New smartphones at CES 2021 Review

LG Wing CES 2021
LG Wing CES 2021

Despite the quarantine, virtual CES 2021 successfully unveiled innovative models in the consumer electronics segment. As usual, high-tech robot vacuums, smartphones, TVs, and smart gadgets have been in the spotlight.

The list of CES 2021 Innovation Awards laureates includes the following smartphones:

– LG Velvet 5G;

– LG Wing;

– Samsung Galaxy A51 5G;

– Galaxy Z Flip 5G;

– Galaxy Note20 5G/Note20 Ultra 5G;

– Asus ROG Phone 3;

– OnePlus 8 Pro;

– TCL 10 5G UW;

– Royole FlexPai 2.

LG smartphones

It’s no secret that LG’s smartphone division has been experiencing great difficulties for over 5 years. For example, in 2020, its operating loss was more than $ 700 million, increasing the cumulative loss to $ 4.5 billion over the past five years. Basically, these problems are driven by the tremendous progress of the Chinese giants, which have raised the competition level to the maximum, annually offering a huge number of relatively affordable high-quality smartphones in all price segments. Of course, the refusal of one of the innovative leaders from this direction will hardly be useful for the pace of its development. But the management of the company does not give up, continuing to develop and annually propose new concepts.

The North Korean giant has unveiled three new models, including the LG Velvet 5G, LG Wing and LG Rollable smartphones.

As known, LG first announced the Velvet 5G on May 7 last year.

LG Velvet 5G
LG Velvet 5G

Velvet with 6.8-inch Full HD + (2340 × 1080) OLED screen uses an 8-core 7nm Snapdragon 765 processor (1 × 2.4 GHz & 1 × 2.2 GHz Cortex-A76, and 6 × 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) with Adreno 620 GPU, 48-megapixel camera with flash, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle module and 5-megapixel sensor. RAM and internal memory are 8 GB and 128 GB, respectively. 4300mAh fast charging battery supports 10W wireless charging.

The CES jury noted its stable work in 5G networks, excellent 3D sound and stereo speakers. The price in South Korea reaches $ 735. Traditionally for flagships, its protection against water and dust meets the IP68 standard.

LG Wing swivel

LG Wing with Gimbal Mode was released in September last year. Of course, swivel form factor has become its key feature.

LG Wing swivel
LG Wing swivel

The upper part can rotate relative to the lower one, occupying a perpendicular position when opened. Of course, this mode dramatically improves usability when using a smartphone while shooting and viewing.

6.8- inches P-OLED screen with ~ 87.0% screen-to-body ratio and with ultrawide FHD 1080 x 2460 resolution (~ 395 ppi density) has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

Secondary 3.9-inches G-OLED display has 1080 x 1240 resolution. Model uses octa-core 7nm Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G chipset (1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold, and 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver) with Adreno 620 GPU.

Specs of its triple-camera:

– 64 MP, f / 1.8, 25mm (wide), 1 / 1.72 “, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS;

– 13 MP, f / 1.9, 117˚, (ultrawide), 1 / 3.4 “, 1.0µm;

– 12 MP, f / 2.2, 120˚, (ultrawide), 1 / 2.55 “, 1.4µm.

Internal memory includes 128GB + 8GB RAM or 256GB + 8GB RAM.

Its price exceeds $ 1,000. Despite the flattering reviews from experts, the company has sold about 100 thousand of these smartphones to date.

LG Rollable

At CES 2021, the company announced a rollable smartphone, which has been in development for over two years.

lg rollable ces 2021
lg rollable ces 2021

But LG is not the pioneer of this idea. For example, TCL introduced two concepts last year, including TCL trifold foldable and rollable phones.

TCL trifold concept
TCL trifold concept

TCL rollable smartphone concept
TCL rollable smartphone concept

But today this concept is still far from mass production.

Rollable Oppo X 2021 was announced last November.

Oppo X 2021 rollable
Oppo X 2021 rollable

Unfortunately, the company does not comment on the timing and prospects of launching it into mass production.

Unlike the dual-screen Galaxy Z Fold 2, the LG Rollable’s only screen has a traditional size, which can be extended to a mid-tablet. Like the TCL concept, its design eliminates screen crease, which is a significant plus of the model. Given the company’s unique experience in developing rollable TVs, this mechanism will be quite reliable. Perhaps the company will provide more details on the model in the summer in Barcelona at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2021.

Theoretically, this year the range of phones can expand due to a new segment of rollable models, which are actually a hybrid of a smartphone with a tablet.

Samsung Galaxy A51 5G and Z Flip 5G

Released on April 8, 2020, the budget Galaxy A51 5G has become an improved version of the popular A51.

Samsung Galaxy A51 5G
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G

List of improvements:

– performance is 81% higher (benchmark AnTuTu);

– battery 4500 mAh vs 4000 mAh;

– more energy efficient Exynos 980 CPU vs Exynos 9 Octa 9611;

– single-core GeekBench 5 benchmark is 2x faster (706 vs 354).

But the previous A51 can run Android 11, weighs 15 grams less, and its front camera supports 4K video.

Other specs have not changed. Both models use 6.5-inches Super AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 resolution (405 ppi) and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, and a four-module camera (48 MP + 12 MP + 5 MP + 5 MP). Depending on the price, the A51 5G could outperform the previous A51 in popularity.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5G has a 6.7-inch folding screen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Other specs are in line with the flagship, including a Snapdragon 865+ processor, internal storadge of 256GB and 8GB RAM. But the company promises a significantly improved version of this model this summer.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G/Ultra 5G

Models were unveiled in August last year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G & Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G & Ultra 5G

Ultra received S Pen stylus with five new gestures and lower latency (9 ms vs 26 ms).

The Note 20 uses a 6.7- inches Super AMOLED Plus (HDR10+) screen with 1080 x 2400 resolution (~ 393 ppi) and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

Ultra has a 6.9- inches 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X (HDR10+) display with 1440 x 3088 resolution (~ 496 ppi) and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection.

Models use 7 nm+ octa-core Exynos 990 (2 x 2.73 GHz Mongoose M5 & 2 x 2.50 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4 x 2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) with Mali-G77 MP11 GPU or 7 nm+ octa-core Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (1 x 3.0 GHz Kryo 585 & 3 x 2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 585) with Adreno 650 GPU for the US market.

Samsung offers 128GB & 8GB RAM or 256GB & 8GB RAM for 20 5G and 128GB & 12GB RAM or 256GB & 12GB RAM or 512GB & 12GB RAM for Ultra.

Camera

20 5G:

– 64 MP, f / 2.0, 27mm (telephoto), 1 / 1.72 “, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x hybrid zoom;

– 12 MP, f / 1.8, 26mm (wide), 1 / 1.76 “, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS;

– 12 MP, f / 2.2, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide), 1 / 2.55 “, 1.4µm

Ultra:

– 108 MP, f / 1.8, 26mm (wide), 1 / 1.33 “, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS;

– 12 MP, f / 3.0, 120mm (periscope telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom, 50x hybrid zoom;

– 12 MP, f / 2.2, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide), 1 / 2.55 “, 1.4µm.

Ultra is more expensive by about $ 180 ($ 888.99 vs $ 708.99).

Asus ROG Phone 3, OnePlus 8 Pro, TCL 10 5G UW and Royole FlexPai 2

Perhaps the colorful Asus ROG Phone 3 with Snapdragon 865+ and with an unprecedented screen refresh rate of 144 Hz can be positioned as the best gaming smartphone.

Asus ROG Phone 3
Asus ROG Phone 3

As known, heat dissipation is a serious problem in powerful gaming smartphones. Therefore, the company installed an enlarged vapor chamber and an improved AeroActive Cooler 3, which blows the enlarged copper heat sink in phone.

Asus ROG Phone 3 cooler
Asus ROG Phone 3 cooler

The cameras are also of a high standard.

Asus ROG Phone 3 camera
Asus ROG Phone 3 camera

The OnePlus 8 Pro received a laconic but very flattering assessment from the jury: “premium smartphone”.

OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8 Pro

The model has demonstrated excellent performance in 5G networks. Moreover, the smartphone automatically switches between 5G, 4G, 3G networks, reducing power consumption. In addition, its screen supports Fluid engine and MEMC (Motion Estimation Motion Compensation) technologies, which provide ideal smoothness of content display.

TCL 10 5G UW won the excellent screen award.

TCL10 5GUW Hero
TCL10 5GUW Hero

6.53-inch Full HD+ display supports TCL’s innovative NXTVISION technology which improves colors in 6 axes, clarity 2D edge, and provides auto-adjusting contrast depending on ambient lighting.

TCL NXTVISION
TCL NXTVISION

NXTVISION helped TCL smartphones obtain Netflix certification for HDR10 video streaming. The 48 MP camera also uses it.

As known, the foldable FlexPai from the young Chinese Royole company became a hit at CES 2019. This year the company presented its improved version.

Royole flexpai 2
Royole flexpai 2

The model uses Snapdragon 865 and folds out into a 7.8-inch 4: 3 tablet with 1920 x 1440 resolution. Basic model costs under $ 1,500. The extended package contains 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of flash memory, but it will cost almost $ 1,700.

Conclusion

CES 2021 showed two main trends. First, companies are actively developing support for 5G networks. Secondly, the developers have stepped up experimentation with the form factor of their models.

Basically, TCL launched this process last year with the concept of trifold foldable and rollable phones. This year the list already includes LG Wing with Gimbal Mode, LG Rollable, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and Royole FlexPai 2. Of course, the announced TCL smartphones also remain on this list.

Otherwise, the exhibition has traditionally demonstrated the progress of the main leaders. Probably gorgeous Asus ROG Phone 3 will be interesting for gamers. The OnePlus 8 Pro has taken its rightful place among premium smartphones. At $ 400, TCL 10 5G UW with NXTVISION technology is one of the best mid-range 5G models. The $ 700 / $ 890 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G & Note 20 Ultra 5G offer traditionally great quality and service, but they will compete with a great LG Velvet. Samsung Galaxy A51 5G claims to be a bestseller in the budget segment. Thus, the consumer can easily choose the optimal model for himself in any price segment.

The video demonstrates Gimbal Mode in LG Wing smartphone.

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