No ball pit this time, but there's a slot machine
Crazy new tech coming for your kitchen, shower, toilet, and everywhere else
Tech companies have their own events where they show customers and shareholders what they’ve been working on all year, but they also take part in annual industry conferences like MWC and SXSW where they’re still expected to give the public something interesting. With pressure to push the envelope, they get so busy asking if they can that they sometimes forget to ask if they should, and we end up with several sublimely strange gizmos to admire. So from streaming ovens to streams of urine, these are the quirkiest, funniest, and downright weirdest new gadgets we’ve seen at CES 2023.
The lineup also includes a camera with Power over Ethernet support
While more announcements are expected at CES 2023, we've been treated to some unique products already, ranging from new smart home products to smartphones and, my personal favorite, the Ring Car Cam. Another renowned producer of smart cameras, Reolink, was also in attendance at the annual electronics event, showcasing three new security cameras.
Welcome back to the strange world of CES tech
Nature is healing. After two years of cancelations, virtual booths, and uneasiness amidst the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, CES 2023 saw the world's biggest tech conference return to normal. Well, whatever counts for normal in the sprawling insanity of a tech show taking over Las Vegas for a week, anyway. While bizarre gadgets like urine analysis sensors and literal cutting board tablets may have captured the spotlights alongside a tidal wave of TVs and PCs, there were plenty of promising smartphones, Chromebooks, wearables and smart home gadgets revealed, too
Active Unlock will keep your phone unlocked when you wear your watch
For a long time, Google has offered the option to keep your Android phone unlocked with a trusted Bluetooth device around as part of Smart Lock. When used with smartwatches, this system comes with its issues, though. Your phone will stay unlocked as long as your smartwatch is connected, even when you’re not wearing it or when the watch itself is not unlocked. Google is looking to fix that with a new Active Unlock option, and the company used CES 2023 to showcase the new method.
The auto company won't let Google take over its infotainment system
BMW's reluctance to join Google's ecosystem ended in 2020, when it finally added support for Android Auto to some of its vehicles after relying on Apple’s CarPlay for many years. It even added support for wireless connections, making BMW one of the few auto companies to let drivers use Google’s dashboard without having to plug in. The automaker took things a step further last year when it confirmed that it would adopt Android Automotive, a version of Android designed to power cars from the ground up. At CES 2023, BMW shared more details about its plan to bake the platform into its infotainment system.
Meet Real Tone's hardware-level equivalent
Smartphone cameras are all about convenience and ease of use, but despite improving by leaps and bounds in recent years, most shooters are still imperfect. One of the most prominent issues remains dialing the white balance just right. Image processing software funnel solutions exist but a hardware-level solution would be more desirable. CES 2023 has shown us all sorts of exciting tech, including a new multispectral image sensor from Spectricity that promises to fix the issue for good.
Even if we are stuck with one color in the US
Budget phones have gotten awfully good over the past few years, but with few exceptions, they historically haven't been much to look at — most cheap phones wear their price on their sleeve. At CES 2023, though, Samsung announced its newest A-series phone, the Galaxy A14 5G. If you're a budget-conscious shopper eyeing an upgrade but you still want something with a little style, this is going to be one to watch — especially if you live somewhere other than the US.
After two months in beta, Google's new dashboard is here
It's been a long ride for the new Android Auto redesign. After initially leaking out way back in September of 2021 to an official unveil at last year's Google I/O, we've waited a long time to get our hands on this refreshed car-friendly UI. Today, after a two-month beta period, Google is taking to CES 2023 to announce Android Auto's new dashboard is coming to all drivers starting today.
We've got all the details on Razer's full CES 2023 lineup
2022 was a hell of a year for handheld gaming consoles, and while the aging Nintendo Switch did pick up some fantastic new releases, maybe the hottest action was taking place in the PC & Android space, especially when that came to cloud gaming. Devices like Valve's Steam Deck and the Logitech G Cloud dominated our attention, but in mid-October one of the biggest names in gaming hardware dropped a teaser for an upcoming handheld of its own: the Razer Edge. Based on the successful Razer Kishi controller accessory, we knew the Edge was coming out in 2023, but when? This year at CES 2023, I finally got to go hands-on with the Razer Edge, while also getting the details on those release plans, and checking out the rest of Razer's big CES hardware announcements.
Along with a new E-Ink tablet for taking notes on the go
If you haven't heard, big tablets are all the rage these days. Just as smartphones have continued ballooning in size over the last decade, Android tablets have continued to grow larger and larger, effectively becoming full-on laptop replacements through optional keyboard docks and styluses. Just a year after Samsung unveiled its own massive Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, another company has returned with its own spin on the concept. With a 14.5" display, the Lenovo Tab Extreme is destined to live up to its name.
Own a ThinkPad? This might be the smartphone you've been waiting for
Leave it to Lenovo to bring some mobile weirdness to CES 2023. While the wild west of smartphones is undoubtedly behind us — and the lack of LG and other OEMs isn't helping — we still see a few surprises every year that make us turn our heads and stare. Lenovo and Motorola's ThinkPhone isn't as weird as, say, a concept rollable that never sees the light of day, but compared to the usual lineup of phones from Samsung and Google, there's plenty here that might catch the attention of die-hard Android fans.
The company also announced the Ring Peephole Cam at CES 2023
Ring makes some of the best home security and outdoor security cameras for your smart home. Its cameras come in all shapes and sizes, allowing you to mount them anywhere you like in your home or office. With the Ring Car Cam, the company is now expanding its product lineup to vehicles for your greater peace of mind. Unveiled at CES 2023, the Car Cam features dual-facing cameras, allowing it to record the inside and outside of your car.
Ditching single-use plastic and using recycled plastic where necessary
As creators of pioneering technological change, big tech companies have the responsibility of minimizing their ecological footprint as well. Apple has a deadline for transitioning from Lightning connectors to USB-C, and giants like Google have already ditched single-use plastics from their packaging to a great extent. At the ongoing CES 2023 tech show in Las Vegas, Belkin announced its plan to go further, transitioning from virgin plastic products to more eco-friendly options.
These great-sounding Motorola earbuds are now sold separately
Motorola is best known for its low-cost and high-end smartphones, but the company is also making a name for itself in the audio space. Motorola Sound has been selling a line of low-cost wireless earbuds, with the Moto Buds 600 ANC being the company's most premium-looking model. However, when it first became available late last year, it was only available as part of a bundle with the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion. At CES 2023, the earbuds are finally getting their own spotlight, with Motorola announcing that the Moto Buds 600 will be available for purchase separately.
The Chromebook Vibe CX34 is rocking a 144Hz screen with an RGB keyboard and more
Asus made some serious waves at CES 2023 with a pair of strong ChromeOS offerings. Alongside a new Qi-enabled Chromebox 5, the Taiwanese company announced a beastly new Chromebook catered to the burgeoning cloud gaming market.
Alongside ANC-equipped over-ear headphones
CES 2023 is in progress, and we are seeing everything from great smart home products to intruiging smartwatches and TVs. Developments are also afoot in the consumer audio space — JBL has a few additions to its Tour product range. At CES, JBL announced an over-ear wireless headphone called the Tour One M2 alongside a true-wireless model, the Tour Pro 2.
The new soundbar series offers five new options with 3D and Dolby Atmos
JBL hit the sweet spot of true surround sound with the launch of the Bar 9.1 in 2020, offering a completely wireless, battery-powered speaker setup. It gave you the ability to place wireless rears in your room without running cables to rear speakers, making the soundbar a more convenient device to set up in your living room. JBL’s latest soundbar, unveiled at CES 2023, builds on that momentum with a quintet of Atmos-capable soundbars.
The company also unveiled a new handheld wet and dry cleaner at CES 2023
Roborock’s range of vacuums is usually on the higher side of the price spectrum, but its products easily make for our favorite robot vacuum cleaners on the market. At the ongoing CES 2023, the company unveiled its latest S8 series of robot vacuums that can clean your house as well as itself without your intervention. But if you like handheld cleaning, there’s a new Roborock product for that, too.
More details about their pricing and availability will be revealed later
Hisense TVs are known for providing the best of both worlds: features and value for money. At 2022's CES trade show, the company launched its first-ever ULED TVs running Google TV. Hisense is now taking things to the next level at CES 2023 with its latest TV lineup consisting of 14 mini LED TVs featuring a refresh rate of up to 144Hz and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. Building on last year's U8, the Hisense U8K's mini LED panel packs double the local dimming zone of its predecessor with a peak brightness of 2500 nits.
Google and Govee team up to show off the Light Strip M1 at CES 2023
Matter will likely be the topic for smart homes in 2023, and CES is already preparing us for a flood of new and excellent smart home devices with support for the interoperability standard. Govee is ready to jump on the bandwagon, and the company has teamed up with Google to announce and showcase the LED Light Strip M1, its first Matter-enabled lighting product created as part of Google’s Matter Early Access Program.