CES 2022 returned in its non-virtual, in-person form this year. Sort of. The annual tech trade show wasn't exactly back in full form this time around, with pandemic-related issues leading to many companies pulling out at the last minute. Despite such difficulties, there were still plenty of new devices and gadgets announced during the event this week.
With tons of new and exciting technology announced, we've narrowed things down to some of the highlights. Read on while we take you through the best smart home tech coming soon, new phones that will entice you all the more, plus new laptops and TVs that should spruce up your living situation.
CES 2022: New smart home tech - A focus on easy to use security systems
CES is often an event where we'll see some fairly out-there technology like smart robots that no one will actually use. This time around, however, we saw some genuinely helpful devices.
Besides the new and more expansive Eufy Video Doorbell with a second camera, we also saw the Eve Outdoor Cam which is a floodlight camera designed to work with Apple HomeKit Secure Video. Belkin WeMo also launched its first smart doorbell camera with the WeMo Smart Video Doorbell and it's also Apple HomeKit Secure Video certified - something that is still relatively rare in the field right now.
Essentially, much of the focus with smart home technology was on the best home security systems. Arlo chipped in with the Arlo Security System promising to be a DIY solution that offers all-in-one multi-sensors with eight different functions. With NFC built-in, users can tap their phones to the hub to disarm the system, saving the need for typing in passcodes.
German company, Bosch, also got in on the act with the Spexor - a mobile security assistant that can monitor for break-ins as well as check air quality and temperature too. It works off battery power for up to three weeks plus you can use an eSIM card as well as Wi-Fi so power cuts at home won't affect it. It could prove useful while camping or staying somewhere else temporarily too.
Ring has also offered a new glass break sensor too with its appropriately named Ring Alarm Glass Break Sensor which detects the sound
New phones: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and a few others too
CES is rarely a big event for new phone announcements, but we still saw a few examples that could yet make a difference to our look at the best smartphones.
Most notably, Samsung finally launched its Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. A mid-range member of the Galaxy S21 family, it has a 6.4-inch FHD+ 120Hz display along with the same 12MP main and ultra-wide cameras of the S21 and a 8MP telephoto lens to replace its bigger sibling's 64MP version. It also has a better selfie camera with a 32MP lens. It should be a reliable mid-range option priced at $699.95 in the US with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Elsewhere, budget phones dominated. TCL announced the TCL 30 V 5G and TCL 30 XE 5G. The former has a 6.67-inch 1080p screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 5MP main camera, 5MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro lens. There's a 16MP front-facing camera for selfies too. It uses a fairly slow Snapdragon 480 chipset but it's expected to be pretty cheap. It's also exclusive to Verizon, one of the best cell phone providers out there at the moment, especially where 5G coverage is concerned.
Vivo also announced the V23 Pro offering two front-facing cameras for selfie lovers including a 50MP main camera and an 8MP ultra-wide lens for group snaps. A beautification feature for 4K videos on the front camera proves further useful too, plus there's a 108MP main camera as well.
New laptops: quirky new additions with some useful purposes
New laptops might not always seem so gripping but at CES this year, manufacturers have focused on providing some unique features in 2022. Lenovo has added a secondary screen to its ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, for instance, with the 8-inch display able to be used as a drawing tablet with a stylus. It's ideally suited for digital creatives and it's priced at $1,399.
Alternatively, there's the Asus ROG Flow Z13 which comes with a fully detachable keyboard. Once removed, your laptop turns into a powerful gaming tablet so it has some useful dual purposes here if browsing through the best laptops leaves you uncertain as to whether you need a laptop or tablet.
For more productivity-focused laptops, Asus also has the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. Its OLED screen is foldable so you get what is effectively a huge 17.3-inch tablet that can be folded into an L shape and used in laptop mode with part of the screen turning into an on-screen keyboard.
New TVs: new technologies are coming
Just about adjusted to the idea of LED, OLED and QLED? Well, Mini-LED, MicroLED and QD-OLED are here to confuse you further. Sony unveiled its A95K QD-OLED combining OLED and QLED for a fantastic picture. It means you get the benefits of perfect blacks from OLED with the color saturation of quantum dots too. It offers higher peak brightness and wider viewing angles than an OLED and a screen that has 200% of the color saturation of a traditional LED/LCD screen.
Mini-LED also formed a hefty part of CES with the Sony Bravia Z9K 8K demonstrating its mini-LED backlight. Samsung also got in on the action with its 8K Neo QLED TV - the QN900B - offering Shape Adaptive Light Control so you can enjoy better control over blooming. It seems highly likely that Top Ten Reviews' best TVs to buy will change significantly throughout 2022.
New wearables: Evolution rather than revolution
It's pretty likely we'll see the best smartwatches change too in 2022. CES saw Garmin announce the Garmin Venu 2 Plus with voice controls, extensive tracking functionality, and plenty of color options including black and slate, cream-gold and ivory, and powder gray and silver.
Fossil also got in on the action with the new Razer x Fossil Gen 6, a strictly limited edition watch. There's only 1,337 units available but they're sure to be incredibly fast as well as offer watch faces supporting Razer's Chroma RGB lighting system. They're not badly priced either at $329, providing you can find one, of course.