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These are the 7 things you need to know about phones at CES 2016

From Motorola and BlackBerry's shocking news to a phone that acts like a GoPro, we round up the most important things that happened at the annual electronics show.


The Blu Vivo 5X is one new phone that'll help set the trend of cheap-but-good phones all over the world.

Sarah Tew/CNET
This story is part of CES 2016. Our editors bring you complete CES 2016 coverage and scour the showroom floor for the hottest new tech gadgets around.

Typically, the annual CES conference in Las Vegas is a little lean on thrilling phone news; companies tend to save their splashiest new products and partnerships for Mobile World Congress (MWC) a month later in Barcelona, Spain. Still, CES never fails to give us a taste of what's to come.

This year, the show brought us a bevy of amazingly inexpensive-but-promising handsets and a shocking announcement about one of the most important names in the history of phones.

The biggest news

  • Motorola invented the cell phone. Now recent owner Lenovo is going to kill the brand
  • BlackBerry: Forget BlackBerry 10 software. It's an all-Android year for us
  • Google and Lenovo will team up to build a phone that can navigate you indoors as well as it can outside

The most notable phones

  • Gold Nexus 6P: Outside of Japan, CNET was first to see the pretty gold version of Google's best phone.
  • LeTV LeMax Pro: This is the first phone to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor, a big coup for an unknown brand.
  • Yezz Sfera: Another first, this Miami-based phone maker's prototype fuses a GoPro-like camera with an Android phone.
  • Blu Vivo 5: We like its cheap price and metal build, but appreciate the Vivo 5's fresh Android skin most.

Big, big news coming up

Mostly midrange phones ruled this show, and in truth, CES is the moment of calm before MWC's mobile maelstrom. There at the world's largest mobile-everything trade show is where the big action happens, and it's there that we also expect to see some of 2016's heaviest-hitters, including Samsung's rumored Galaxy S7 and other marquee devices from the phone world's biggest brands.

The activity will be intense, and we'll be there on the ground to cover it with all our might. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out all the other CES 2016's other jaw-dropping gadgets.