Watching CES online for the 2021 conference was certainly an experience – we’re happy to see it return to its regular old in-person format for 2022, though the exact state of the conference is up in the air.
When it kicks off in January, CES 2022 will bring us a bevy of new devices from all the major players in the industry. We’ll see some cutting-edge TV technology from the likes of LG, Samsung and Sony, plus new laptops, smartphones, wearables and headphones, too.
That said, we’re expecting a more subdued show than in years past due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on international travel. (In late December, the CTA said COVID-19 PCR tests were required of all attendees before they enter any of the venues.) But as of right now, the CTA says that most of the main players will be returning to their usual spots on the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor.
We’ve spoken to the CTA, who outlined how this year things will be a little more ‘hybrid’:
“The digital event did allow us to achieve some goals we had been thinking about for a little while, like connecting people from all over the world to what’s happening at CES,” said Karen Chupka, who heads up CES CTA.
“For the 2022 event, we’re excited about taking a digital audience and bringing them into sessions at the physical show. We want to use the hybrid format as a tool to help connect more people and bring new audiences into the fold.”
What about safety?
In the face of a rapidly-spreading Omicron COVID variant, a significant portion of tech media plans to cover CES remotely (including TechRadar). However, the in-person show will go on. CTA executives shared this statement with TechRadar:
“CES will be Jan 5-8 in Las Vegas with strong safety measures in place. The event will have a global technology focus, including innovations developed to fight COVID-19. Thousands of entrepreneurs, businesses, media and buyers are planning to come to Las Vegas. Top leaders from federal and state and foreign governments are attending. And, we have received several thousand new registrants since late last week. Given CES’ comprehensive health measures — vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests — coupled with lower attendance and social distancing measures, we are confident that attendees and exhibitors will have a socially distanced but worthwhile and productive event.”
Several major exhibitors have changed their CES plans, including Microsoft, Lenovo, Meta, Amazon, and Twitter (as of Dec. 22, the CTA put the number of companies canceling at 72 but noted that it added 60 new companies). These companies will no longer host in-person presences but most will be run streaming press conferences and host digital exhibits. These changes are in addition to multiple brands taking a more virtual presence (LG), or sending a skeleton crew (JLab Audio). You can read more in our piece exploring CES vs Omicron and we examine the efficacy of huge in-person conferences here.
In the meantime, many major tech media brands, including TechRadar, will now cover the event remotely. Don’t worry, whether you decide to attend CES 2022 online or in-person, it will still be chock full of news and announcements, and we’ll bring all the news right to your screen.
CES 2022 dates and hours
Officially, CES 2022 runs from Wednesday, January 5 through Saturday, January 8, 2022. That’s when the show floor will be open, and you’ll be able to walk around to check out the different booths – as long as you have official documentation that you’ve been vaccinated.
Like previous conferences, however, there are two days of press conferences that happen before the show floor opens that take place on Monday, January 3 and Tuesday, January 4. That includes CES Unveiled that takes place from 5 – 8 pm PST on Monday, January 3 and the big press events from LG, Samsung and Sony that happen on Tuesday at 8 am PST and run through the entire day.
When most folks get there on Wednesday, the CES show floor will be open from 10 am PST until 6 pm PST then from 9 am to 6pm PST from Thursday to Friday. CES 2022 will officially wrap up at 4 pm PST on Saturday, January 8.
So what are we going to see from there?
LG at CES
LG is promising a full-sized booth at CES 2022, complete with helpful guides (maybe fewer than 2020) and a bunch of AR and VR experiences. We’re not sure how much of the 2022 products will be on display (get it?).
In addition to a video teaser from EGOT winner John Legend and promises of a big January 4 CES 2022 event called “LG World Premier,” we now know about LG’s line of weird, movable TVs and a powerful new – its first – gaming laptop. The LG 17G90Q is so big (17-inch screen), hardcore (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q graphics card), and exciting that it’s already won a CES 2022 innovation award.
The new laptop and crazy TVs are likely just scratching the surface of what LG has in store for CES 2022. Keep watching this space for more details.
The latest LG CES 2022 news:
Samsung at CES 2022
From TVs to phones to appliances you’ll be able to buy next year, as well as chef bots and ball robot concepts that may never reach the market, Samsung always has a lot to show at CES, and we anticipate a similar range of products shown off at CES 2022.
We expect Samsung to show off a number of new 4K and 8K Neo QLED TVs, following up last year’s excellent Samsung QN90A and QN900A models. As far as phones go, we anticipate seeing some of its more recent mid-range phones as well as the long-delayed Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, and maybe even a hint of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 flagship range.
Sony at CES 2022
Sony is always tough to nail down when it comes to CES plans. Some years they show up with a concept car. Other times they show up with an animatronic dog. You never really know what Sony will have in any given year.
That being said, we do have a few hunches of what we’re going to see there. From Sony’s audio department, we’re likely to see a new lineup of digital media players (i.e. Walkmans) as well as a pair of premium headphones or two. We’ll see some wireless speakers and, from the TV side, at least three to four new 4K and 8K screens to whet our appetites for the 2022 Sony TV lineup.
Sony usually doesn’t show off much from its camera business at CES but expect to at least hear how the company’s music and movie arms are doing. Will we see the PlayStation VR 2 there? Probably not, but we’ll certainly keep our eyes peeled just in case Sony surprises us.
TCL at CES 2022
TCL has embraced CES as a launchpad for its new products coming out in the year and concepts we might not see for awhile. Though some of those devices slated to come out get quietly delayed (or never release at all), there’s always an interesting range of TVs, phones, flexible-screen devices, and other gadgets from TCL, and we expect CES 2022 to be no different.
Given TVs are TCL’s bread and butter, we expect new 6-Series Mini LED TVs following up on last year’s fantastic TCL 6-Series 8K. TCL is only a few years into releasing phones under its own name, and we expect a follow-up to the TCL 20 series released last year – perhaps the TCL 30 line. There could also be TCL Tab tablets to see, along with concept devices we can’t begin to predict.
Hisense at CES 2022
Hisense never gets the same amount of airtime as companies like Sony, Samsung and LG at CES, but it’s still worth a stop at the company’s booth if you’re walking around the Las Vegas Convention Center. What we’re expecting from Hisense this year is another lineup of Google TV-toting smart TVs for the UK as well as some nice new laser TVs for the US.
If you’re looking for super futuristic display technology, you’ll find it at Hisense’s booth as well – however, most of it is either conceptual or exclusive to the Chinese market.
Intel at CES 2022
The biggest reveal we expect from Intel at CES is the continued release of new Alder Lake CPUs. We’re expecting some of its flagship enthusiast silicon to be released in November, but those will mostly be high-end desktop chip. CES 2022 might see Alder Lake chips making it to the mobile computing segment, where the big.LITTLE architecture should significantly boost laptop energy efficiency.
If early indications hold up, the new Alder Lake chips might leave the Apple M1 and M1X processors in the dust along with AMD’s Zen 3 chips.
Panasonic at CES 2022
Panasonic usually shows up to CES with two big announcements – one for its new OLED TV and another for its Technics line of vinyl players and headphones. This year, that could certainly change and Panasonic might surprise us with something totally new and different, but this game plan has always served Panasonic well in the past.
Unfortunately, the rest of Panasonic’s announcement will likely come during IFA 2022 – which isn’t happening until September of next year.
Our predictions for…
Cameras at CES 2022
The camera world has increasingly shunned CES in recent years, in favor of trade shows like Japan’s CP+ or dedicated events. But that doesn’t mean we might not get some surprises or big photographic reveals, like the Sony Airpeak drone last year.
One of the main cameras we’re expecting to see in early 2022 is the Canon EOS R5c, which is expected to be a video-focused version of the Canon EOS R5. The rumors suggest it’ll include active cooling to help overcome the R5’s overheating limitations. Will we see it at CES 2022? It’s perhaps more likely to arrive at its own event, though Canon did tease the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III at CES 2020 – so we’re not ruling it out.
Beyond the traditional camera giants, the action cam maker Insta360 has traditionally gone big at CES before, so it’s possible we’ll see a new addition to its modular One R system. The CES stage is also ideal for new photographic players to tease their tech – we’re hoping to see some innovators like the Pixii Camera shake things up a bit.
Lastly, don’t rule out some more updates to Sony’s Airpeak drone platform, and some more news on the VR capture front. With more of us working from home than ever before, Canon’s new 3D VR lens could be just the start of a new trend that’s fanned by CES 2022.
Phones at CES 2022
CES isn’t a big stage for phones coming out this year – that’s usually Mobile World Congress (MWC), which happens in February – but several brands choose to debut some new handsets at the first big annual show. These include some flagship devices but mostly mid-range and budget phones, as companies save their heavy hitters for MWC.
As previously mentioned in their own sections, we expect Samsung and TCL to have several devices on display, if previous CES shows are anything to go by. That includes pricier Samsung mid-range devices like follow-ups to the Samsung Galaxy A52 and Samsung Galaxy A72, as well as the potential debut of the still-unseen Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. For TCL, we’d expect the first round of devices in the TCL 30 lineup, with others coming later in the year.
It’s possible we see other brands show off their traditional phones, as Motorola has done with Moto G phones in years past. But we’re also expecting non-traditional phones, especially flexible-display devices: both the TCL Rollable and LG Rollable were shown off at CES 2021, and though neither has reached the market (RIP LG phones), they’re still showing where phone design could go.
Audio at CES 2022
We’re spoiled when it comes to audio products at trade shows. Between NAB, The Bristol Hi-Fi Show and CanJam, we have a new event every three months that will show us what’s hot in the world of hi-fi headphones, speakers and soundbars. That said, while we have plenty of opportunities to get our ears on the latest and greatest cans, CES provides the unique opportunity of seeing what comes next – i.e. the experimental stuff.
In years past, that’s included Creative’s Super X-Fi technology and Sony 360 Reality Audio and we’re expecting to see more upgrades to both technologies at this year’s event.
Beyond headphones, expect to see plenty of new Bluetooth speakers and soundbars from LG, Samsung and Sony – plus bookshelves and standing speakers from Klipsch, JBL and more. That’s a fairly murky prediction, honestly, but the world of hi-fi moves fast and products are announced and released faster than most folks can keep up with them.
TVs at CES 2022
Bigger. Brighter. More pixels. Better contrast. It sounds so simple when you break it down like that, but in reality those are the four traits that every TV maker in the whole world are chasing right now. Bigger screens have always been a trend at CES but these past few years we’ve seen some truly super-sized models reaching upwards of 90 inches. Crossing that barrier will be difficult – and expensive – but it’s only a matter of time until we see affordable 100-inch TVs.
In terms of brightness and contrast, we’ll be looking for new Mini LED TVs to push the envelope on both fronts. We got our first batch of models from LG and Samsung this year in the form of the Samsung QN90A QLED TV and LG QNED99, and both blew us away.
There are some interesting rumors floating around about what could come next for display technologies – holographic and transparent TVs anyone? – but we’ll just have to wait until we get to Vegas to find out what the big three have in store for us.
Smart Home at CES 2022
Touchless tech was a big thing at CES 2021; from Kohler’s kitchen faucet that can dispense water by simply placing a hand in front of it, to Arlo’s video doorbell that can alert you when someone is standing on your doorstep rather than actually needing to push the doorbell itself. Thanks to the on-going effects from the global pandemic we expect to see a lot more touchless tech at CES 2022.
There’s likely to also be the usual crop of smart home devices including home security cameras with better resolutions and smarter AI that can help ensure you’re not plagued by unwanted motions alerts. We also expect to see a plethora of robot vacuums that offer better suction and utilize AI to navigate around your home, carefully avoiding obstacles such as socks that have escaped from the laundry pile and rogue phone charging cables.
Wearables at CES 2022
Most of the big names in fitness tracking (including Garmin and Fitbit) prefer to host their own events for each of their product launches rather than doing a big reveal at CES. That doesn’t mean Fitbit will be entirely absent from CES 2022, though.
Fitbit is now owned by Google, which is working to bring Fitbit apps and celebrations to its own smartwatch operating system, WearOS. CES is traditionally used as a showcase for new Wear OS watches, with companies like Skagen, Suunto, and Withings all showing off their latest Google-powered devices, so the 2022 show could give us our first glimpse of how the Fitbit integration will work on a smartwatch.
We could also see some fitness trackers that are a little outside the norm. At CES 2021, UK-based DNABand revealed a watch that uses data derived from a saliva sample to provide customized advice while you’re shopping for groceries. It’s likely that we’ll see something equally unusual at the 2022 show, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the startups showing off weird and wonderful wearables in the hopes of attracting an investor’s attention.
One final possibility is the appearance of ‘fitness tracking as a service’. We’ve seen some interesting developments in this area recently, with Amazon and Fitbit both releasing new devices that keep some insights hidden behind a paywall. At CES 2022, it’s possible that we might get our first glimpse of a fitness tracker that’s free up-front, but requires a rolling monthly subscription if you want to see your health data.
CES 2022: how to register
Registration for CES 2022 is available now to the consumer technology industry now at the CES website. In terms of cost, the CTA plans to charge a $300 fee. The fee will apply to most attendees, including retailers, but like in past years, credentialed journalists and analysts will be exempt.