Note: This article originally posted December 5, 2012 and updated on December 21, 2012.
The gigantic CES trade show in Las Vegas is a few weeks off, promising previews of new handsets you may consider for your own pocket.
I expect that all the usual suspects will have something to announce in one capacity or another, save perhaps for Nokia, which just launched itsand phones.
Less bang, more buck-conscious
Nokia is a perfect example of handset-makers' relatively new trend of saving flagship smartphone launches for their own events in New York, San Francisco, and London. That's a change from last year, when Nokia used the crowded CES stage to make a bid for its U.S. comeback with the .
This year, however, themay have a much smaller presence, simply showcasing its products, trumpeting wireless charging, and perhaps rolling out a few Lumia-specific apps.
Others, like Samsung, will also hold off on releasing a flagship device so close to opening sales of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the larger . However, Samsung handsets will definitely make an appearance.
In general, I think we'll see more of the budget and midtier smartphones holding down the fort, with a sprinkling of premium devices as handset manufacturers reserve their best stuff for events that they control from start to finish.
Android 4.1, 4.2
Android has dominated CES' software and tablet categories for the past several years. This year will see a little more competition from , but Android will essentially remain on top.
Remember that Apple doesn't attend CES, but iOS will make its presence known in phone and tablet accessories, apps, and companion devices.
Expect to see the bulk of new smartphones carryand .
More processing muscle
Quad-core processors are toeing into high-end smartphones, like the , Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and the .
Not only will we see far more quad-core processors at CES, we'll likely start seeing even more cores pile up in demo devices, starting with tablets. Nvidia has already scheduled its press conference, and has long shared its plans to exponentially expand multicore devices through its mobile Tegra chipset for tablets and phones. Beyond that, alleged leaks point to.
Last year,by offering the first demo of a working quad-core phone running a game. While that was an impressive feat of engineering, remember that if they don't efficiently manage the battery while offering turbo-boosted speed.
No BlackBerry 10 devices
We already know that RIM will on January 30, after CES is long over.
Although RIM will keep the real handsets far, far away from Las Vegas, do expect to see the company show off its favorite new software features on demo devices.
Stay tuned for more CES news and updates to this CES smartphone preview.