LAS VEGAS -- At a Consumer Electronics Show dominated in hype by a new laptop category called Ultrabooks, it might have been easy to miss just how significant all of the smartphones introduced at this year's CES really were.
Perhaps lost in the glitz of this Year Of The Ultrabook convention were smartphones that could have huge implications for their companies in 2012, beginning with the Nokia Lumia 900. Introduced at an intimate press conference here on Monday, the Nokia Lumia 900 is the handset-maker's first smartphone designed specifically for the Windows Phone operating system, Microsoft's critically acclaimed mobile software that has yet to catch on with consumers. Handset makers like HTC and Samsung are both manufacturing Windows Phones already, but sales have been slow; Microsoft and Nokia are both banking on the Lumia series of phones in 2012, and the rollout has officially begun, as the intro-level, $50 Lumia 710 went on sale at T-Mobile on Wednesday. It is the 900, however, that is the major mobile story that emerged from CES, however. At the risk of hyperbole, the Lumia 900 could determine the fate of both Nokia as a mobile presence in the United States and Windows Phone as a viable mobile operating system, as each tech giant has placed a lot of faith (and a lot of money) in this top-of-the-line Nokia Windows Phone.
Other smartphones introduced here don't carry such existential weight but are significant nonetheless: Motorola's beautiful DROID Razr had a big battery problem that Motorola claims to have fixed with the DROID Razr Maxx; Samsung pushed the limits of screen size with the Galaxy Note, a mammoth 5.3-inch device that comes with a stylus and will be promoted as a primary phone; and Chinese giant Huawei introduced the phone that it hopes will earn it a foothold in America: the Ascend PS1, which Huawei is calling "the thinnest smartphone" on the planet.
Below, we've compiled the 7 major smartphone introductions at this year's CES, all of which happen to be gorgeous pieces of technology, too. Scroll through and check out some new options for what could be your next cell phone.
For more from CES 2012, check out our roundup 9 wild and wacky gadgets for music lovers, as well as 7 Ultrabooks that could take on the MacBook Air. You can also visit our CES 2012 Big New page to see all our coverage from the week.