The big boys such as Sony and Samsung were practically mute when it came to mobile tech at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015, which made it a great time for lesser-known smartphones to step forwards and soak up the spotlight. From incredibly swish fashion phones to feature-packed eyebrow-raisers, here’s our pick of the best mobiles on show at CES.
Packing more features than most flagship phones, the Saygus V2 is definitely one to watch in 2015. From the well-specced optics (a 21-megapixel rear camera with Optical Image Stabilisation is backed by a 13-megapixel selfie cam) to the wireless HD support, this was easily the most feature-packed handset at CES.
Most impressive is the dual memory card slots. Not only do they give you up to 320GB of total storage, but you can load your own operating system onto one for a dual-boot setup. So although the Saygus V2 is an Android smartphone, you can also have it booting Windows Phone, Firefox or any other OS you install, making this a seriously awesome geek phone.
LG G Flex 2
We weren’t enormous fans of LG’s first curvy phone, the LG G Flex, which emerged with a seriously steep price last year. So, when LG launched a follow-up at CES 2015, we were a little surprised and a little sceptical.
However, almost all of that scepticism trickled away when we actually held the G Flex 2. The bulky phablet-sized dimensions have been gloriously scaled back, giving a much more comfortable 5.5-inch handset that’s as satisfying to fondle as the LG G3. All of the G3’s massive features are packed in, with the sole exception of the Quad HD screen – although the 1080p Full HD display is as sharp and bright as you’d hope.
The G Flex 2 might be little more than a stop-gap before the LG G4, but for anyone intrigued by the idea of a curved handset, this is the one to go for.
Asus Zenfone Zoom
Asus let us play with its new Zenfone 2 smartphone at CES 2015, but the phone we were really interested in, the Zenfone Zoom, was sadly locked away in glass boxes – which made us all the more desperate for a play.
The Zenfone Zoom is a dedicated cameraphone, bolstering the 13-megapixel snapper with a 3x optical zoom, so you can get close to your subject without pushing the phone into their face (or resorting to pixellated digital zoom pics).
Now, the idea of an optical zoom on a mobile phone previously filled us with despair – just witness the Zenfone Zoom’s only true rival, the Samsung K Zoom, a chunky, bulky slab that’s as comfortable to wedge into your pocket as an angry porcupine. However, Asus seems to have accomplished the seemingly near-impossible and crafted a skinny frame for the Zoom – or at least the prototypes on display were gorgeously slender.
Could the Zenfone Zoom be one of the best cameraphones when it emerges later in 2015? The units at CES were presumably not too close to the finished article, with the lack of hands-on time, but the hardware is certainly very promising so far.
Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri
Sporty fashion phones can usually be summed up thus: crappy, budget phone specs wedged into a ridiculous, chunky frame, for twenty times the appropriate cost. Well, the Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri isn’t cheap for sure, sporting an asking price in excess of $6k, but it’s easily one of the most intriguing and desirable fashion handsets ever made, with some premium specs to at least attempt to justify that price tag.
The 88 Tauri’s 5-inch screen sports beautiful Full HD visuals and a 20-megapixel camera proves satisfying to use, taking crisp and colourful shots instantly. Delve inside the leather and gold frame and you’ll find a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, which can easily handle the latest games and apps and shouldn’t be dated any time soon.
If you’re tempted by the 88 Tauri, you’ll have to be quick as well as loaded – only 1947 of the phones have been made, making this a seriously limited edition.
We’ll bring you full reviews of all of these phones and more in the coming months.