The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been showing off innovations in consumer tech since 1967. With exhibiting companies visiting from all over the world, there’s always something guaranteed to capture your attention.
For smartphone users who like to keep up with the latest mobile technology, CES also provides a sneak peak at the devices companies are planning to release. The smartphone trends that appeared at this year’s CES are likely to influence the industry — and fans’ wish lists — in a big way.
Here are three of the most exciting smartphone announcements you might have spotted making waves at CES 2019.
1. Samsung’s Gearing Up for 5G
One of the most anticipated pieces of news coming out of CES was Samsung’s 5G announcement. While at the show, the manufacturer announced plans to release its first 5G phone with Verizon, as well as two 5G phones with AT&T, in the first half of 2019.
The announcement brought many people to Samsung’s booth, where they hoped to get their hands on the prototype. Unfortunately, the 5G prototype wasn’t available for testing and stayed safely locked behind a glass case.
Though the prototype didn’t offer much insight as to what the phone will be like to use, Samsung’s 5G push got many attendees excited for other 5G phones and devices on the horizon.
If you just can’t wait to get a hold of Samsung’s new 5G phone, you might be in luck. Rumors suggest that the Galaxy S10, which is set to launch on February 20, may have a version with 5G capability.
2. New Features for Google Assistant
Smart speakers and other connected home appliances garnered a lot of attention at CES this year. The growing popularity of voice-activated devices has had a huge influence on phone manufacturers and other tech companies, as demonstrated by the large number of companies that announced support for various digital assistants on their devices.
One actual piece of smartphone-related news: Google announced several new features for its virtual assistant during CES. Android phone users will soon be able to use Google Assistant to respond to text messages in a number of apps, including WhatsApp, Messenger, SMS, Hangouts and more.
In addition, an upcoming update for Android phones will provide access to Google Assistant features without leaving the lock screen.
Google expected its assistant to be on one billion devices by the end of January, so it seems likely that we can expect more feature updates in the near future.
3. Folding Phones Coming Soon
Several phone manufacturers, including Samsung and Huawei, announced work on foldable smartphones in the last year. However, at CES, we got a closer look at a folding phone prototype from a lesser-known company. Royole was founded in 2012 and is dedicated specifically to flexible electronics.
While at CES, the company showed off the world’s first foldable smartphone to the public — the Royole Flexpai. With a rubber spine in the center, users can fold the phone shut, prop it up on a table or lay it flat to take advantage of the larger, tablet-sized screen.
Though Royole’s foldable phone still has some bugs to work out, it’s a definite step forward for flexible technology. If the Flexpai’s launch goes well, we could see more folding smartphones announced in the near future.
Get Ready for New Phones in 2019
CES 2019 brought plenty of exciting smartphone news, from folding displays to 5G. If you’re an early adopter, there’s a good chance you’ll find a new phone to pick up later this year.
Since new smartphones are also expensive, though, you might be looking for ways to lower the cost of an upgrade. At The Whiz Cells, we purchase a variety of used phones so you can get a new device without going broke.