January 23, 2022

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Unlimited Technology

AP’s favorite products from the show

CES 2022 has just wrapped up in Las Vegas, and even with the show closing one day early due to COVID-19, there were a plethora of new gadgets on display. But let’s be honest: most of the products at these shows turn out to be bad. At the same time, there are some real gems. Here are the coolest products we’ve seen come out of CES 2022.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung’s latest “Fan Edition” phone wasn’t exclusive to CES, but it was definitely a big part of the show. We didn’t even know for sure Samsung would release the Galaxy S21 FE after months of conflicting reports, but the phone appears to be a worthy successor to last year’s S20 FE and could be one of the best Android phones out there for the price. It has most of what made the S21 a great device, but it clocks in at $100 less. Last year’s S20 FE was essentially unopposed in the world of upper-mid-range Android phones, but this year Samsung has the Google Pixel 6 to worry about.

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S21 FE hands-on (9)

The S21 FE has a 6.4-inch 1080p OLED at 120Hz, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The body is plastic, but the base S21 uses its fair share of plastic, and it still looks and feels like a premium piece of hardware. Samsung is launching the S21 FE with Android 12 and One UI 4, the same OS it recently rolled out to the S21 family. We’ve got an S21 FE in hand, and we’ll have a full review soon.

TCL NXTPAPER 10s tablet

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it does seem like Android tablets are having a moment. We’ve seen several surprisingly okay Android slates launch in the last few months, and the OS itself is getting a bit more friendly for large displays in Android 12 and 12L. TCL’s new NXTPAPER 10s might be coming along at just the right time. While this 10-inch tablet only has a 1080p resolution, it uses a transflective display and proprietary light polymerization tech to be easier on the eyes. The effect, according to TCL, is more like paper than a traditional LCD (although that’s what it is).


10S 6

Inside, the NXTPAPER 10s has a modest MediaTek MT8768E processor and 4GB of RAM. It supports an active stylus, which should provide a more comfortable paper-like writing experience, but it’ll be sold separately. This device will launch in China and Europe later this month, but there are no specifics on a US launch just yet. Fingers crossed.

Samsung Freestyle projector

I have been told that “the youths” like projectors. I don’t know enough about these creatures to confirm or refute that, but I bet anyone who likes projectors will think the Samsung Freestyle is pretty cool. It’s a can-shaped portable projector that can project an image up to 100 inches across at 1080p. The projector is smart enough to handle focus, leveling, and image alignment automatically. It even supports HDR10 and Dolby Digital Plus audio. That’s impressive for a portable projector, although it doesn’t have a battery, so you’ll need to use the USB-C port to supply power.


The-Freestyle_Product-KV_02-scaled

If you connect the Freestyle to a phone, it can mirror your screen and apps to help you watch video on a much larger display than you can fit in your pocket. If you’ve got a high-end Samsung phone, the Freestyle can even do DeX desktop mode. Samsung has the Freestyle priced at $899, which certainly seems like a lot. However, premium projectors like this never come cheap.

HyperX Clutch

Gaming hardware company HyperX announced its first wireless game controller, the HyperX Clutch, at CES. It’s aimed mainly at Android phones, but you can also use it with a PC via USB. The controller has a familiar X-box-like shape and button layout, making it ideal for Game Pass. Of course, it’ll be just fine for other game streaming services, as well as local games.


HyperX Clutch Wireless Gaming Controller face

The controller has Bluetooth 2.4, but the real selling point is 2.4GHz direct Wi-Fi pairing. That should help reduce the latency that so often limits Bluetooth accessories. The internal rechargeable battery keeps the controller going for up to 19 hours even with Wi-Fi, according to HyperX. It launches in the first quarter of 2022 for $50.

OnePlus 10 Pro

This is the first CES with the new and improved(?) OnePlus, which has been merged with Oppo to operate more like a sub-brand than a separate entity. The most prominent outcome of this move so far is the shift to Color OS-based Android software, which we have not liked thus far. Maybe the OnePlus 10 Pro will surprise us, though. Naturally, it will have the latest hardware, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and a wild 80W maximum charging speed via the new SuperVOOC standard. Yep, OnePlus doesn’t even get its own charger branding anymore.



OnePlus 10 Pro_Green Whole Phone

OnePlus hasn’t gotten around to completely revealing the phone yet—if anything did survive the Oppo merger, it’s OnePlus’ penchant for drama. So far, we’ve only seen the back of the phone in official renders, but reliable leaks have gone further. We expect this phone will be hefty with a 6.7-inch OLED panel, and a big honkin’ camera module on the back. OnePlus has a triple-sensor setup on the back, a 48MP, 50MP, and 8MP—OnePlus won’t say which one is which, but we expect it’ll be a 48MP primary (probably the same sensor from the OnePlus 9 Pro), a new 50MP ultrawide with a 150-degree field of view, and an 8MP telephoto of some sort. OP also promises even better results from its Hasselblad partnership, plus enhanced RAW capture.

Motorola MA1 Android Auto dongle

Wireless Android Auto is only available in a few cars, but some products have started to appear that claim to add this functionality. The results have been mixed, but now Google has thrown its weight behind one. The $90 MA1 from Motorola Sound is launching soon, and it might finally free your phone from the USB cable.



Motorola MA1 wireless Android Auto adapter

It’s basically a USB dongle that plugs into your AA-equipped vehicle. Rather than plugging in your phone, you pair with the MA1 and boom, wireless Android Auto. We’re going to be testing the MA1 soon, so keep an eye out for a review.

Samsung Foldable Concepts

I insinuated that a 100-inch screen doesn’t fit in your pocket, but that might not be true forever. Samsung showed off some impressive foldable concepts at CES 2022, some of which we’ve seen in patent breakdowns over the past year or two. The names of these concepts offer a clue as to how they’re different from current Samsung foldables. The Flex S is a tri-fold device that is about the size and shape of a smartphone when closed, but you can unfold it (like the letter S… or a lightning bolt) to get something tablet-sized. It looks like something out of Westworld.


The Flex G is also a tri-fold, but it folds inward. Imagine a straight line, and then bend it into a G. Now, keep bending until it’s a smaller flat line. That’s the Flex G. There were a few different versions of the Flex G, some of which have exposed screens when folded, and others that protect the screen internally like the Flip3. These are just concepts, but Samsung has shown it has the ability to sell foldables to consumers, even if they’re spendy. I for one cannot wait to see where these designs go.

2022 is gonna be something.


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