CES 2013 preview: phone and tablet launches

On Sunday your trusty Mobile Choice team is boarding a plane for Vegas, but not to gamble our life savings on back alley blackjack (again). It’s the massive annual Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2013, and all of the big smartphone and tablet manufacturers will be launching some cool new kit. From Sony’s new quad-core five-inch mobiles to Samsung’s bendy phone/tablet screens, we’ll be going hands-on with tons of super-shiny tech and bringing you the biggest news.

It all kicks off with massive launches from Sony, Samsung and Huawei on Monday 7th (expect our live coverage on this website as well as our Twitter account Monday evening UK time). We’ll then be elbowing our way through the massive CES show floor to get our mitts on the big new kit, up until Friday 11th.

Here's our full CES 2013 preview, and you can see our full collection of CES 2013 news and previews over at our CES 2013 hub


Sony Press Launch – Monday 7th, 5pm Vegas time (Tuesday 8th, 1am UK time)

While Sony hasn’t officially announced anything yet, we’re expecting the Japanese giant to reveal its latest smartphones, the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. Sporting five-inch 1080p screens (the biggest phone displays Sony has crafted), early leaks have also promised a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and a whopping 2GB of RAM for both phones, plus a supremely sharp 13MP Exmor RS camera.


Sony's new Xperia TXSony unveiled its Xperia T and TX at IFA, and we're expecting great things from the Xperia Z and ZL


If the specs really are the same for both phones as hinted, we can only assume that they will sport different designs and be released in separate markets. We’d be surprised if Sony didn’t have a couple of big reveals up its sleeve too – after all, Sony promised something to rival Apple’s iPhone...


Samsung Press Launch – Monday 7th, 2pm Vegas time (10pm UK time)

Can Samsung wow the world for a fourth time when it unveils the much-anticipated Galaxy S IV at CES? We’re imagining plenty of excited whoops will fly around the Vegas halls when we catch our first glimpse of the ‘game changing’ Full HD flexible/unbreakable screen, rumoured to be a gnat’s whisker under five inches. Expect a powerful processor and 13MP camera too.

We’ll probably have to wait until MWC in February for a look at Samsung’s enormous new phone/tablet (we hate the word ‘phablet’ and refuse to use it, apart from just then), the Galaxy Note III – this bad boy’s rumoured to pack a 6.3-inch screen, making it almost as large as the Google Nexus 7 and other full-on tabs.


Galaxy Note IISamsung's Galaxy Note II was the big launch device at IFA last year


Huawei Press Conference – Monday 7th, 1pm Vegas time (9pm UK time)

Huawei should be the next to unveil a Windows Phone 8 device, following on from Nokia, Samsung and HTC, with its Huawei Ascend W1 smartphone reportedly pushed back to an early 2013 launch. We’d expect to see it at CES, especially with a massive press conference planned for the first day of CES. We're also hoping to check out the ‘too powerful’ Android smartphone known as the Ascend D2, quoted as being too powerful by Huawei insiders. Must be a bit of a behemoth, and most likely priced out of most people's reach.



Although its Sunday press conference has bit the dust, we expect Asus to show off its full range of Windows 8 gear as well as the likes of the Padfone 2, which we’ve seen cheeky glimpses of at previous events. We're also hoping to see a new seven-inch tablet that will reportedly cost under £100 here in GB, rivalling Asus' own Nexus 7 Google tablet.



It looks like HTC's new flagship phone, leaked as the HTC M7, might be launching at CES too. Expect it to subtly improve on the HTC One X and One X+, with a projected quad-core 1.7GHz processor, and a 13MP camera (seems like a trend) sporting cool new features like super slow-mo capture.


HTC One X+HTC's One X+ is an incredible phone, and the new flagship HTC phone should be even better...


ZTE Press Conference – Tuesday 8th, 1.30pm Vegas time (9.30pm UK time)

Although better known for its value-packed phones, ZTE has confirmed to us that its premium Grand S mobile, allegedly the world’s thinnest Full HD 5-inch smartphone, will be launching on Tuesday afternoon. This ‘traditional Chinese style’ phone will be made of ceramic, and we’re looking forward to checking out the funky design and seeing just how slim it really is.



Acer pumped out a fair few tablets in 2012, as well as the CloudMobile smartphone. We’re expecting more mobile devices to emerge at CES, including at least one mini budget device. We’ll be heading to the Hard Rock to see what Acer has to offer.



NVidia’s impressively beefy Tegra 3 chipset powers plenty of powerful mobile devices (including the Nexus 7 by Asus and HTC’s One X+), turning them into mini gaming machines capable of outstanding feats. Which makes us salivate at the thought of the NVidia Tegra 4, which is due to be unveiled at Vegas. Expect mobile gaming to get even better...


Zombie Driver HDnVidia's Tegra 3 chipset produces some fantastic graphics, and of course uber-cool explosions



Showing off a host of new kit from its plush Venetian base, Lenovo should have some shiny tablets for us to play with, and possibly some laptop/tablet convertors.


LG Electronics

Although LG doesn’t appear to have any mobile launches planned for CES, focusing instead on its range of massive TVs, we’ll be dropping by its booth just on the off-chance we see something new.


And everything else

Polaroid should be showing off its new Android smart camera, which will take on Samsung’s Galaxy Camera. At the end of 2012 Archos announced its first dedicated Android gaming machine, the Archos GamePad, and we’re expecting to have a play at CES. Motorola has been completely quiet, while Nokia is unlikely to throw out anything new after its big pre-Christmas launches. Finally, Intel could be lifting the lid on a tablet, and we’re sure to see plenty of cool accessories and gadgetry at the massive ShowStoppers event on the Tuesday evening.

Between all of that and the all-you-can-eat buffets, our CES plates are pretty well stacked. Keep coming back all next week for photos and hands-on previews of the biggest smartphones, tablets and more, and follow us on Twitter to hear the biggest news as it happens. See you on the other side...


And a huge thanks to the kind folks at Sony for taking us out there!

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