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Here are the best smartphones we saw at CES 2024

CES 2024
Digital Trends

CES 2024 has kicked off in Las Vegas, bringing us the latest groundbreaking technology and innovations. Though most of the spotlight during CES is on next-generation televisions and even new automobile tech, there’s also a slate of cool new smartphones to check out this year.

Here are some of the best smartphones that we’ve seen so far at CES 2024.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro

The back of the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Asus is a popular gaming brand, and it’s ringing in the new year with its next-generation gaming smartphone powered by Android 14.

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is a beast in terms of specs. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip inside along with 16GB RAM and 512GB starting storage. But you can take things a step further by going for the higher-end version with a whopping 24GB RAM and 1TB storage.

For the display, it has a 6.78-inch LPTO Samsung flexible AMOLED touchscreen that can reach a 165Hz refresh rate for select games. For everything else, the refresh rate varies between 1Hz and 120Hz. The display also has a 720Hz touch sampling rate and can get up to 2,500 nits of peak brightness. This one has smaller bezels than previous models, and for the first time, Asus gave it an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro has a 50MP main camera with Asus’ 6-axis gimbal stabilizer, a 13MP 120-degree wide-angle camera, and a 32MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. The front has a 32MP selfie camera.

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The ROG Phone 8 Pro has a massive 5,500mAh battery and a revised cooling system that has pretty much everything — including copper heat sinks, graphite sheets, and even boron nitrate injected into cavities, meaning you can game for hours without any overheating issues. The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro also has wireless charging, which joins the 65-watt wired charging capabilities, so you get a full battery in 40 minutes.

All of those features make the ROG Phone 8 Pro a powerhouse of a phone. But it also has one final cool trick up its sleeve: there’s a mini LED display on the back of the phone that can show 20 different animations for various scenarios.

There is also an ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition. This version has an AeroCool X fan cooling accessory and also has a higher fan speed than previous models that helps cool the phone more efficiently so you can game more. It also has another RGB display, two physical buttons, and the long-forgotten 3.5mm headphone jack.

Asus ROG Phone 8

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro's camera lenses.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Though Asus really knocked it out of the park with the ROG Phone 8 Pro, it also has the standard ROG Phone 8.

It’s very similar to the Pro version, except it doesn’t have the mini LED animations on the back. Instead, it just has a simple RGB display like previous ROG Phones, which is still pretty cool.

Another difference between the standard ROG Phone 8 and the Pro version is that it only has 256GB storage, but it does still have 16GB RAM.

TCL 50 XL 5G

Someone holding the TCL 50 XL 5G at CES 2024.
TCL 50 XL 5G Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

TCL is well-known for its lineup of affordable smartphones and tablets. This year at CES 2024, it announced seven new phones — but let’s take a closer look at the TCL 50 XL 5G.

The TCL 50 XL 5G has a massive 6.8-inch FHD+ 120Hz display that’s also equipped with dual speakers and DTS sound. And though it starts with 8GB RAM, it can be expanded for better performance.

With a 5,010mAh battery inside, the TCL 50 XL 5G should last a good while on a single charge. It’s a good option for those who are always on the go and need a phone with battery life that can keep up with them. It should also prove an interesting alternative to the likes of Samsung, Google, and others this year.

TCL 50 NxtPaper phones

Someone holding the TCL 50 XL NxtPaper 5G smartphone at CES.
TCL 50 XL NxtPaper 5G Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

TCL also unveiled two new NxtPaper smartphones cas part of its massive lineup. TCL has remained fairly quiet on the specs for the NxtPaper phones, called the TCL 50 XE NxtPaper 5G and the TCL 50 XL NxtPaper 5G, so we don’t have much to go on. The big deal, however, is that these will be the first NxtPaper phones to hit the U.S. market.

TCL’s NxtPaper tech itself is quite impressive, and it should offer something different from most other smartphones on the market today. On NxtPaper devices, the screens have a matte finish, and they look and even feel like paper — hence the name. Since they have a matte finish, it makes the display easier to see since there’s no glare, especially outdoors in sunny conditions.

Clicks Creator Keyboard

Someone holding an iPhone inside the Clicks keyboard case.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Technically, Clicks is not a new smartphone, but rather a keyboard case for your iPhone. But it’s one of the most unique accessories we’ve seen yet.

Clicks is a case that wraps around your iPhone, similar to the old Mophie Juice Pack case or even Apple’s own Battery Case before it was discontinued. It has either a Lightning or USB-C port, depending on your iPhone model, and it plugs in directly to the iPhone itself, so no Bluetooth connection is required.

Once Clicks is installed, it removes the virtual keyboard on the iPhone, so it basically doubles your screen estate. This makes it easier to type while remaining immersed in your app and even content creation. The keyboard even has a backlight, making it possible to use it in dark or lowlight situations.

An iPhone without the Clicks keyboard, next to one with a Clicks keyboard case.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

But Clicks isn’t just about adding a physical keyboard to your iPhone. It also unlocks iOS keyboard shortcuts for your iPhone, so you can press CMD + H to quickly get back to the home screen or CMD + Space to get to search. If you’re in Safari, you can scroll through webpages with the spacebar. And it’s not just first-party apps that use the keyboard shortcuts either — you can use Clicks with third-party apps, too.

Clicks comes in two colors: BumbleBee (yellow) and London Sky (gray). It costs $139, and you can preorder one right now at Clicks.tech. The first shipments will arrive next month. There will also be a Clicks companion app launching on the App Store soon.

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Courtesy by: Digital Trends

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