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A 2011 CES Recap…

Holy CES 2011.  It is finally over.

How’s everyone feeling after the week long chaos that just finished up?  We might be struggling to wrap our brains around everything we saw over the last 6 days, but that isn’t stopping us from trying.  The focus of this year’s CES was clearly on Android and there is no denying that.  Random companies were spitting out tablets left and right, 4G devices from multiple carriers were on display, and the Tegra 2 was everywhere.  If you attended and walked away without thinking that Android has officially taken over the world, then you must have been at the AVN expo.

Our goal for the event was to hit up every big media event, relate them to the DROID brand if possible, and let you decide which device will be the next one for you to drop that hard earned cash on.  We didn’t want to overwhelm you or ourselves with the abundance of unnamed and highly unfinished tablets, but instead focused on getting as much time in as we could with things like Verizon’s entire 4G LTE lineup, since well, this is “DROID” Life, not “we cover all things tech” Life.  So I apologize to any of you who wanted something different, but we walked away from this event feeling great.  Let’s get into it!  

Motorola probably made the biggest splash of the week with their XOOM tablet that was the only thing in the area code that has even seen Honeycomb, while others continue to promise that theirs will as well.  The device received a variety of awards from some big media publications and deservingly so, this device blew our minds.  While few were allowed to touch it, the XOOM is guaranteed to be a winner and is the tablet you should all be considering when it’s released in Q1 of this year.  (XOOM coverage here.)

Moto didn’t stop there though.  They also announced the Atrix 4G, which may give AT&T a chance at actually competing with Verizon this year.  The phone sports a Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, and some multi-media docks and accessories that left us with our jaws on the floor.  We may be a little sour on the idea that it won’t be coming to Big Red, but if you are for some reason locked into AT&T, you shouldn’t even hesitate at buying this phone.  (Atrix coverage here.)

Of course Motorola also gave us a new DROID (the BIONIC) to start preparing for and it’s no slouch.  It’s essentially the same as the Atrix, but with a bigger screen, only 512MB of RAM, same dual-core processor, and front-facing camera.  We asked Moto reps if the accessory line for the Atrix would be available on the BIONIC, but they were a little hesitant to go that far. (BIONIC coverage here.)

HTC finally announced the Thunderbolt and we’re officially torn between it and the BIONIC.  I know, I know, it doesn’t have a dual-core processor, but you have to trust me when I say that it doesn’t matter with this one.  The Thunderbolt might be my favorite device from the entire event and if it comes out long before the BIONIC, it’ll be tough to ignore.  And not that I love bragging on our coverage, but our hands-on video and gallery of this device was easily one of the best around.  (Thunderbolt coverage here.)

Honeycomb was brought up more times than you can imagine, except it was no where to be seen unless you tuned into Verizon’s keynote on Thursday.  Otherwise we were all stuck with videos that were preloaded on the XOOM and across a couple of Youtube accounts.  We were a little disappointed at the lack of access to this new version of Android, but when you see how much has changed, you sort of understand why it has taken them so long to polish it off.

Other than that list of topics, we saw some nice new devices from LG and Samsung, but they really were overshadowed by what Motorola was pumping out.  We still got the feeling that they care more about making TVs than they do about mobile phones, which is unfortunate, especially with LG announcing the Optimus 2X as the first Tegra 2 phone ever.  And Samsung, they appear to be saving everything up their sleeves for next month’s MWC (Mobile World Congress) and really just skimmed through a couple of phones.

We were a little disappointed to see only one device running Gingerbread and it’s one that you can already buy, the Nexus S.  Everyone else had “plans” to upgrade their phones, but from what we can tell, all of these beastly 4G devices will launch with 2.2.  Disappointed by that?  We sure are.

The future is bright though, and seriously, you couldn’t turn around without seeing something Android-related.  Hotels surrounding the convention were plastered with 50-floor billboards for mobile phones or services, plus almost every single major media event on Wednesday had some sort of Android announcement in it.  Anyone in the industry with Android ties should walk away from CES 2011 feeling proud.

But to finish this off, I wanted to give you an idea of what encapsulated the entire week for the Droid Life crew in Vegas.  Below is a photo from Verizon’s highlight reel featuring our boy Tim-o-tato front and center doing what he does best in his DL sweatshirt, sneaking into large crowds to be the first to get his hands on everything.  Behind him you can see our Dr. Root (aka MrPicolas) bringing some video and on the bottom right are my hands shooting that HD love that I hope you enjoyed throughout the last 6 days.  We worked hard to bring you coverage of our first major convention and this picture sums it all up nicely.

Oh and this one is just epic.  Check out Tato with Verizon CEO Dan Mead at Verizon’s Palazzo party.  Yep, he actually dropped the horns on him…

It was a long week, but one that we’ll always look back on as this was the first CES for Droid Life, but will definitely not be the last.  We hope you enjoyed everything that we chose to cover at the biggest tech show of the year and are looking forward to a great 2011 with all of you.  We’ve got some amazing devices on the horizon and will as always be bringing you the best coverage of every single one of them.

The rest of our 2011 CES coverage.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for posting the great pics and videos, can’t wait for thunderbolt

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  • WTF

    as soons as iphone is here I be gone and android can kiss my ***

    • DBK

      Good riddance.

  • Anonymous

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  • sylent101

    Tato and the ceo actually look alike lol weird

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      That’s my Uncle Dan actually :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/mobrienjr Michael OBrien

    I just want to thank you guys for being the excitement to my living room. I know that personally i was excited to see what was going to be coming out, and I must say that I was not truly let down. Sure AT&T showed up with a full android lineup, but what do they really have right now. Verizon already has over 6 devices w/ Android. I cant say that I was not surprised about GB not being released. I mean how long did it take for devices to be shipped w/ 2.2. Some phones, Samsung Galaxy S, do not even have 2.2 yet.

  • http://twitter.com/mnkyhead mnkyhead

    Great Coverage, but I got to say I think Verizon dropped the ball with their line-up of new devices, and add on the latest changes to their customer agreements, and I would chalk it up as a fail. They have been the leader with android phones, but now that the i*hone is eminent, they seem to be cutting back. Sure the Thunderbolt(I bet that name will put off people from buying it) and the Bionic(again what is with these names) are/will be great phones, I expected more. I think we are starting to see the Apple choke hold. I hope I am wrong.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Tato what did you talk to Big Red's CEO about? Did you and Dan have a conversation of any kind? Spill the beans dude….

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      I just said I appreciate all the hard work they put in to making the best carrier out there. Then we knuckle bombed and I threw up the horns lol

      • Anonymous

        Right on… good picture man….

  • RoadsterHD1

    Thanks to everyone at DL for this coverage you guys ROCK!!!!

  • Monsterpt1

    Thanks for the hard work guys (gals?). Truly enjoyed all the real-time info since I had to pass on going to the show this year. Best tech coverage award should go to DroidLife! CNET who???

  • MOTOX

    Dam right droid-life…thats why im getting me a thunderbolt and a Bionic with some tinkering, trying to get those atrix accessories to work if the bionic doesn't have em, and or an iphone 4 on verizon… :) but the thunderbolt …./PHEW….AMAZING! :)

  • ryanallaire

    Awesome coverage guys! Without this site it'd be like driving through a tunnel without lights…

  • (v)urphy

    Thanks for the great coverage guys! This is going to be an exciting year for Android, even if Jobs has anything to say about it. :)

  • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

    I think I was blacked out when that pic was taken ;)

  • Guest

    The only smartphone that matters will be announced by Verizon tomorrow. Like many Droid users, I cant wait to throw mine down the toilet for the great iPhone!

    • Mikey

      I love my Droid X, but I have to admit I plan to go iPhone after the announcement tomorrow!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710530141 Tyler Buchanan

        Yeah, go for a phone that does less than your DX and controlled by Darth Jobs instead of looking at a real new phone like a Bionic based on technology that isn’t a year old…

        • Jesse

          The lag on the X is like death. I’ll be waiting ’til the iPhone 5 comes out before I chunk the Droid X.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      Can I have it? :P

      Meanie!

    • ryanallaire

      You better be joking, guest….

    • MOTOX

      Thats just sad, when android is better and is getting the tegra 2 market place….for amazing apps finally…you leave….DESERTER!, when your stranded in the dessert and you see an android phone on the ground, it will be dead to you! lololol.

    • DBK

      You’d have to pull out the iCrap from the toilet first before you can dump the Android. And you’re going to be in the minority by the way.

  • 1bad69z28

    LMAO Way to go Tato!!! We now know who really has the big connections :) Maybe Tato will have the CEO of Verizon on the Tato Series for a special interview :P

  • Michael_NM

    Thanks for the coverage! It sounds like you guys had a blast. Are you accepting resumes for next-year's team? :P

    PS: What's the word on tomorrow's announcement? Will it be fruity or windoze?

    • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

      Agreed!

      • Mrpicolas

        Lol keep waiting….

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      Windoze baby! :P

      • Michael_NM

        I hope you're right, because this will really make the fruit fans crazy! Or should I say crazier… :P

        BTW: Glad you made it home safely. I understand Vegas is already making preparations for how to handle your return. It's a good thing you were accompanied by doctors… :P

    • Bucho2k

      Fruity. Since it's in the, ummm, Big Apple. haha

  • Anonymous

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  • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

    Dnoces!

    How you like them apples, you damn firsters!

    Also, thanks for this great CES 2011 Recap post. Definitely useful and a great read through.

  • DeeMat

    First?

    I appreciated your coverage. Hopefully, Tato got home safe!

    • tbaybe

      yep… first

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      I think I got home okay. Had to wait at the airport for 6 hours for my darn flight though. Epic!

      • Anonymous

        T-6, hmmmm…. Tim “Wait i have a droid!” *Ding* Oh my planes here 6 hours early, lol. DROID DOES :)

      • Anonymous

        T-6, hmmmm…. Tim “Wait i have a droid!” *Ding* Oh my planes here 6 hours early, lol. DROID DOES :)

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  • Plzachar

    Nice write-up, Kellex! Love the ATRIX 4G and love the whole concept of a phone docking into a desktop, netbook, or HDTV! I’d buy the ATRIX 4G and netbook / docking combination IF Motorola made it for VERIZON!!!!! Motorola, are you listening????!!!!!

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  • Jager07

    This is cool, and all, but did you get any more pics of the chick to Tato’s right?? ;)

  • Bqluong

    I love how walking around all the exhibits, the exhibitors kept telling me “the iPad/iPhone can’t do this”.

  • Bqluong

    I love how walking around all the exhibits, the exhibitors kept telling me “the iPad/iPhone can’t do this”.