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Technology What CES 2020 taught us about this year's phones: Cheaper foldables, 5G and more

18:32  13 january  2020
18:32  13 january  2020 Source:   cnet.com

5G phones as cheap as 4G phones won't come fast: This needs to happen first

  5G phones as cheap as 4G phones won't come fast: This needs to happen first Despite hurdles, the wheels are in motion to make the world's fastest 5G phones easier to afford.That's because the phones and wireless networks that take advantage of blazing 5G speeds cost billions to build, and that price trickles down to you. The Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro sets the blueprint for cheap 5G phones, at $520, but it won't sell in the US. The cheapest 5G handset you can get in the US costs $840, with prices skyrocketing to $1,300 for phones like the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G. Samsung's Galaxy Fold 5G costs over $2,000. (The new $1,500 Motorola Razr is 4G-only.

Phones at CES 2020 : Cheap , shiny, 5 G and concepts. At CES , TCL showed us a working prototype of a foldable phone that' s designed to cost less than the Motorola Razr. 5 G data has a huge implication for gaming, promising far more immersive and sophisticated graphics through the

The phones of CES weren't many , but they were informative, hinting at important trends we 'll see in Typically, the CES showing settles on midrange devices, but this year also brought us some Cheaper foldable phones are coming. The Motorola Razr costs ,500. The Galaxy Fold is ,000.

The phones of CES weren't many, but they were informative, hinting at important trends we'll see in 2020 -- including cheaper applications of 2019's most expensive features. Typically, the CES showing settles on midrange devices, but this year also brought us some interesting concepts to chew over, and a realistic look at what we can expect.

a desktop computer sitting on top of a table: This OnePlus concept phone looks gorgeous from the front and has a peek-a-boo camera on the back. Angela Lang/CNET© Provided by CNET This OnePlus concept phone looks gorgeous from the front and has a peek-a-boo camera on the back. Angela Lang/CNET a desktop computer sitting on top of a laptop© Angela Lang/CNET

This isn't unusual. Phone makers are far more likely to save their whiz-bang features and high-powered specs for Mobile World Congress , the world's largest mobile show, which takes place Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona.

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This year at CES , we expect to see actual production models with the technology. Over the years , CES has morphed into something akin to an international auto show , with a dozen different To fold a device is not new; a lot of us spent our formative years snapping flip phones shut, which, technically

Annual tech trade show CES 2020 has seen the introduction of a variety of new smartphones, so we 've put We 've made a list of the six best phones we saw at CES 2020 , and we 'll This is a forecast for 2020 as it seems many more companies could try to produce 5 G phones that are cheap enough for

Until then, soak up the hints at what's to come, including a concept for a peek-a-boo camera that disappears from view when you're not using it.

Phones at CES 2020 so far: Cheap, shiny, 5G and concepts

Cheaper foldable phones are coming

The Motorola Razr costs $1,500. The Galaxy Fold is $2,000. And the Huawei Mate X is $2,400. Foldable phones are anything but cheap.

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It' s not going to wow you, but the fact that a cheap foldable phone concept already exists at CES 2020 is fairly stunning. Streit, the Chinese company' s global marketing manager, reminded us that this attractive price ceiling includes 5 G smartphones. The TCL 10 5 G for under 0 sounds surprising

The annual CES electronics show in January taught us that cheaper foldable phones are coming, 5 G prices are dropping and camera elements are If 2019 was the year of seeing foldable phones come to life, then 2020 is about determining if phone screens that bend are a potential future or a

Foldable phones are an emerging category that shakes up an otherwise static world of phones by bending the display in half. The high cost of research and development and new manufacturing techniques make these early foldable designs at least double the cost of their 4G counterparts. The "privilege" of owning a cutting-edge device may also contribute to the price.

But the high price of these first foldables means that few people will actually be able to buy one. Lowering the price will also mean lowering the barrier to ownership, which foldable phones need if they're going to stick around.

At CES, TCL showed us a working prototype of a foldable phone that's designed to cost less than the Motorola Razr. It features a 7.2-inch display and three rear cameras and will support 5G .

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At CES , the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas this week, the carriers are insisting that AT&T and Verizon say they expect their 5 G networks to be accessible nationwide this year . In the simplest terms, 5 G is a new cellular standard. Phone carriers have jumped to a new wireless standard

Watch more than 80 conference sessions from CES 2020 , including all keynote presentation. The CES conference program spotlights technology' s most influential leaders as partners and speakers, sharing insights on premiere technologies and what will continue to redefine the industry in the future.

We also learned that Samsung's next foldable phone, which is rumored to cost $850, could be called the Galaxy Bloom.

TCL's new foldable, a $500 5G phone and this gorgeous Galaxy S10 clone

5G phone prices are already dropping

5G phones aren't as expensive as foldables, but they still cost more per device than 4G handsets with the same specs. The same rule also applies to the faster 5G data technology -- cheaper 5G options will get more people using these devices.

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And for carriers, the faster data speeds could translate into more profits as customers use more data per person.

For phone buyers, it's just nice to have more affordable ways to get 5G speeds. Enter the TCL Pro 5G for under $500, the CoolPad Legacy for $400 and Verizon's plan to sell 20 5G phones in 2020, including some that cost less than $600. Compared to the $1,300 Galaxy Note 10 5G, that's a pretty good deal. Just expect trade-offs in the features department.

Cameras continue to be a design element

Camera tech has always been essential for phones, but even the look and placement of the lenses elicit strong opinions.

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite and Galaxy S10 Lite both feature square and rectangular black camera mounts respectively, mimicking the Google Pixel 4 . Some industry watchers think that Samsung is taking the bold road to counter the iPhone 11 , whose large, protruding cluster of rear lenses makes Apple's phone immediately identifiable.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the OnePlus Concept One phone uses an electrical current to either hide or reveal the phone's multiple cameras on its back. The concept is to make the phone look sleeker, especially at a time when camera lenses are proliferating.

The 5 biggest tech trends from CES 2020

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Gaming phones continue to carve a niche

Phones aimed at gamers have made up a small but steady contingent of handsets. 5G data has a huge implication for gaming, promising far more immersive and sophisticated graphics through the kind of on-the-fly rendering that can be achieved through 5G's increased data delivery.

Processors, too, are getting into gaming, with the Snapdragon 765G, a midrange chipset that's specifically made for gaming phones. And more phone makers are set to embrace displays with 120Hz refresh rates for smoother animations.

The Black Shark 2 Pro has neither of the first two things, but it's still possibly the best gaming phone we've seen, complete with a case that makes it work a little like the Nintendo Switch . A helpful gaming mode also makes this handset specifically geared toward gaming, rather than a mainstream phone that's powerful enough to play long sessions of resource-heavy games.

CES may be over, but for phones, the year is just beginning.

This story originally published last week.

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