The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest, most bonkers tech trade show in existence and it’s just wrapped up. Held in Las Vegas every year, companies of all sizes use it as an opportunity to give the world a glimpse into the future by unveiling some ludicrous and often mind-blowing new products.
While this year’s CES was still quieter than it was in 2020, with companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook (um, we mean Meta) pulling out of the in-person portion of the exhibition due to the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, we still eyeballed a fair few cool gadgets at the exhibition.
Of course, some of the weirdest and best products are just concepts, and may never see the light of day – hello BMW’s colour-changing car and LG’s wacky take on a Peloton bike – but that’s almost half the fun of CES. What would it be without an Apple Watch-style dog collar or an interactive smart chessboard?
Even if a cool bit of kit has a release date at CES, it’s either not being sold in the UK yet or won’t be coming out for a number of months. While that’s true for many of the flagship TVs and laptops that we’re dying to get our hands on (like the Sony A95K TV, the first OLED TV with quantum dot colour technology and the new minimalist Dell XPS 13 plus), it’s not the case for everything.
Thankfully, some gadgets have bucked the CES trend and are available to buy or pre-order in the UK right now. Want the latest bits of tech announced at CES? Keep on reading.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (or fan edition) was one of the first things the company announced at CES 2022, but with all the numerous leaks beforehand, it almost felt like we’d seen the handset already. Design wise, it looks very similar to the flagship Galaxy S21 from last year, sporting a smooth 120Hz display. On the inside, you’ll find the fan edition phone kitted out with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip.
On the rear, there’s a 12MP wide lens, a 12MP ultrawide lens and an 8MP telephoto lens, with Samsung opting for a 3x optical zoom rather than the digital zoom on last year’s flagship model. Specs wise, it seems like you’ll be getting a near-flagship 5G phone for a mid-range price tag. The previous S20 FE handset made it onto our round-up of the best 5G phones of 2021, and with some meaty spec upgrades, it might even make it onto our 2022 list, too.
Garmin announced two new smartwatches at CES 2022. The first is the venu 2 plus, a more premium follow up to the venu 2, which only launched last spring. The venu 2 plus has a 1.3in AMOLED display with a 416 x 416 resolution and unlike the venu 2, comes with a voice assistant, an in-built speaker and a microphone, so you can use it to take phone calls.
Everything else is the same, so you still get all the fab health tracking benefits found on the non-plus model. “We found it balanced advanced tracking for sports with all-day health monitoring well,” our writer said in their review of the Garmin venu 2. “Crucially, a lot of the health data collected and displayed is both useful and actionable, with personalised insights on how you can improve.”
The Garmin venu 2 plus comes in three colour variants – a silver-coloured bezel with a powder grey case; a cream gold bezel with an ivory-coloured case and a slate-stained bezel with a black case.
The second smartwatch announced by Garmin at CES 2022 was the vivomove sport hybrid, a new addition to the vivomove series, aimed at those who want a touch of class, as well as fitness smarts. As usual, it’s got a sleek analog display, as well as a hidden digital display that can be summoned at will.
The sport is the new entry-level vivomove smartwatch and is cheaper than the current vivomove 3. You can track how well you’re sleeping, your hydration levels and your menstrual cycle right from your wrist. It comes in four different colours – brown, white, mint green and black.
This year at CES, Jabra unveiled a cheaper pair of workout earbuds to its active range: the elite 4 active. The buds feature active noise cancellation and also come with Jabra’s HearThrough transparency mode, which is essential for running on the road. They’re also fully waterproof and dustproof, boasting an IP57 rating, and come in black, blue and mint.
The more premium elite active 75t earbuds made their way onto our round-up of the best running headphones, with our writer saying that Jabra has gone to a lot of effort to make sure its elite active earbuds are fit for purpose, starting with guaranteed inner-ear comfort and security, “whatever the training intensity”.
It’s the latest addition to Chipolo’s line of smart key finders, and like the Chipolo one spot – which made it onto our list of the best key finders – this tracker is designed specifically for iOS users. Shaped like a bank card, it’s just the right size for slotting into wallets.
The real selling point of the Chipolo card spot is that it can be added to the Apple Find My app, so if you’ve lost your wallet and it comes into contact with another iOS user, you’ll be notified of its location. The first batch of Chipolo card spot pre-orders have already sold out, with the next batch predicted to be dispatched in March.
Another smartwatch unveiled at CES 2022 was the sixth-generation falster smartwatch from Skagen, a subsidiary of Fossil. It runs on Wear OS, which we’re admittedly not the biggest fan of, but has a fast Snapdragon 4100+ processor with 41mm case.
There’s a 1.28in AMOLED display, 8GB of storage and a decent level of water resistance. You can get it in either silver, charcoal, rose gold or black.
Other CES 2022 gadgets to look out for
There are a few products that are already available for pre-order in the US, with UK pre-orders confirmed to follow shortly in the coming weeks. Chief among them is the Samsung Freestyle projector ($899.99, Samsung.com). It’s been touted as a projector, smart speaker and ambient lighting device rolled into one compact package. It weighs just 830g and the real highlight is that it can be rotated 180 degrees, so you can project content onto a table, a wall, the ceiling, the floor. The possibilities are endless.
A Samsung spokesperson says that we should be getting a UK pre-order date in the next few weeks. You can pre-register your interest to be the first to hear.
The Motorola MA1 wireless car adapter for Android Auto has a UK price but weirdly states that it is only shipping in the United States (£89.95, Motorolasound.com). It’s essentially a smart dongle that allows you to see your Android phone’s content on the display in your car. We’ll update this page as more products become available in the UK.
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