The later you get into CES, the weirder it gets, and CES 2015 has been no exception to that rule. After the surprise revelation that Audi had an LG webOS smartwatch we had to wonder what else there could possibly be. Turns out there was still plenty of weird to be found at CES.
The latest from BLU Products includes one of the world's thinnest phones
For all of the LGs and Samsungs and Sonys, there's a dozen smaller manufacturers that surprise us. BLU Products isn't exactly a new company, but their new BLU Vivo Air caught us off guard — it's one of the world's thinnest phones, it doesn't have a stupid camera bump on the back, and it comes at an entirely-reasonable price tag of just $199. BLU has some other phones, sure, but none as audacious as the Vivo Air.
Typo now makes an iPad keyboard, and it's actually pretty decent
After making a splash with a keyboard for the iPhone 5 that mimicked the design of the BlackBerry Q10, and subsequently getting sued by BlackBerry, Typo turned around a redesigned Typo 2 that was compatible with the new iPhone 6. But more interesting was their iPad keyboard, which offers full-size keys in a style not unlike the Microsoft Surface, combined with a case containing a friction-hinge kickstand. Plus a crazy bit of software that lets you, in essence, run multiple apps at the same time on an iPad. It might not see the light of day, but it's really innovative thinking.
Razer turns out the best Android TV box so far
Android TV exists in a bunch of new TVs and in a few boxes, including the Nexus Player, but few Android TV boxes check all the right, uh, boxes like the new Razer Forge. Sporting a speedy processor, gobs of RAM and internal storage, and an all-too-rare Ethernet port, the Razer Forge just might be the Android TV box you've been waiting to buy.
Panasonic's 4K Toughpad is 20-inches of portable Windows
Windows tablets are nothing new, nor are 4K displays, but when you marry the two you get something magical. That's the Panasonic 4K Toughpad, bringing a 20-inch 4K touch display to the portable realm. It's a beast of a device, and at $6,000 it's certainly not cheap, but there's no denying that it's obscenely impressive.
Yota's coming to the US
Carrier relationships make all the difference in the world.
Still one of the most wild Android phones, the YotaPhone 2 and its dual-sided design are coming to the US. That's according to YotaPhone's US Managing Director, who said on CESlive that "one of the big four" US carriers (that'd be AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon) had agreed to carry the phone with the e-ink display back. When exactly it's coming to the US and how much the phone will cost in US dollars, that we don't yet know. YotaPhone 2 knows that bowties are cool
- The YotaPhone 2 is coming to a U.S. carrier, exec says
All the depth of field you could possibly want
Huawei's Honor 6 Plus isn't the newest phone, in fact it was announced well in advance of the show. But we finally got to get our hands on Huawei's latest, and it's actually a really nice device. Perhaps the coolest feature are the cameras on the back, with the ability to adjust the depth of field after the fact. It's the kind of feature we thought we would need something like the Lytro light field camera to pull off, but the Honor 6 does it surprisingly well. It also doesn't hurt that the rest of the phone is really quite good as well.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.