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CES 2014 Preview and Rumor Roundup (Revisited and Updated)

In a way, the scheduling of the year’s first major electronics and technology event just as everyone is struggling to sober up recuperate after Christmas and New Year celebrations is legitimately unfortunate. More so as it’s become a tradition for many key CES players to jump the gun and lay all their cards on the table before the actual trade show begins.

CES 2014

So while technically the 2014 Las Vegas spectacle gets underway on January 7, most of the glamorous product announcements are to go down on the 6th. Some as soon as January 4 and 5. Bottom line, you have roughly 72 hours to go from relaxed, eventless, maybe internet-free mode to take-in-as-many-new-cutting-edge-fresh-gadgets-as-you-can system.

Sounds like quite the challenge, however if you’re not in the business of informing the world on tech developments and news (like yours truly) and just enjoy keeping an eye on things for the kick of it, it can be a treat. Think of it as a continuation of the holiday season. Minus the paid vacation days.

CES

All said, let’s see exactly what Android gifts we should expect under the CES tree:

The certainties

A lot has changed between three weeks back, when we compiled our first CES preview and rumor roundup, and today, but we remain unusually light on facts and sure bets. Which is odd, yet somewhat refreshing. Don’t you just hate it when everything about these shows gets uncovered weeks ahead of time?

I know I do, so I’m pissed as hell the Sony Xperia Z1s is such an open book. And it’s been that way for so long. But maybe Sony has both a Z1s and Z1 mini in the pipeline, and the former will actually be special somehow. Granted, if it’s to be called that way, it’ll probably be an unexciting Z1 rehash of sorts.

Sony Xperia Z1

Then there’s the Xperia E2 (yawn), yet another Asus PadFone model (likely to be dubbed PadFone X), and quite possibly, a pair of stripped-down Samsung Galaxy gizmos, namely the Note 3 Lite phablet and Tab 3 Lite.

On the slightly more exciting side of things, LG is to surely showcase and detail further availability details for the G Flex in Las Vegas, whereas Huawei is bound to intro a spanking new ginormous Ascend Mate with octa-core power.

LG G Flex

Alcatel, Acer and Lenovo have themselves confirmed they’ll be present in Sin City to take the wraps off fresh Android-based devices, albeit I probably shouldn’t have listed the trio here since their actual upcoming products are big, fat enigmas. All I can predict they’ll enrich the Idol phone family in Alcatel’s case and focus on affordability for Acer and Lenovo.

The maybes

Welcome to “everything’s possible” land. Where dozens and dozens of gadgets are to end up battling it out for the spotlight. Like LG’s G2 mini, Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1. All three sound more MWC candidates than CES material, but remember, we’re in “maybe” territory, so don’t you rule anything out.

Here’s a (not so) wild theory. What if CES 2014 will be more about top-shelf mobile chips than high-end mobile devices? After all, Samsung is unlikely to bring the Galaxy S5 to light, yet fairly reliable sources suggest the Exynos 6 and Exynos S 64-bit processors are to go official.

samsung-exynos-ces

LG’s extraordinary-looking octa-core Odin can’t keep a low profile much longer either. As for Qualcomm, they’ve unveiled a Snapdragon 800 follow-up, christened S805, already, however they need to get with the program and join the 64-bit game soon, so why not hope for a Snapdragon 900 or 1000 next week?

Or how about Nvidia’s return to grace, courtesy of a Tegra 5 CPU (aka Logan)? Wouldn’t that be something? Mind you, if Nvidia does indeed plan to debut a new SoC, it’ll probably also show off a Shield or Tegra Note sequel.

Tegra-Roadmap

Oh, I almost forgot wearables. Like it or not, they’re the future, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see a Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, Sony Smartwatch 3 and/or LG “G Arch” making the Vegas rounds. Asus, whose name came up timidly in the certainties department, deserves a much more substantial mention here, as there’s no doubt the Taiwanese will unleash a flurry of new, quirky products before long.

A smartwatch of their own? Maybe. One or two Chromebooks? Definitely. Some sort of Android/Windows dual-booting tablet? You bet. Also, fresh Transformer Pads, the long-rumored MeMoFone and an international flavor of the PadFone mini.

The what ifs

I have a dream. That rumors of Samsung heavily shortening Galaxy S5’s production cycle will prove authentic. And in response, that LG, Sony and HTC will be forced to do the same and throw their next-gen flagships, the G3, Xperia Z2 and M8 (aka One Two), in the heavyweight ring.

Am I crazy? Like I said, you shouldn’t rule anything out. True, even if we take the S5 precocious launch gossip for granted, it’s hard to believe Samsung will not want to organize the “next big thing” its own presentation event. The same goes for the G3, Z2 and M8, though LG, HTC and Sony (especially Sony) have been much kinder to expos like CES and MWC in the past.

Galaxy S5 concept

While we’re in sweet dreams turf, let’s also tackle the Galaxy Round 2 and G Flex 2. They’re real, incoming, spectacular and more flexible than their predecessors, make no mistake, but it’s probably too early for them to break cover. The Galaxy Band, hybrid “Hit”, sapphire-made HTC and LG spearheads? Likewise.

Now, I’d like you all to allow yourselves to dream and sound off your craziest, most unrealistic, sweetest CES expectations below. Anything goes.