Monday is press event day at CES 2013, and that means plenty of big announcements from major companies such as Ford, Qualcomm and Sony. We also went hands-on with great new gear. Here are the top 10 stories of the day.
Sony Xperia Z Smartphone Plays Music Underwater
CES 2013 feels like Sony Mobile's coming out party. Though the electronics giant split from cellphone partner Ericsson in 2011, the newly single company had yet to really wow us with its handsets . . . until now. The new Sony Xperia Z combines current superphone staples like a 5-inch, 1080p screen and quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with high-end imagining and the ability to survive underwater without missing a beat.
Ford Announces In-Car App Developer Program
Ford is tapping into the nearly limitless app developer community to help bring more in-car apps to its vehicles with its Ford Developer Program. The initiative, announced at CES 2013, has the look and feel of a true Silicon Valley developer program. App creators develop their apps for either Android or iOS using Ford's SDK and submit them to the automaker for review. After passing review, the apps can be published in the relevant app store.
AMD Announces Radeon HD Mobile GPUs
Here at CES 2013, AMD announced the Radeon HD 8000M series of GPUs. There will be four lines; 8500M, 8600M, 8700M and 8800M. At the event we attended, AMD stated that these GPUs should start appearing in ASUS, Lenovo, Samsung and other notebooks in the coming weeks.
Polaroid Launches First Android-Powered Micro Four-Thirds Camera
One-upping the Samsung Galaxy Camera and the Nikon Coolpix S800C, Polaroid has launched the first micro four-thirds interchangeable lens camera that features built in Wi-Fi and Android.
Huawei Ascend Mate Hands-on: World’s Biggest Screen and Battery
The Huawei Ascend Mate is so big that we had to step back to fit it in the frame when shooting this phablet at CES 2013. At 6.1 inches, the Mate (coming to China in February and other markets thereafter) makes the iPhone 5 look like a Tic-Tac. It also has a much bigger 720p screen than the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II, although Huawei says it has a more compact screen-to-chassis ratio than competing phones.
Pantech Discover Hands-on: A Big-Screen Phone for the Masses
Big-screen phones used to be the sole domain of top-tier manufacturers like HTC and Samsung, but Pantech is flipping that paradigm on its head with its new 4.8-inch Discover. Available on AT&T starting Jan. 11, the Discover is about as budget-friendly as a smartphone can get, at $49.99 with a two-year contract.
Lexus Rolls Out Autonomous Vehicle Concept
Lexus and its parent company Toyota are jumping into the self-driving car race. The company announced at CES 2013 that it’s working on what it calls its Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle, which will serve as a launch pad for future autonomous vehicles.
Vizio 10-inch Tablet Hands-On: First With Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU
Less than 24 hours after Nvidia announced its new Tegra 4 processor–which promises twice the performance of the Nexus 10–Vizio showed off a prototype 10-inch tablet using that chip, the first we’ve seen here at CES 2013.
Ubuntu Mobile OS Hands-On Video: Sleeker, Faster, Prettier
Software company Canonical made waves recently with the announcement that Ubuntu, the popular open-source operating system, was making the leap to smartphones. But does the world need another mobile operating system? The folks at Canonical seem to think so. And after going hands-on with the latest build of Ubuntu Mobile during Pepcom at CES 2013, we tend to agree.
Qualcomm Debuts New Snapdragon CPUs
At Qualcomm’s CES 2013 Keynote, CEO Paul Jacobs announced its new Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 600 processors. We got a few demos, including a rendering of a fire-breathing dragon in a modern-looking game environment (pictured). Qualcomm claims that the 800 will deliver up to 75 percent better performance over the Snapdragon S4 processor, while the 600 will supposedly deliver up to 40 percent better performance compared to the S4.