With Mobile World Congress taking place next month, CES is never as phone-heavy as one might expect. That said, this year certainly served up some interest for those mobile minded. Almost as big as the excitement of the show itself was Google's announcement of the Nexus One a few days before. Strictly speaking, that means it's not a CES 2010 phone. So, for our rich coverage - photos, comparisons, questions and news - on that one, head over here.
As for Vegas, it was Android who got the biggest showing with at least five phones running Google's OS seen on the show floor for the very first time. There was a glimpse of the, so far, China-only Lenovo LePhone with it's high specs, QWERTY dock and perhaps slightly misjudged custom UI. The LG GT540, on the other hand, was a take on the simpler side of Android with a social network specialised handset designed as an entry-level smartphone.
The HTC Smart was also launched on a similar tip, only this time it was with the popular Sense UI on top of the CES 2010-announced Brew OS by Qualcomm, who is showing it does more than just make chips.
Elsewhere, we got a look at the world's first dishwasher-safe phone - Palm quietly updated both the Pre, Pixi and webOS, and poor old Sony Ericsson had to ditch the name "Nexus" for the Xperia X10 interface for rather unfortunate and obvious reasons of getting swamped by a certain other handset. But, the real movers and shakers for us were as follows:
Star of the Show: LG GW990
- Intel Moorestown
- Linux-based Moblin 2.1
- July-Dec 2010
Pushing the boundaries of just how big a smartphone can get was the LG GW990. The system-on-the-chip Moorestown processor gives this mobile internet device the power to run a 1024 x 480 resolution full touch display and provides 4G LTE connectivity for whenever the mobile infrastructure is ready to provide it. It's got a nice, big 16GB of internal storage, a healthy whack for RAM and is definitely something to look forward to when it arrives on the streets.
Future Flier: Telepooch
No buttons, all gesture controlled and slightly bonkers, the Telepooch proof of concept may not be the one you want to save up for, but it has to be rewarded for pushing the boundaries and possibly even providing inspiration for phones in the future. All you need is a display, a 2G radio and a bunch of accelerometers. The text messages are voice controlled.
Top of the Flops: LG Lotus Elite & Rumour Touch
Dual 2.4-inch QVGA screens, microSD up to 32GB, dedicated shortcut keys, and a 2-megapixel camera is about as exciting as these things get. These phones could have been made in 2003. All LG has done is find yet another designer label to partner with. Most companies are at it, so no particular curse on LG, but aren't we all rather sick of these? Do people even still buy them? Unfortunately, the answer to both is probably yes.
The Best of the Rest
Dell Mini 5
If the Texas computer giant had actually told anyone what this phone-come-tablet can do, then we all might be a little more impressed, but they haven't. And we aren't. It certainly looks swish, has a 5-megapixel camera plus an extra snapper too, and it runs Android 1.6. That's about it for now.
Baffling design but nice looking idea with its flip-around QWERTY and underside touch pad controlling the screen. There's a 5-megapixel camera, Android 1.5 and Motoblur on top of that too.
Another slightly nuts concept here. Squeezable sides add another way to interact with your handset as well as possible touchscreen and QWERTY interfaces. Interesting idea we'll see more of at MWC.
Mophie iPhone credit card reader & FLO TV
Watching a man swipe his credit card on the bottom of his phone is just the kind of stuff the future is made of - until we dispense with such pathetic backward ideas as magnetic strips, cards and possibly even hands one day. On top of that, there's a case from the company with a TV tuner included too. Very nice indeed.
So which was your favourite and what will you be holding out for from CES 2010? Let us know in the comments.