Smartphones powering laptops and in-display fingerprint sensors: CES 2018 kicks off

Smartphones powering laptops and in-display fingerprint sensors have been demonstrated at CES 2018 [Image: beer5020 via iStock]

This week has seen the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) take place in Las Vegas. Kicking off on January 9th and concluding on January 12th, the show was full of new devices, technology and ideas.

Smartphones powering laptops

One of the most innovative ideas came from gaming company Razer. It demonstrated its new Project Linda, which allows a laptop to be powered by a smartphone. Although more work can be carried out on smartphones today, there are occasions when a larger keyboard and screen are useful.

This is why the company has developed a new laptop that allows a smartphone to be slotted into the trackpad area, which will automatically begin powering the computer. According to Android Authority, users will be able to “do everything you would do on your phone on this thing”. In addition, the chassis will charge the smartphone up to three times.

In-display fingerprint sensors demonstrated

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has become the first to produce a device with an in-display fingerprint sensor – a feature that had been rumoured for devices including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 and the Apple iPhone X.

Produced by Synaptics, the optical sensor is located between the OLED screen panel and the display glass. The company behind the technology said it is just as secure as any other sensor on the market, but that it may be marginally slower.

LG putting annual phone releases on hold

LG’s vice-chairman Cho Sung-jin informed attendees that his company would now only be putting out new smartphones “when it is needed”. This follows the release of two new devices in 2017 – the G6 and V30. Despite being very highly praised and well-reviewed by experts, the phones did not see significant sales volumes.

When asked about the G7, Mr Sung-jin said: “We will unveil new smartphones when it is needed. But we will not launch it just because other rivals do. We plan to retain existing models longer by, for instance, unveiling more variant models of the G series or V series.”

Honor announces a OnePlus 5T competitor

Huawei sub-brand Honor took the opportunity to present a new smartphone at CES 2018, the View 10. It features 5.99-inch Full HD+ display, Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor, 6GB of RAM, and dual 12MP and 20MP cameras.

These flagship specs might bring with them a high-level price. However, you can get your hands on the device for just £449, putting it in line with the OnePlus 5T, which starts at the same price and has been known as a flagship killer because of its high spec sheet.

Other CES 2018 smartphone announcements

One thing that had been expected by many for this year’s CES was the unveiling of Samsung’s Galaxy S9, which would follow up the hugely successful S8. However, this didn’t take place, with the company confirming that it would make the big reveal at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry unveiled a new colour variant of its KEYone smartphone. It will now come in bronze, as well as the standard black. More excitingly, the company’s senior vice president and general manager of mobility solutions, Alex Thurber, announced that 2018 would see the release of two new smartphones from the once dominant brand.

Sony also debuted a few new mid-range and entry-level devices. The Xperia L2 comes with a 5.5-inch 720p display, MediaTek MT 6737T chipset, 3GB of RAM and 32 GB storage. It features a 13MP rear camera, and comes in pink, gold and black. The XA2 and XA2 Ultra will provide users with a Snapdragon 630 processor and 3GB of RAM and 4GB of RAM respectively. They will both be powered by Android Oreo, the latest version of the operating system.