Introduction

CES 2015 is now well under way and we've already seen numerous intriguing devices come out under various other brands, big and small. Smartphones may be our specialty, but we're also in other smart gadgets too.

CES 2015

On these pages we'll try to cover those who didn't get their own spot on the front page for one reason or the other - most often due to their announcement not being as high profile as the rest.

Sony didn't have a _phone_ or a tablet to announce, but they showed a new expensive high-end Walkman music player and an updated version of their Smartwatch 3 with a metal wristband.

Microsoft announced the cheap Nokia 215, a simple phone, whose main merits are the VGA camera and the on-board flashlight.

Acer announced another smartphone at CES - the Acer Liquid Z410 - but we also used the opportunity to check out their recently announced Liquid Jade S as well.

We also got to see in person the return of the expensive luxurious phones. The recently announced Lamborghini _phone_ was present as well on the CES 2015 showfloor.

There will surely be more to see in the days ahead, so check back daily for fresh content.

  • Sony NW-ZX2 Music Player hands-on
  • Acer Liquid Jade S hands-on
  • Acer Liquid Z410
  • Nokia 215 hands-on
  • Lamborghini Tauri 88 hands-on

Sony NW-ZX2 Music Player hands-on

Sony's presence on the CES stage was rather lacking in the mobile sector. Only a couple of announcements are worth noting. The company's latest wearable - the SmartWatch 3, which hit consumer markets late 2014 is receiving a visual overhaul. Sony is swapping out the original colorful plastic straps for a metal band, in hopes of bringing a more stylish and refined look to the rectangular accessory.

Other than that the watch retains its initial hardware specs - 1.6-inch, 320 x 320 pixel transflective LCD, Qualcomm processor, built-in GPS, and standard microUSB port charging. Granted the SmartWatch 3 does look a lot more refined with the new metal exterior and coincidentally or not it also brought about an upgrade in the device's resistance rating, bumping it from IP58 to IP68.

In other weird Sony related news the Walkman brand is apparently still a thing as it managed to "walk" its way onto the CES stage in the form of the NW-ZX2 "High-Res Digital Music Player". The device is borderline weird. In its essence it is an Android-powered device that supports FLAC/ALAC (up to 96kHz/24-bit) playback for the whopping price tag of $1,200.

Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015

Sony NW-ZX2 High-Res Digital Music Player

A dedicated premium portable music player is weird enough as it is by 2015 standards, but a horribly overpriced one just seems unmarketable. Besides the FLAC capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with SBC/LDAC hi-fidelity codec the Sony NW-ZX2 has little to offer. Its built-in 128GB storage does seem massive on paper, but audiophiles will agree it is less than impressive by their standards. An SD card slot is present, but the price tag seems to demand something better.

Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015

Sony NW-ZX2 High-Res Digital Music Player

The 480 x 854 pixel 4-inch screen only intensifies this general feeling and so does the complete absence of a bundled headset of any kind. The player, as already mentioned does run Android, but sadly it is 4.2 Jelly Bean, which again seems unacceptable for a brand new device aimed towards very select premium markets.

Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015

Sony NW-ZX2 High-Res Digital Music Player

The NW-ZX2 looks exquisite and feels very nice to the touch. The physical buttons feel very durable and are neatly and considerately tugged away to prevent annoying accidental pocket pressing. It appears that a lot of work has been put into designing a superbly looking device, but the whole experience is all but ruined from the grainy looking display and kind-of misused out-of-date Android OS.

Acer Liquid Jade S hands-on

Acer listened carefully to what customers didn't like about the Liquid Jade and announced an improved version of the phone back in December - the Liquid Jade S. CES 2015 gives us the first opportunity to see it in person.

The phone keeps the visual aesthetics of its predecessor and looks the part. We especially like the phone's slimness and tapered edges.

Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015

The black and white version of the Liquid Jade S

The Liquid Jade S measures 7.8mm thick, just 0.3mm more than the past version, and weighs 116 grams. That's because Acer has fitted a slightly larger battery - 2,300mAh vs. 2,100mAh. When you add all of this together and throw in the new textured back, the Liquid Jade S feels entirely different and a lot better than the Liquid Jade.

Acer has kept the 5" 720p IPS display and it looks decently well. Under the hood, there's a change in the chipset. Instead of the Mediatek MT6582 with a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7, the company has fitted the Liquid Jade S with the newer, 64-bit Mediatek MT6572M. The phone enjoys the added oomph of an octa-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and 2GB of RAM, instead of just 1GB.

Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015

A tour around the Liquid Jade S

The phone is running the latest revision of Android KitKat, which is unfortunate, as we hoped to see Lollipop run on Acer phones. We're sure Acer will push an update to the latest version of Android soon enough, although we haven't heard anything specific.

Anyway, the front-facing camera is improved and is now 5MP. We didn't have the proper conditions to test it, since the lighting wasn't ideal, but it should perform much better than the old 2MP snapper.

The Acer Liquid Jade S will retail for €299 and will debut in Europe, Middle East and Asia later in January.

Acer Liquid Z410

Acer also introduced a more budget-oriented offering at CES 2015 in the face of the Liquid Z410. It packs LTE connectivity and a 4.5" qHD display with a rather low qHD resolution resulting in a pixel density of 245ppi.

Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015

The Liquid Z410 in person

The phone comes in an interesting color scheme, but even this can't help its rather uninspiring design. Still, it's at least fast with a 64-bit quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU, a Mali-T760 GPU and 1GB of RAM. Just like its larger brother, the Liquid Z410 sports DTS Studio Sound, which should in theory grant it an advantage when it comes to sound quality. The CES showroom floor is quite loud and we couldn't estimate the quality that the front-facing speakers provide.

At the back, there's also a 5MP snapper shooting 720p video, while a 2MP front-facing camera takes care of selfies. The phone runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat extremely well, but sadly the experience is rather spoiled due to the low resolution of the display.

Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015
Acer CES 2015

You'll either love or hate the phone's design

The 16GB internal storage is expandable via the microSD card slot. The phone features a beefy 2,500mAh Li-Po battery, which Acer says can hold up to 400 hours of stand-by time. Expect the phone to come out by the end of January with a €129 price tag.

Nokia 215 hands-on

The Nokia 215 made its way to the big CES stage this year which is a mighty fine achievement for what is a pretty low-profile device.

With its bright plastic exterior, 2.4-inch screen and round physical keypad, the Nokia 215 is definitely a throwback to a simpler time for mobile tech. But surprisingly, the Nokia 215 is designed to deliver an engaging online experience even in this rather traditional form factor. Microsoft introduced the little handset as the "most affordable Internet-ready entry-level phone" in their portfolio to date and with a price tag of $29 before taxes, it seems quite credible.

Nokia 215 CES 2015
Nokia 215 CES 2015
Nokia 215 CES 2015

The Nokia 215 is a classic no non-sense phone

Internet is a big part of what the Nokia 215 aims to be. The phone comes preloaded with Facebook along with Messenger, Twitter, Opera Mini and an instant notification system that keeps you up to date and online.

The device definitely looks and feels solid. It is available in three colors - black, white and vibrant green and its plastic feels really sturdy to the touch.

The Nokia 215 definitely seems built to last and should provide enough modern-day online functionality in a more than traditional package to make it very suitable for the conservative phone users.

Nokia 215 CES 2015
Nokia 215 CES 2015
Nokia 215 CES 2015

Plastics feels durable and neatly rounded

Another nice little touch is the availability of a Dual-SIM version of the Nokia 215 as well as a handy built-in torch. Other notable aspects of the phone include a 256K colors TFT panel with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, which is adequate for the size and everything is clearly readable. A camera is also present, albeit a less than meager 0.8MP one, but at this point is seems they just threw it in as a bonus, given the price tag.

Nokia 215 CES 2015
Nokia 215 CES 2015

The Nokia 215 fits snugly in the hand even two at a time

A microSD slot is also hidden away under the back cover, which is of little use for storing multimedia for playback, but does provide a handy way to carry around files and share them using the built-in Bluetooth and SLAM sharing technology.

If not that, it can always double as a reliable MP3 player slash radio which is definitely aided by the impressive 50h music playback battery life and whopping 29 days worth of stand-by time.

Sadly, the Nokia 215 only comes with 2G connectivity and no Wi-Fi as well, but how picky can you be for $29. The little device is definitely a solid entry-level phone and feels very well built.

Lamborghini Tauri 88 hands-on

The Lamborghini Tauri 88 was announced last December, but it is just now that we get our hands on the designer smartphone. Lamborghini were kind enough to bring a sample of the $6,000 limited edition phone for the public to enjoy and we just couldn't miss the opportunity.

Lamborghini Tauri 88 has a 5" 1080p display and makes use of the snappy Snapdragon 801 chipset with 3 gigs of RAM. The rest of its specs include a 20MP rear cam, a 8MP front snapper, 64GB expandable storage and a beefy 3,400 mAh battery.

Ces 2015 Lamborghini
Ces 2015 Lamborghini

Lamborghini Tauri 88

The Tauri 88 is made of steel (available in Gold, Black or plain steel colors) and leather (a choice of Black, Blue, Red, Orange and Brown) complete with decorative stitches. The phone was designed in Italy and sports the recognizable raging bull logo (which was inspired by the Taurus constellation).

As you can see the unit we saw uses the Gold Steel/Blue Leather combo and it looks gorgeous. Steel and leather provide for a great handling and in every single moment you'll love the touch of this phone at your hand.

The Tauri 88 has the usual set of controls - the capacitive Android controls at front and a volume rocker on the right. Its top houses the 3.5mm audio jack and the secondary mic, while the bottom has the loudspeaker and the primary mic.

Ces 2015 Lamborghini
Ces 2015 Lamborghini
Ces 2015 Lamborghini
Ces 2015 Lamborghini

Lamborghini Tauri 88 sides

The rear of the Lamborghini Tauri 88 is really beautiful with probably a Sony-made 20MP camera sensor surrounded by a combination of leather and steel.

Ces 2015 Lamborghini
Ces 2015 Lamborghini

The 20MP camera is at the back

Lamborghini Tauri 88 runs on Android OS with customized Android launcher with an Lamborghini theme.

Ces 2015 Lamborghini
Ces 2015 Lamborghini

Lamborghini Tauri 88 runs on Android • the Lamborghini logo

Only 1947 units of the Tonino Lamborghini Tauri 88 phones have been produced, each costing $6,000. In case you were wondering, Antonio "Tonino" Lamborghini is the son of Ferruccio, the founder of Lamborghini, and was born in 1947.

Sony NW-ZX2 Music Player hands-on

Sony's presence on the CES stage was rather lacking in the mobile sector. Only a couple of announcements are worth noting. The company's latest wearable - the SmartWatch 3, which hit consumer markets late 2014 is receiving a visual overhaul. Sony is swapping out the original colorful plastic straps for a metal band, in hopes of bringing a more stylish and refined look to the rectangular accessory.

Other than that the watch retains its initial hardware specs - 1.6-inch, 320 x 320 pixel transflective LCD, Qualcomm processor, built-in GPS, and standard microUSB port charging. Granted the SmartWatch 3 does look a lot more refined with the new metal exterior and coincidentally or not it also brought about an upgrade in the device's resistance rating, bumping it from IP58 to IP68.

In other weird Sony related news the Walkman brand is apparently still a thing as it managed to "walk" its way onto the CES stage in the form of the NW-ZX2 "High-Res Digital Music Player". The device is borderline weird. In its essence it is an Android-powered device that supports FLAC/ALAC (up to 96kHz/24-bit) playback for the whopping price tag of $1,200.

Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015

Sony NW-ZX2 High-Res Digital Music Player

A dedicated premium portable music player is weird enough as it is by 2015 standards, but a horribly overpriced one just seems unmarketable. Besides the FLAC capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with SBC/LDAC hi-fidelity codec the Sony NW-ZX2 has little to offer. Its built-in 128GB storage does seem massive on paper, but audiophiles will agree it is less than impressive by their standards. An SD card slot is present, but the price tag seems to demand something better.

Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015

Sony NW-ZX2 High-Res Digital Music Player

The 480 x 854 pixel 4-inch screen only intensifies this general feeling and so does the complete absence of a bundled headset of any kind. The player, as already mentioned does run Android, but sadly it is 4.2 Jelly Bean, which again seems unacceptable for a brand new device aimed towards very select premium markets.

Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015
Sony CES 2015

Sony NW-ZX2 High-Res Digital Music Player

The NW-ZX2 looks exquisite and feels very nice to the touch. The physical buttons feel very durable and are neatly and considerately tugged away to prevent annoying accidental pocket pressing. It appears that a lot of work has been put into designing a superbly looking device, but the whole experience is all but ruined from the grainy looking display and kind-of misused out-of-date Android OS.

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