Samsung teases CES appearance as rumors swirl about 5G ready Galaxy S21 FE unveiling

Samsung teases CES appearance as rumors swirl about 5G ready Galaxy S21 FE unveiling
Ah, yes; there was a time when every year we really looked forward to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held at the Las Vegas Convention Center each January. New devices would be introduced and at CES 2009, it seemed that Palm had finally unveiled the iPhone/iOS killer in the Palm Pre and its webOS operating system. At that time, Android had yet to break out and both the Pre and webOS energized those looking for a touchscreen smartphone other than the iPhone.

The CES is not as important to smartphone manufacturers as it used to be

Surprisingly, the Pre bombed when it was released in June 2009. Being a Sprint exclusive didn't help. About five and a half months later, the Motorola DROID was released on Verizon with Android 2.0 pre-installed and this combo kicked off Androidmania.

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In 2011, Motorola was the belle of the ball with the Droid Bionic. Expected to be the first smartphone capable of 4G LTE connectivity powered by a dual-core chip-set (with a clock speed of 1GHz), the DROID Bionic featured 512MB of memory. An 8MP front-facing camera handled self-portraits and video chats (the term "selfie" had yet to be coined), a 1930mAh replaceable battery powered the device, and Android 2.2 was pre-installed.

But by April, the phone had not been released and this version of the DROID Bionic (known as the Etna variant) was replaced by another phone using the same name. Motorola recalled all units of the CES version of the DROID Bionic that some were testing for Motorola and ended up releasing an underwhelming model of the phone instead. The very next year, Nokia used CES 2012 as the backdrop to introduce the first Nokia branded Windows Phone in the states.

But over the years, the CES has become less important to smartphone manufacturers even though in 2017 and 2018 Samsung brought prototypes of its foldable handset to the event in order to introduce it in private to Sammy's partners. Because of COVID, last year the event was streamed virtually instead of being held before live attendees, and this year several companies have opted to make their presentations over a video conferencing platform.

Those firms that dropped out of CES or plan on streaming their CES presence next month include T-Mobile, Amazon, Lenovo, Meta, Twitter, AT&T, Hisense, Intel, General Motors, Pinterest, TikTok, and Waymo. Samsung has just dropped an official video about the 2022 CES show. Describing the video isn't that easy. A picture window, like the kind you might see walking past a store in a metropolitan city, looks like an older Samsung smartphone.

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Instead of a clear glass panel, there is a frosted glass display and it shows the silhouette of some type of alien who spooks a female human walking by. Soon, a whole group of strange creatures is seen behind the frosted glass making strange noises and cleaning the display from inside. Now it is the aforementioned alien who gets spooked by a human male walking in front of the display. And a sign pops up on the window that says, "Together for tomorrow."

Rumors suggest that Samsung might unveil the Galaxy S21 FE at CES

What appears to be stickers and signs on the display carry pro-environmental and other messages such as "Going Green," "Everyday Sustainability," "Enabling people," and more. Cue the Samsung logo and that ends the teaser. While the video doesn't tell us what to expect from the company in Vegas, one rumor has the manufacturer unveiling the eagerly-awaited Samsung Galaxy S21 FE during the convention.

The Galaxy S21 FE is expected to feature a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The Snapdragon 888 chipset is expected under the hood paired with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage, or 8GB of memory with 256GB of storage. The rear camera array will come with a 12MP primary camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera.

The front-facing punch-hole selfie snapper weighs in at 32MP and a 4500mAh battery keeps the lights on. The phone is rated IP68 and will keep dust away. The handset will also be able to survive being submerged in water to a depth of nearly five feet for as long as 30 minutes.

CES kicks off on Tuesday, January 4th. Stay tuned.

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