Samsung's CES 2022 keynote leans into sustainability, customization and device concepts
Goodbye robots, hello greener production and packaging.
David LumbMobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertisesmartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
Samsung's CES 2022 keynote on Tuesday was light on standalone products in favor of device concepts, customization and an even greater emphasis on sustainability than in years past. The company spent much of the event the evening before CES officially opened pitching itself as a more eco-friendly producer of consumer tech.
Watch this: Watch everything Samsung announced at its 2022 CES address
Even small tweaks to how its products are made can make a big impact when the company produces 500 million devices a year, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics Jong Hee Han stated on stage, noting that using less electricity and raw materials in production of certain memory chips has reduced the company's carbon emissions by 700,000 tons last year.
Consumers will see sustainability changes in the products they buy. This year's Samsung TVs and displays will use 30 times more recycled materials than in 2021 and within three years, every phone and appliance that rolls off the assembly line will have reused materials. More and more products will also arrive in packaging made of recycled materials.
The company's products are also being tuned to be more energy efficient, from enabling its solar-powered TV remotes to be powered by radio waves to making its TV and phone chargers work on near zero standby power by 2025. And outside of its products, Samsung will join with companies like Patagonia to reduce the impact of microplastics in the environment to supplement its more experimental endeavors, like the blockchain reforestation project also announced during CES 2022.
Fans of Samsung's more freewheeling shows may have found this keynote more subdued. Instead of robot concepts and big product reveals, there were just a few new gadgets, like the Freestyle, a soup can-size portable, connected device that projects a screen up to 100 inches wide.
The Freestyle is a device out of Samsung's Future Generation Lab, a products division that dreams up oddball concepts. Also showcased was the latest generation of the Odyssey Ark, a 55-inch screen with a serious curve that can be rotated for gaming at dramatic angles.
More gamers may be interested in the dedicated gaming hub Samsung is including in its 2022 TVs, which includes cloud gaming services Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now and Utomik, with more to follow. It plays nice with third-party controllers, linking up to them instantly with no other hardware required.
Samsung leaned into its SmartThings system with Samsung Home Hub, a dedicated device to wrangle all your smart products. The company will build its SmartThings Hub software into its upcoming TVs, smart monitors and Family Hub-branded refrigerators released this year. And to encourage greater interaction among smart devices of different brands, Samsung introduced the Home Connectivity Alliance, a group of companies committed to improving interoperability and security that it belongs to along with GE, Electrolux and Trane.
Following the success of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition, Samsung is opening up color customization of more products with its #YouMake hub, which will go live on the company's website later in January. You'll be able to tweak the colors of Samsung appliances like the French Door refrigerators, microwaves, and oven ranges to theme your kitchen.
Completely absent was the finally launched Samsung Galaxy S21 FE announced earlier today, but that may not be a surprise given the keynote focused so much on the year ahead. Regardless, it was a more subdued presentation, which still fit the rest of CES 2022.