundbar and headphones bring features on a budget
- Zhiyun’s latest gimbal can handle your giant DSLR camera
Awards and roundups
- CES 2021 Top Picks Awards: The best new products and announcements
- The best new wearables from CES 2021
- The best new smartphones from CES 2021
- The best new TVs from CES 2021
- The best new audio products from CES 2021
- The best new smart home products from CES 2021
- The best tech innovations from CES 2021
- The best new gaming products from CES 2021