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Building the smartphone side of CES (photos)

With CES set to open in two days, workers at the Las Vegas Convention Center are scrambling madly to set up. CNET takes a look at the big cell phone booths under construction.

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Kent German, Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 16 Kent German/CNET

Nokia leads off

Mobile devices always have a big presence at CES and even now, two days before the show opens, we can tell that the 2012 show will be the same. The booths under construction are as big as ever with each company eager to show its best sides to the thousands of attendees who will descend on the Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday. So join Jessica and I as we tour the show floor and watch these creations taking shape.


Most cell phone manufacturers and carriers reserve space in either the South or Central halls, with many companies occupying the same spot as they did in previous years. We started in the South Hall and came first to the Nokia booth. Though it's not especially big, everything from the "Experience Nokia Lumia" sign to the cube-centric design has a Windows Phone 7 feel.

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2 of 16 Kent German/CNET

On to PCD

Next door is PCD right back in its usual spot. We can assume that you'll be able to play with the HTC Rezound and Rhyme once CES starts.
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3 of 16 Kent German/CNET

Big Red

A little farther back is the Verizon Wireless booth. Neither the red color nor the emphasis on 4G are surprising.
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4 of 16 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Big Red

Verizon's booth is impressive and imposing. Above the central area is a glass case showing off the company's LTE equipment like we saw last year at the Verizon Super Switch in Orlando, Fla.
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5 of 16 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Conference hookups

We know it's Vegas, but not that kind of hookup. Stickers and Post-It Notes mark the spot where smartphones and other electronics will plug in for display.
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6 of 16 Kent German/CNET

BlackBerry, where are you?

After going big at the 2011 CES with its PlayBook, the company should take a lower profile this year by focusing on apps and software. Yet, that didn't stop our Canadian friends from building a big presence on the show floor.
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7 of 16 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

But it's still there

At the back end, a well-lit display of attempts at PlayBook covers serves as a sad wall of accessories for a product that only truly sells when discounts are deep.
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8 of 16 Kent German/CNET

Hello, Moto

Over in the Central Hall, Motorola occupies a prime spot near the front. There was little to see at this point, though the big numbers on the far wall reminded us of the countdown that you'd see at the beginning of a film.
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9 of 16 Kent German/CNET

Again

Never one for subtlety, Samsung again squats in the middle of the Central Hall with one of the largest booths in Las Vegas. The Galaxy Note sign in the center is further proof that the phone/tablet will make its debut here.
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10 of 16 Kent German/CNET

And not just mobile.

Over on the other side of its booth, Sammy shows off its range of TVs.
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11 of 16 Kent German/CNET

Sony competes

Admittedly, Sony gives Samsung a run for its money in terms of booth size. Everything Sony is there with Sony Ericsson phones occupying a small table near the front. And in case you didn't guess, it looks like we'll see an Xperia phone.
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12 of 16 Kent German/CNET
Just think that in two days the paper signs will be removed, shiny new phones will be installed, and a swarm of CES attendees will be angling for a look.
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13 of 16 Kent German/CNET

LTE at LG

LG's booth also will hold gadgets of all kinds, with the phone area promising lots of LTE.
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14 of 16 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Gettin' frisky

Somebody over at Ecko Unlimited has a naughty sense of humor. Hey guys, don't you know that the Adult Entertainment Conference isn't until next week?
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Hitch a lift

Hotwiring one of these things beats "borrowing" a golf cart any day. Fork lifts roamed the preshow floor like creatures from a prehistoric land.
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16 of 16 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Under wraps

Caution tape and plastic wrap are tools of the trade for protecting these phone protectors from MyBat.

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