I dragged my longtime friend and partner in crime Doug out to the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City last night to help me cover the CES Unveiled Press Preview event. Doug manned the camera and together we scoured the event for mobile handsets and goodies, some of which will be available for the holiday shopping season and other that you won't be able to buy until January or so.
There wasn't a whole lot of handset action in Manhattan last night, but Motorola did have the Special Edition RAZR 2 V8 on display. The SE version is a V8 done up in gold and faux snakeskin, and it somehow doesn't look as gaudy as it sounds. They were also showing off the H12 Bluetooth earpiece, a sleek, small mono earpiece featuring Crystal Talk technology for digital noise reduction curing talking and listening.
Samsung had a table full of handsets, most of which were on display at CTIA in San Francisco a few weeks ago. They did have two new models, however - the A737 is a 3G slider phone for AT&T. It's a basic mid-range handset with high speed data that comes in a jelly bean bowl full of colors. Also on display was the BPhone, the Beyonce-branded UpStage that you've probably been seeing all over TV commercials lately.
Perhaps the coolest thing we saw was the Alpine eX-10 Bluetooth Hub. This is a little gadget system for your car that features a dashboard-mountable LCD screen, a remote control, a microphone that clips on to your windshield visor, and a bunch of connectivity. Basically you connect your iPod to the Hub via a cable, your cellphone to the Hub via Bluetooth, and the Hub to your car stereo system (for transmitting audio via FM) and cigarette lighter (for power). You then use the remote to browse through your iPod and/or cell phone contacts list via the LCD screen and can do everything from make calls to flip through playlists to view album art on the thing. For $200 it's a trick little piece of kit (as the Brits say), though I'm not entirely sure about the whole remote control for your car thing. I'd love to see this with a touchscreen instead. The eX-10 will be available in about three weeks, and is user-installable.