Smart fridges, thin TVs and more: All the news from the biggest day at CES

On Press Day at CES, a long line of companies crowd the stage with product reveals and news about their latest tech innovations. Here's what you need to know.

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Samsung's new smart refrigerator has a giant display and cameras inside.

James Martin/CNET

CES veterans know the busiest period of the show is the day before it actually opens. Press Day, as it's called, is filled with back-to-back press conferences (naturally) that take place not at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but far across town at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

It's a long day and a lot to follow, which is why we've broken it down for you. Read on for a list of the CES Press Day announcements that you need to know about most. And don't forget to follow all of CNET's CES coverage.

LG

The company that always starts Press Day bright and early showed us a full range of products in its high-end Signature series for almost every room of your home. Starting with TVs, a typical CES staple, the G6 series and the step-down E6 series have compatibility with Dolby Vision HDR and feature LG's slimmest design yet, measuring just 2.57 millimetres (that's one-tenth of an inch) thick.

For the kitchen, LG has a new Signature Fridge with a unique door: knock on it and it turns transparent, letting you see what's inside. And for those dreaded laundry days, the new Twin Wash washing machine will wash two loads at once (in separate compartments) with the main chamber doubling as a dryer. LG even has a vacuum that will follow you around the house. Weird.

Samsung

LG's crosstown rival gave us a lot to talk about, leading with the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator. That's a $5,000 (AU$7,010, ‎£3,410) smart fridge (yes, you read that price correctly) with a gigantic (21.5-inch!) built-in touchscreen in the door. There are a ton of features here, so read our First Take for the full list, but the highlights are its touchscreen (it looks like a giant smartphone), connectivity with other Samsung smart appliances and a bank of cameras inside that snaps pictures of your food and beams them to your smartphone. Silly you say? Well just think about that next time you're at the grocery store and can't remember whether you need butter.

Other Samsung announcements include a robot vacuum you can control with your smartphone, an oven with Wi-Fi, laptops that are so light you can carry two in one hand, and a tablet the size of the iPad Pro running Windows 10. Oh, and one day at least, your Gear S2 smartwatch will be compatible with your iPhone.

Ford

A Ford Mustang you can order online with free shipping for Amazon Prime members? No, but the automotive company is partnering with Amazon to let you control your smart home from your car through Ford's Sync Connect and AppLink services and Amazon's Echo home-automation hub and Alexa voice-concierge service.

Beyond Amazon, Ford announced it plans to work with the Wink smart home platform to provide similar levels of voice commanded functionality straight from your driver's seat.

Sony

Sony spent its press conference concentrating on audio, TVs and camcorders. For example, if you think turntables are a thing of the past, think again. OK, the PSH-X500 is a USB turntable, but Sony promises this one is better (it carries a "Hi Res" banner, after all) and it's actually attractive.

Videographers get Sony's first action cam in quite a while, the HDR-AS50. It has a standard 1/4-20 tripod mount built in, an auto-tagging feature that can detect faces and a new underwater housing that can take a plunge of up to 60 meters (196 feet). The 4K FDR-AX53 is a significant upgrade to the AX33. It has a new lens, new sensor and new microphone.

Panasonic

Cameras topped the agenda for Panasonic. The company showed the DMC-ZS60, which has a ton of cool features including the option to adjust focus after you shoot a photo. The ZS100 combines a 1-inch sensor with a 10x zoom and three new camcorders give you more opportunity to shoot in 4K.

Smartphones

Jessica Dolcourt checked out a new Google Nexus 6P version in gold and she was not shy about calling it pretty. Of course, the insides are no different from the regular model, but you'll get that shiny gold skin at the same price ($499, £449 and AU$899 for 32GB). That's a nice touch.

ZTE announced two entry-level phones coming to the US, the Avid Plus and the Grand X 3. The former is built for MetroPCS and comes with Wi-Fi calling, and the latter has USB Type-C and will come to Cricket Wireless. If you need something more durable, try the Kyocera Hydro View. You can dunk it in water and rubber seals protect it from dust. For something a bit fancier, the Huawei Mate 8 has a long-lasting battery, an all-metal build and a fingerprint reader.

Smartwatches

Running on Android Wear, the Smart Outdoor Watch from Casio has a built-in microphone, a compass and a pressure sensor. It's also water-resistant up to 50 meters and built to meet US military standards. Though Fitbit is known more for its fitness trackers, the new Fitbit Blaze is more of a smartwatch, with fitness features folded in. And if you like your bling, the Huawei Watch now comes in a Swarovski crystal-encrusted model.

And that's not all

  • BMW showed an i8 model that uses cameras instead of side-view mirrors to eliminate blind spots.
  • Nikon took the wraps off the the D5 and D500 SLRs and the KeyMission 360 action cam.
  • The Whirlpool Front Control Range connects to an app that lets users preheat, start, pause, stop and adjust the ovens temperature and cook time and it works with the Nest thermostat.
  • HTC's new Vive pre VR headset has a room-sensing camera.
  • Alcatel's 8-inch Pixi 3 tablet runs on Windows 10 and has a 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU, LTE connectivity and 8GB of internal storage.
  • The (dare I say?) cute Withings Go is a plastic clip-on fitness tracker with a replaceable battery that lasts eight months, a waterproof skin and an e-ink screen.

The day isn't over either. Digital Experience, a preview event similar to CES Unveiled, is happening now at the Mirage Hotel. Keep checking CNET's CES package for all the news out of that event and everything else that's still to come. Remember, the show hasn't even opened yet!

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