With CES 2024 wrapping up, it's time to have a look at some of the smartphones that were shown off during the week-long expo. Even though phones aren’t usually the main focus of CES — not in an age where events like Galaxy Unpacked grab our undivided attention — there have been some interesting additions that are worthy of attention.
Usually, if there are phone reveals at CES, then they focus on the smaller brands, though this year's show saw the big reveal of both the Asus ROG Phone 8 and the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro along with some interesting display prototypes from Samsung.
Aside from the big names there were some surprising new phones from other companies you may not be familiar with. The release of not one but five phones from TCL was a welcome surprise for us and could give smartphone shoppers more options. Seeing Oppo double down on the X7 Ultra’s double periscope design choice was also interesting.
Read on for more details on the best phones of CES 2024.
Asus ROG Phone 8 and the ROG Phone 8 Pro
One of the biggest announcements of CES was the release of Asus’s next generation of ROG phones. The Asus ROG Phone 8 and Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro are impressive pieces of technology, and will more than likely set the standard for the best gaming phones in 2024.
Both the base model and Pro version offer the kind of specs that should far exceed their predecessors. Either phone runs on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and can feature a truly staggering amount of RAM. Asus teased users with a look at the multi-core Geekbench numbers showing off general performance. If accurate, Asus' gaming phone figures to be one of the most powerful devices you'lll be able to buy this year.
Oppo Find X7 Ultra and its dual periscope cameras
Oppo took the chance to showcase its next phone, the Oppo Find X7 Ultra, during CES 2024, which included a look at the curious design choice the phone maker has taken in regards to the camera.
It appears that Oppo is doubling down on its decision to include two periscope lenses on its phone. Add to this a larger Sony sensor, and you have a phone that certainly stands outs out when it comes to cameras.
However, there is more to a phone than the camera. Oppo has put together a reasonably powerful device, with the inclusion of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and up to 16GB of RAM. As a result, the Find X7 Ultra will manage to make a place for itself.
One thing that dims our excitement: There is no indication if Oppo aims to release its next phone to the US market — and if the company's track record is anything to go by, you'd imagine US shoppers will be locked out of the phone.
TCL 50 series and its paper-like screen
TCL is no stranger to CES or to bargain hunters who've bought the phone maker's handsets via carriers and retail outlets. And this year, TCL is dealing in volume with several new devices — or at least several variations of the same phone.
The TCL 50 is the fifth generation of the range and encompasses everything from the base model to the 5G variation and the NxTPaper models.
In particularly, pay attention to the TCL 50 XL NxtPaper 5G and TCL 50 XE NxtPaper 5G. Those two devices — the 50 XL has a 6.8-inch screen to the 50 XE's 6.6-inch panel — mark the first time that phones with TCL's NxtPaper display will be seen in the US. This advanced display technology allows the screen to appear similar to paper and offers a truly unique experience that should take some of the strain off your eyes.
MM Guardian phone
The MMGuardian phone is certainly one of the strangest phones to come out of CES 2024. This may be the first smartphone that actually started life as an app, and then became a phone.
The MMGuardian phone is based on the app of the same name that was designed to keep kids safe online by allowing parents to monitor their children’s smartphone usage. The phone will offer the same options, but will also use AI to alert parents of inappropriate selfies being taken on the phone.
Punkt used CES 2024 to announce the Punkt MC02, the first phone to run Apostrphy OS, potentially making this phone the one that every privacy fan will want.
If you have not heard of Apostraphy OS, it's essentially an open-source code version of the Android OS. Punkt has promised that the phone will have access to all the same apps as any other Android phone but with more control over how personal data will be used. This is supposedly achieved by changes in the way Apostrophe works compared to base Android. Its software is divided into segments with one protecting personal data and app integrity and a second, sandboxed area that can accept Google Play Store downloads.
Samsung Flex liple and Flex in and out
Two of the more interesting designs came from Samsung this year, although what Samsung showed off isn’t as much a new phone as it is a display design. We got a chance to look at the Flex Liple — which I am assured is not a typo and is a combination of the words “light” and “simple” — and the Flex In and Out.
The Flex Liple ditches the outer display that we have seen on other models; instead, a portion of the screen spills over over the top of the handset.
The internal screen extends over the device's top edge and displays small bits of information, such as the time or notification alerts.
The Flex In and Out goes in the other direction to the Liple, maximizing the amount of available screen real estate. The display can bend both backward and forward. guarantees that Samsung could have the most flexible phones once Samsung figures out a way to incorporate these concepts into actual phones.
More to come
Consider CES 2024 the opening act for the phones coming out this year, with two big headliners following later in January. First, there's the aforementioned Galaxy Unpacked event that will introduce us to the new Galaxy S24 phones, including the Galaxy S24 Ultra. That takes place January 17.
A week later on January 23, OnePlus holds the global launch for the OnePlus 12, a flagship phone that's already come out in China. At that time, we should also see the OnePlus 12R, a cheaper variant of OnePlus' new phone.
Check out our CES 2024 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. Follow the Tom’s Guide team in Las Vegas as we cover everything AI, as well as the best new TVs, laptops, fitness gear, wearables and smart home gadgets at the show. And be sure to check out the Tom's Guide TikTok channel for all the newest videos from CES!
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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.