CNN —  

CES 2020 is just around the corner, or at least the official start is. Many companies, such as Samsung and Dell, have preempted the official show and began the announcements early.

Many of the new products that shocked and awed us in 2019 should signal what’s to come this year, plus, many companies tease and offer sneak peeks. I’ll be at the show to find the stand-out to help you navigate everyday life.

Bottom line, it’s the stuff that excites us from brands that can be trusted.

You might ask, why should you care about CES? Well, it’s the show of shows when it comes to tech. There are plenty of concepts and products on display, but there’s quite a bit of lead time. Chances are, TVs, 2-in-1s, speakers and tablets announced at the show might not ship for a few months. But it starts the excitement and build up of all the new tech to expect this year. Of course, that’s not to say you won’t be able to get your hands on next-gen tech soon.

We’ve already seen the XPS 13, which has the latest InfinityEdge display and an insanely slim bezel, and Samsung is going full force with the Galaxy Book line. In the smart home sector, Intellithings has big updates for its Bluetooth motion sensor. It allows your smartphone and select other devices to trigger smart home devices or routines. Nanoleaf is also going after the whole smart home with sensors and more lights.

That’s just the beginning. CES Unveiled is the official start on Jan. 5, keynotes from LG, Sony, Samsung and TCL steal the day on Jan. 6, and I’ll take the show floors during the rest of the week.

Let’s walk through what to expect.

Bigger TVs that enhance 4K and push 8K further


Samsung wholeheartedly embraced the 8K trend that started last year. And it’s not stopping in 2020. We expect plenty of other manufacturers to join the 8K revolution.

You’re probably asking yourself, why? Especially when you consider that many broadcasts are only in HD. The answer comes in the form of upscaling content to 8K, or at least to a higher format. It’s the same technology we saw with 4K, and lets you get more value out of being an early adopter.

Opting for an 8K TV also future proofs you, and with 4K prices going down and models becoming more affordable, we might see cheaper 8K offerings. And on the 4K TV side, there should be a large influx of new models.

Many Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit devices

Apple, Amazon and Google generally stick to the sidelines, but that doesn’t mean the respective smart home ecosystems stay silent . Many devices will get smart integrations — some that likely shouldn’t. Kohler preempted the show with a shower head that has an Alexa speaker inside.

More smart devices like outlets, lights and sensors of all shapes and sizes will see the light of day. And I hope they continue the trend of working across all three ecosystems, so you can move between them and work holistically in any smart home system.

Foldables in many sizes

Jacob Krol/CNN

Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold last year and Microsoft teased the Duo and Neo. Safe to say that foldable phones are here to stay, and we’ll see the impact on not just mobile devices, but also on computers. With Windows working on software enhancement, along with Google, it will be an easier landscape for developers and hardware manufacturers to enter. We’ve been teased foldables for a while and the Galaxy Fold was a great first try. I’m still excited for the Razr, but I look forward to seeing new concepts and foldables this year.

True wireless earbuds from all corners

AirPods won many of us over. I loved the new AirPods Pro for finally advancing the audio game and introducing new features such as noise cancellation. Galaxy Buds filled the gap for Android users and Amazon entered the space with Echo Buds.

And you can bet that many true wireless offerings will arrive at CES 2020. JLab Audio has already announced a $29 pair of true wireless earbuds, so we’ll also see options across the price spectrum.

Stick with CNN Underscored for all the news from CES 2020, and give me a follow as well (@Jake31Krol).

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