CES 2018: dates, news, rumors and predictions for tech’s biggest show

CES 2018: dates, news, rumors and predictions for tech's biggest show

CES 2018 is fast approaching as we’re just days away from the biggest tech show on Earth getting underway. Already we’re seeing announcements from some of the world’s top tech firms break the surface, though this is but a sampling of the deluge we’re in for starting next week.

The official CES 2018 dates are January 9 though January 12, but even before the Consumer Electronics Show’s doors open, there are two full days of press-only events taking place. It’s during these sessions that companies such as Samsung, LG and Sony will show off their latest wares long before the show floor is flooded with attendees.

[Update: Control your car with your brain? Sounds like something out of science fiction, but Nissan wants to make this a reality. The car company has announced it will demonstrate is new ‘brain-to-vehicle’ tech at CES, which essentially reads the driver’s brain waves with the aim of performing safety maneuvers a fraction of a second faster. The hope is to curb car accidents by increasing response time, making driving safer for everyone.]

CES 2018 will see firms from around the globe gather in the cavernous halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as other locations throughout around Sin City. On keynote stages and in booths so bright they hurt your eyes, Google, Samsung, LG, Sony and hundreds more will look to wow whomever dares to wander by.

CES may have last a bit of its luster in recent years as many companies have opted to hold individual press events staggered throughout the year to unveil new products. This is in contrast to the crowded atmosphere of an international trade show.

But we think the hustle and bustle is all part of the excitement, and CES 2018 will no doubt feature must-see gadgets, futuristic gizmos and sneak peeks at innovations that could change the tech world as we know it. If you can dream it, chances are someone at CES 2018 will have turned it into a reality.

Unfortunately, CES is a trade-only event, so it’s not something the general public can attend. But never fear; the TechRadar team will be on the ground in Las Vegas to bring you all the latest news and first-look hands on reviews, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. We’re already on our way to CES by way of an epic 2,5000-mile road trip that started on New Year’s Day. Think we can make it to Las Vegas in seven days? Follow along with our liveblog to find out.

Read on for the latest CES 2018 news and rumors, as well as our top predictions for what some of the biggest companies will bring to Las Vegas.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The biggest consumer technology show on Earth
  • When is it? Jan 9 – Jan 12, with press-only events happening Jan 7 and Jan 8
  • What’s on show? Everything from 8K televisions and connected fridges to laptops and self-driving cars

Samsung at CES 2018

Samsung is always a major focus at CES, and for good reason. The tech giant typically unveils a number of noteworthy devices (not counting its updated line of smart washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers), and sometimes shows off hardware that’s a little bit out there.

Two years ago, it was a bendable TV. At CES 2018, it could be a bendable phone.

Whispers are circulating that the Galaxy X, Samsung’s rumored foldable smartphone, could debut at CES 2018.

As Forbes notes, the timing would be a bit odd since, unlike MWC in February, CES isn’t a major phone show. However, it would also be a prime opportunity to show off a completely new device to an international audience. Samsung did unveil the Galaxy A3 phone at CES 2017, so there’s some precedent.

What’s more, Samsung debuted its bendable display tech way back at CES 2013, so it’d be fitting to unveil the culmination of five years’ development in a consumer-ready bendable phone at CES 2018.

Samsung’s mobile boss has said the company is targeting a bendable phone launch in 2018. Unveiling the Galaxy X now could be the first step towards a full-blown release later in the year.

However, the waters were muddied a bit when a leaked model number seemingly belonging to the Galaxy X turned out to be for a different phone. This could mean the Galaxy X won’t launch as soon as we’d hoped.

Something Samsung will be showing off at CES though is its recently announced Samsung Galaxy A8, which appears to be a more affordable Galaxy S8.

Galaxy S9 at CES 2018 – will we see it or not?

Samsung’s potential CES mobile plans don’t end there. We could be in for an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 during the show – or not. Let us explain.

Notable leaker Evan Blass reported that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus could make a cameo at CES 2018. That would obviously be big news … even if the design of the new phones is iterative and not innovative.

However, on December 6, 2017, a report surfaced quoting a Samsung representative saying “it is unlikely” the company will bring the Galaxy S9 to CES. The wording is a bit vague, and perhaps intentionally so. This could mean we won’t see the Galaxy S9 until a potential launch in March, or perhaps Samsung will decide to bring the next-gen phone after all. Our bet? Samsung will hold off launching the Galaxy S9 until after CES 2018.

In addition to the potential new Galaxy phone unveilings, Samsung could also show off a gigantic TV at CES. How big? Try 150 inches on for size. This would be no ordinary TV (duh), as TweakTown reports, because it would also feature MicroLED tech.

This screen tech essentially has the LED elements engraved into the silicon substrate, according to the site. The substrate is so small that it acts as individual pixels. MicroLED is said to allow for greater pixel density, less power draw and the elimination of image burn-in. All good things for TV owners.

We also expect Samsung to announce new wearables, either on its own or in partnership with others, new Galaxy Tab tablets, new laptops, and, of course, new TVs. There’s a good chance Samsung will update its QLED TV tech to the next generation (and maybe go for a new name, like QLED+).

Samsung has unveiled a 34-inch monitor ahead of CES. *Yawn*, you may think, but know that the CJ791 ultra-wide monitor is the first curved panel to boast Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

As for other home entertainment tech, Samsung has already shown off one device in the form of the NW7000 Sound+ soundbar, a 53.5mm-deep speaker that comes close to matching the thinness of modern televisions.

And if all this wasn’t enough, Samsung is also showing off new conceptual tech at CES 2018. These include a new respiratory medical device called GoBreath, a pair of glasses to help the visually impaired see better, and speakers that direct sound so only you hear what’s being played.

Google at CES 2018

Google is apparently planning quite the presence at CES 2018 with a large booth and eight hospitality suites to showcase … well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, Google Inc. will have a big, standalone booth prominently placed in the outdoor Central Plaza of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is in addition to the eight suites Google Hardware has reserved at the Aria hotel.

While Google is typically present at CES tangentially via its third-party hardware partners, the company is stepping out from behind the curtain during this year’s show in a big way.

This could mean a couple of things. One, it seems highly likely that Google wants to give conference-goers an up-close look at its products, including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker and the new Daydream View VR headset. The whole Made by Google family is gearing up for a Vegas vacay, if you ask us.

But it’s also possible that Google will showoff something new considering it’s going all out for the show. As Chrome Unboxed speculates, we could be in for new Chromebooks to follow up the well-received Google PixelBook. We could even see Chromebooks that take on a whole new form factor, such as ones that transform into tablets with detachable screens.

Whatever Google has planned, this is an exciting addition to the CES 2018 lineup. When the major players come to Las Vegas, there’s usually pay off in the form of exciting news.

One announcement we know is happening already is the introduction of a few wireless Android Auto units, courtesy of JVC Kenwood. This makes Google’s in-car operating system wire-free for the first time, allowing you to keep your phone unplugged while still enjoying the benefits of connectivity.

Sony at CES 2018

In recent years Sony has used CES to focus on its audio and office lines, unveiling devices like new headphones and cheaper 4K projectors along with its latest Bravia TVs.

The Bravia range always dazzles to go along with Sony’s other top-notch goods. So far, there’s nothing to indicate Sony will deviate from this script very much. We expect the next line of Bravias to feature OLED screens, which the Japanese firm only this year started producing again.

Plus, listen up, audiophiles: there’s a good chance we’ll see a new high-res turntable from Sony at CES 2018. Because Sony is all about turning old-school audio tech into something amazing.

We’ll find out all during Sony’s CES press conference, which takes place at 5pm PT on Monday, January 8 at the Sony booth.

LG at CES 2018

LG unveiled what might possibly have been the thinnest OLED TV ever at CES 2017. If you don’t remember the OLED W7 Signature Series TV, take a minute to watch the video above.

LG is pushing the boundaries of TV tech once again with its 2018 lineup, and we’ve outlined all of LG’s new screens in one handy guide. From OLED to FHD, we break down the TVs you can expect to see on sale this year and just what all those flashy specs mean for regular users. A noteworthy addition to LG’s TV lineup is Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, bringing voice control smarts to your living room viewing experience.

Not on the list but already turning heads is the company’s plan to bring an 88-inch 8K OLED TV to the show, which is not only a record breaker due to its sheer size, but a screen with an eye-watering resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels.

We’ll see it for ourselves during LG’s press conference, which kicks off at 8am PT on Monday, January 8. We’ll bring sunglasses, just in case.

On the mobile front, LG came to CES 2017 with some low- to mid-range phones in tow, including the LG K10 2017 and LG Stylus 3, so we could be in for a few LG mobile surprises at this year’s show.

What would be even more surprising (but even better for flagship phone fans), is if a rumor that the LG G7 could launch in January comes true. The most obvious place for this to take place is CES 2018, and it could set up an interesting dynamic in the (unlikely) event rival Samsung shows off the Galaxy S9 as well. That is, if the LG G7 is launched at all.

We do know that LG will unveil a bold new shade for the LG V30 called Raspberry Rose at CES. This is an electric pink hue, and one shoppers in South Korea will be able to snap up shortly after the show wraps up.

As is its wont, LG is spilling a lot of CES 2018 news early. In addition to the 88-inch TV, LG has also unveiled a new smart speaker called the ThinQ, which is basically a Google Home manufactured by LG.

One feature that could trump Google’s offering, however, is sound, though we’ll be the judge once we get a listen. Look for pricing and availability details for the Google Assistant-supporting speaker to be revealed during the show proper.

LG has also already announced additional audio products, including a new soundbar, Bluetooth speakers and “all-in-one party machines,” which sound perfect for Las Vegas.

Rounding out LG’s CES offerings are likely updates to its home appliances (no brainer), 4K Blu-ray player, gram laptops and even its smart helper robots. In fact, LG has already unveiled its latest gram laptop update in the form of three new laptops.

Dell at CES 2018

Dell gave TechRadar an early preview of its next XPS 13 laptop ahead of CES 2018, showing off the 13-inch Ultrabook’s incredibly thin design and pleasing aesthetics.

The laptop now features three USB-C ports, a Micro SD card slot, an Infinity Edge display and two colors – Alpine White and Rose Gold.

Since a new laptop is typically Dell’s big reveal at the the show, the news we should expect at CES 2018 involves the new Dell XPS 13’s full spec sheet, release date and price.

Lenovo at CES 2018

“Reality has never been so exhilarating.”

That’s the tag line for Lenovo’s CES 2018 event, taking place on Tuesday, January 9 at 11am PT. The company has sent around save the date invites to the gathering, which it’s billing as a launch event. Interestingly, Lenovo says it plans to “announce our latest innovations with Google, Qualcomm and Microsoft.”

Our best guess is that Lenovo plans to launch its Google Daydream headset during CES 2018. Now that HTC has dropped out of making one, Lenovo is the only partner Google has lined up to release a standalone VR headset that runs the Daydream platform.

Lenovo’s invite says we’ll “see and experience the world in new ways,” which also jibes with the launch of a VR headset that lets you move around unrestricted and doesn’t require a smartphone to run.

All in all, we’re intrigued to see whatever Lenovo has planned, and we’ll be at the event live to bring you all the latest.

Car tech at CES 2018

Observers are keenly aware that CES has transformed more or less into a car show in recent years, and this year’s edition will only continue the trend.

Fisker, for one, confirmed to The Street that it will reveal its newest electric car at this year’s show. Called EMotion, the car will cost $129,000 (about £98,000 / AU$165,000) and ships in 2019. Despite its high price, it’s expected to put Tesla on notice, especially since the EMotion has a reported range of over 400 miles.

It’s not just luxury cars we expect to see at CES, of course. Ride-sharing service Lyft will wheel attendees around in a self-driving car during the show, demonstrating the future of autonomous transportation to all those brave enough to go for a ride.

While Toyota, Hyundai and Kia all have press conferences planned, Nissan has already let its CES news out of the bag by revealing its ‘brain-to-vehicle’ technology. The company hopes to help prevent auto accidents by reading drivers’ brain waves to anticipate safety maneuvers. It’s a fascinating idea, though one we may not see in commercial vehicles for quite some time.

And just as we saw during CES 2017, deeper integration with smart speakers, like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, as well as the digital assistants in our mobile phones, could be what car makers have up their sleeves for this year’s show.

More can’t-miss tech at CES 2018

This is just a taste of the announcements we expect from the hundreds of companies that will travel from near and far to CES 2018.

Other firms we anticipate making a splash include Asus, Baidu, Dolby, GE, HP, Hisense, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Nikon, Nvidia, Panasonic, Razer, and many more.

Who knows? We could see the next generation of HTC Vive, a gorgeous snapper from Nikon and new phones from Huawei, all at CES 2018.

Speaking of Huawei, the company’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, January 9 at 2pm PT. Huawei is a company on the rise, and Yu will discuss Huawei’s strategies around connectivity, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and smart devices. Chances are, we’re in for a product reveal or two.

Prior to this, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will deliver the opening keynote address on Monday, January 8 beginning at 6:30pm PT at Monte Carlo’s Park Theater. From the sounds of it, Krzanich’s keynote will focus on next-gen tech, including AI, 5G connectivity, self-driving cars and VR.

Nvidia has sent out invites for its CES 2018 press conference, scheduled for Sunday, January 7 from 8pm – 9:30pm PT at the MGM Grand. Nvidia always kicks off CES with an action-packed keynote, and we expect this year’s edition will be no exception as it dives into AI, self-driving cars and high-powered GPUs.

On the smart home front, it’s not just speakers making their presence known, but lights and wall switches, too. GE has already announced a new set of C by GE products that work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s HomeKit (with Siri), meaning the products aren’t tied to one ecosystem.

Alexa is continuing its spread by coming to Hisense TVs as well. The global TV maker announced that some of its new and existing screens will get support for Amazon’s digital assistant. Not only can you conduct actions like change the channel, but The Verge also notes Alexa will have the ability to actually control Hisense hardware as well.

And a new addition to the upcoming show is the CES Sports Zone. Here, game-day tech will take center stage, from gadgets that boost athlete performance to the latest in fan-experience innovations, including AR and VR. If you’re into sports and tech, or just fitness in general, the Sports Zone will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.

The possibilities are endless, and we’ll keep this page updated as more news and rumors about CES 2018 roll in.


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