CES 2010 was a lightweight show when it came to cell phones and smartphones. That's often the case with CES, as mobile devices have to share the stage with bigger products like 3D televisions and futuristic robots. That's set to change at CES 2011 of course, but we wanted to take some time and take a look back at the phones of CES 2010.
We awarded the Best of CES 2010 in the mobile category to the LG Lotus Elite, because that was the most innovative handset we saw at the show. Even though it was really a sequel to the LG Lotus of the previous year, the Lotus Elite had a great wow factor with its fashion-forward looks, innovative external touch screen, and overall features. Even if it's "just" a simple messaging phone, it was one we liked. This is true even when we ended up reviewing it later on.
Other Best of CES nominees included the Motorola Backflip and the Sonim XP3.2 Quest Pro. We thought the Backflip had an interesting design, but we had questions about the usability of the back touch pad and the durability of the oddly placed keyboard. We ended up liking it a bit more than we anticipated when we reviewed it later on, but we still weren't too pleased with its sluggish performance. The Sonim XP3.2 Quest Pro, while newly updated with Gorilla Glass and GPS features, was really an update of a previous product. A couple of other products that debuted at CES 2010 were the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus, both of which were sequels of the previous year's Palm products.
One thing we should note is that even though we saw Google's Nexus One in Las Vegas, it didn't technically debut at CES, which is why it didn't get nominated. Otherwise, I think we can agree it would have been a shoo-in.