CES 2013 had many highlights. From the raft of luscious 4K TVs on display to Qualcomm's slightly surreal presentation by way of the innovative Nvidia Shield handheld gaming console, it was a standout year for the annual technology showcase.
Used to being the centre of attention at consumer events, the smartphone may have been on more subdued form than usual at CES, but that doesn't mean it didn't enjoy a strong outing. From the Huawei Ascend D2 to the Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus, the week has been full of talking points, though few handsets impressed on all fronts quite the way Sony's Xperia Z did. We're pleased to round out the week by offering a more complete picture of the brand new 5in handset, including its UK release date, pricing, and early information on carriers. You can already register your interest in the device with the likes of Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse, so follow the link for the lowdown on Sony's first adventure in the phablet wilderness.
By their very nature, these so-called phablets are rather big. So credit to ZTE for mitigating the danger of their new handset being a little cumbersome by making it the thinnest 5in device on the market. Our hands on with the ZTE Grand S, freshly unveiled at CES like the Xperia Z, gives you a good taste of the intriguing new device, complete with photo gallery. How does it compare to its rivals from Huawei, LG and of course Samsung, who once had the phablet category virtually to themselves with the Galaxy Notes? Follow the link above to find out.
Microsoft was supposed to give the ailing PC market a much-needed shot in the arm with its new Windows 8 OS, but research suggests the Redmond firm hasn’t quite fulfilled its duty. IDC found that global PC shipments in Q4 tumbled by 6.4 per cent, making the holiday period the first time in five years that computer sales have declined from the previous year. Analysts suggest Microsoft’s eagerness to compete in the growing touchscreen sphere has distracted them from emphasising the traditional hallmarks consumers look for in PC software, which has contributed to poor sales.
Nokia may finally be turning the corner, as its fourth quarter report beat initial forecasts thanks to improved sales of its Lumia line of smartphones - of which it sold 4.4 million during the holiday period. Whether this resurgent performance is a sign of better days for the former handset leader or proves to be just a momentary upsurge in a chronic downturn, only time will tell. However, the extensive cost saving measures and increased emphasis placed on its Lumia line of phones make us lean towards the former more positive outlook on the Scandinavian firm's future.