ICYMI: the week's 5 biggest tech stories, from CES to Apple Vision Pro

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Rabbit r1, Evie Smart Ring, Apple Vision Pro and MSI Claw on a pink background
(Image credit: Apple/Rabbit/Movano Health/MSI/Samsung)

CES 2024 bestrode the tech world this week like some kind of mega-robot, arms made of smart showers and smart telescopes, body of a transparent OLED TV, neural headphones for ears and (of course) an AI brain. There was a lot to see.

We've rounded up our favorites from the Vegas show in a separate 20 best gadgets of CES 2024 article – although you will also find a couple below – but there has been other news this week, too. 

So if you need a quick catch-up, read on for your weekly digest, from our brains to your screen and into your brain as if by magic. 

5. The OnePlus 12R hoved into view

The OnePlus 12 in white

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The eyes of the smartphone world may be focused on Samsung Unpacked next week, but there's another big launch following hot on its heels.

OnePlus is globally launching the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R on January 23, and though we already know everything about the former (it was revealed in China last year), the latter remains something of a mystery.

Or at least it did until this week, when a couple of leaks gave us some extra details about its specs, including the fact that it could have 100W charging, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and a triple-lens camera with a 50MP main sensor. Given that we already knew it would come with a variable refresh rate screen and massive 5,500mAh battery, it sounds well equipped – yet it will reportedly start at just $499 (around £390 / AU$750). If true, this could be OnePlus’ affordable Samsung Galaxy S24 rival.

4. The Mandalorian earned itself a movie sequel

Din Djarin holds onto Grogu in his starfighter cockpit in The Mandalorian season 3

The Mandalorian season 3 might be the show's final TV entry. (Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney Plus)

We've loved Disney's Star Wars show The Mandalorian since it arrived in 2020, but feared Din Djarin and Grogu/Baby Yoda's adventures were over once season 3 ended last year. Well, we were wrong – because the pair are getting their own Mandalorian spin-off movie.

The Mandalorian & Grogu will enter full production later in 2024, with Jon Favreau directing and exec-producing it, although as yet we have no idea of when it might reach theaters. But what we do know is that it will be the first of a batch of new Star Wars movies that are already in development at Lucasfilm.

Rumors suggest season 4 of The Mandalorian is also in active development ahead of a future Disney Plus release, so it looks like the Star Wars story will continue for a few years yet.

3. The Samsung Galaxy S24 just kept leaking

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / @SmartPrix)

We're now only days away from the big reveal of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, but frankly we're not sure there's much left to learn about the flagship phones.

This week alone we've seen a massive leak of every single spec for every Samsung Galaxy S24 model, learned about key features of all three S24 phones in a separate leak, and heard rumors of a potentially crucial S24 display upgrade. And they all follow on from weeks of teases about the trio, which also include the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra as well as the vanilla model.

In short, we're not expecting a lot of surprises at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024 next week. But that doesn't mean we're not excited about it all the same. Based on what we think we know, the S24 Ultra in particular will be another superb phone – just not a particularly well hidden one ahead of its launch. 

2. Apple Vision Pro got a release date – and its first video advert

A woman wearing an Apple Vision Pro headset on an orange background

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple doesn't do CES – of course it doesn't – so it did what it often does in these circumstances and decided to drop some big news of its own instead. Hey, everyone! Over here! It's me, Apple! Look at meeeee…

In fairness to Apple, the story was a pretty big one – the Cupertino giant announced that the Apple Vision Pro will officially go on sale in February, with pre-orders starting soon. 

It also rolled out the first Vision Pro video advert, in which we learned several other details about the mixed-reality headset, including details of which accessories it will ship with. And that marketing spend may well be needed, because with a price tag starting at $3,499 (which converts to around £2,755 / AU$5,225), the Vision Pro is hardly going to be an impulse buy. 

Then again, having spent some hands-on time with the Vision Pro when it was revealed at WWDC 2023, and checked out how 3D spatial videos will look on it before Christmas, we also suspect that those of you with deep pockets will be queuing up to give it a try.

1. We went to CES – and we loved it

CES 2024

(Image credit: Future)

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so the saying goes – but that's clearly not true when it comes to CES. And nor should it be, because there was simply so much exciting stuff on show that we simply had to tell the world about it.

You'll want to check out our top 20 best gadgets of CES 2024 awards page for the full story – or follow us on TikTok, where we have dozens of videos from the CES show floor – but let's have a little ICYMI highlights reel right here…

<Deep breath> We tried LG's transparent OLED TV and loved it, we decided Rabbit r1's AI companion is the CES gadget we want to hate (but may end up loving), we marveled at Nanoleaf's new music-syncing software, we cooed over Fiio’s ode to the Sony Walkman, and we (unwisely) put our hand into the world's first wearable oven

More? OK then, we listened to Dolby Atmos music in a Mercedes-Benz, geeked out over Celestron's AI-enhanced smart telescope, delighted in the MSI Claw and decided 'Neural' headphones are the next big thing for audio

Oh, and we also lusted after the Ottobot Brew beer-dispensing robot, gawped at Helix’s personal vertical take-off and landing aircraft, tried on the Evie Smart ring and nearly exposed ourselves in Kohler's new smart shower – though the less said about the last one the better.

In short, we saw everything we could and you can read about our favorites below.

Marc McLaren
UK Editor in Chief

Marc is TechRadar’s UK Editor in Chief, the latest in a long line of senior editorial roles he’s held in a career that started the week that Google launched (nice of them to mark the occasion). Prior to joining TR, he was UK Editor in Chief on Tom’s Guide, where he oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage. He's also a former editor of the tech website Stuff and spent five years at the music magazine NME, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun. He’s based in London, and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and pretty much every other type of gadget you can think of. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). He also enjoys live music, gaming, cycling, and beating Wordle (he authors the daily Wordle hints page).