Sony launches at MWC claimed to emphasize mid-range product range
Sony's lack of an Xperia Z4 smartphone launch at Mobile World Congress this week does not mean the company has given up entirely on the device, as Sony's financial situation would suggest. An executive claims the smartphone is still on the way, though it will apparently be launching long before September, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Xperia Z3 launch. When it does arrive, a leak suggests it will be a thinner smartphone that will have some changes compared to earlier models, such as the removal of the microSD card slot.
Some of the best -- and worst -- trends in tech this week
The MacNN Podcast is now up to episode five, and this week we looked at the new Microsoft Office 2016 preview; the disturbing trend of legitimate app makers inserting adware (or worse) into their apps to make a few extra bucks; the news from last week's Mobile World Congress, including the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge; our favorite reviewed apps of the week, and more news about Monday's public debut of the Apple Watch.
Action camera from Xiaomi records 1080p at 60fps
Not content with making mobile devices, Chinese smartphone producer Xiaomi revealed a new action camera at Mobile World Congress. The Xiaomi Yi is a compact camera in a similar style to GoPro Hero devices, taking the form of a small unassuming white box, with the device offering a 16-megapixel camera sensor capable of 1080p H.264 video recording at 60 frames per second.
LTE-equipped Tornado 552L smartphone measures 5.5mm thick
Kazam has unveiled yet another Android smartphone at Mobile World Congress, following the Tornado 455L and the pre-event launches. The Tornado 552L is one of the British manufacturer's higher-specification mobile devices, fitting a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek processor and a 5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED screen into a metal and glass casing that measures just 5.5mm thick.
Fusion Storage combines microSD card, internal memory into single storage block
Archos has revealed a selection of high-capacity tablets at Mobile World Congress, along with new memory-boosting technology to help make storage management more efficient. The Magnus tablet range offer capacities of up to 256GB, while the manufacturer's "Fusion Storage" system allows for external microSD card storage to be effectively combined with the internal memory of the tablet.
New camera can shoot up to 7 frames per second, or record 1080p video
Alongside the new Nikon D7200 DSLR shown at the Mobile World Congress yesterday, the imaging company announced the Coolpix P900, a point-and-shoot camera with a 83x optical zoom. The 16MP shooter also includes built-in GPS, and the Nikon Snapbridge technology, allowing users to pair the camera with an iOS or Android device over NFC or Wi-Fi for image sharing and camera control.
BlackBerry Leap shipping soon with 8MP rear camera, 5-inch 720p display
BlackBerry used its Mobile World Congress media event to launch a new mid-ranged smartphone, as well as teasing another future device, The BlackBerry Leap is aimed at "young mobile professionals" and has a five-inch 1280x720-resolution display, while a second unnamed device is a slider-style smartphone with a keyboard hidden behind the screen.
x3 intended for entry level devices, x5 and x7 for full Android and Windows
Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich today announced a series of mobile platforms including the company's new low-cost system-on-chip (SoC) for phones, phablets and tablets. The announcements include the Intel Atom x3 processor series, Intel's first integrated communications SoC solution for the growing value and entry device markets, and the five-mode Intel XMM 7360 LTE Advanced solution, designed for performance and worldwide coverage.
Slim Gionee smartphone has octa-core MediaTek processor
Gionee has launched a slim phone at Mobile World Congress measuring just 5.5mm thick. Taking after the Elife S5.5 in terms of thinness, the Elife S7 manages to fit in a 5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED display into its narrow aviation-grade alloy frame, covered with stainless steel sheet and nano-molding plastic, with the rest of the specifications appearing to suggest little has been taken out of the device.
Water-resistant Tornado 455L has rear 13MP Sony BSI camera
Kazam has outed one more device at Mobile World Congress, joining its other Trooper launches from last week. The Kazam Tornado 455L is a mid-ranged LTE-equipped Android Kitkat smartphone with a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display, with it also being IP67-certified for protection from the elements, with Gorilla Glass covering the screen, and the manufacturer offering support in the form of cracked screen replacements and a three-year warranty.
MVNO promises not to take on the big three carriers
Google has confirmed plans to offer its own wireless service in the US market. The company will establish itself as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) using existing carrier networks, according to a plan outlined by product chief Sundar Pichai today at Mobile World Congress. The company claims it does not aim to engage in direct competition with the big three US carriers, instead focusing on small-scale operations that provide flexibility to experiment with hardware and software.
Chinese-produced Grand S3 checks users vein pattern in eyes before unlocking
ZTE's latest flagship launching outside of China uses the owner's eyes to unlock the device, rather than codes or fingerprints. The latest in the Grand range, the ZTE Grand S3 uses EyeVerify's Eyeprint ID system to scan the eyes as a biometric authentication, instead of a fingerprint-based system used by some flagship devices, with Eyeprint ID keeping track of unique vein patterns on the eye itself.
The new 10.1-inch tablet makes its debut alongside the M4 phone
Sony has unveiled its new Z4 tablet at Mobile World Congress, claiming the title of world's thinnest and lightest tablet in the 10-inch class. It is also said to integrate the brightest display in the segment, with a battery that promises to last through 17 straight hours of video playback.
Foldable Keyboard has spill-resistant design, can switch between two devices
Microsoft has made a second version of its multi-platform keyboard, this time in a more-portable form. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress alongside new Lumia devices, the Universal Foldable Keyboard is a full QWERTY keyboard which can be paired with two iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Windows devices, with the user able to switch between the two with a press of a button.
Sony style with an accessible price point
Sony has expanded its Xperia smartphone lineup, adding the M4 Aqua this week at Mobile World Congress. The company is not shy about labelling it a midrange Android device, promising that all of the popular features and capabilities remain mostly intact, despite its lower price tag.
New 64-bit chip features 64 bits, Kryo architecture, Zeroth technology
Qualcomm president Derek Aberle laid out the company's future System on a Chip (SoC) offering in a presentation at the Mobile World Congress today -- the Snapdragon 820. The new chip, unveiled as devices with the Snapdragon 810 are just now seeing release, features a 64-bit CPU, and will be sampled to device vendors before the end of 2015.
Vibe Shot is smartphone with heavy focus on photography
Following on from yesterday's tablet launches, Lenovo has unveiled another trio of mobile devices at Mobile World Congress. The Vibe Shot is a smartphone with a focus on photography, the A7000 is claimed to be the world's first smartphone to use Dolby Atmos, and the Pocket Projector is a compact accessory for Android devices.
The slim phone is available two screen sizes
Alcatel has introduced the latest model in its OneTouch smartphone lineup, the Idol 3, which will be available in two screen sizes. Making its debut at Mobile World Congress, the Idol 3 features a unique 'reversible' function that allows users to take phone calls or navigate the interface when the device is upside down.
New Liquid smartphone collection includes entry-level, high-end devices
Acer has introduced three Android smartphones at Mobile World Congress, alongside the Liquid Leap+ and the Windows Phone-based Liquid M220. The Liquid Z220 and Liquid Z520 are entry-level devices, while the Liquid Jade Z follows on from the Liquid Jade S as a high-end smartphone, but slightly dialed back in specification to make it a more affordable mobile device.
The tablet supports 300Mbps LTE
Huawei has introduced the seven-inch MediaPad X2 tablet at Mobile World Congress. The company promotes the MediaPad X1's successor as suitable for use as a phone, with dual SIM slots and a thin-bezel housing that measures just 7.3mm thick. The second generation promises to deliver improved call quality, enhanced software, and better camera and video features.
Lenovo Tab 2 A10, A8 joined by Ideapad Miix 300
Lenovo has launched three tablets at Mobile World Congress. The Tab 2 A10-70 and Tab 2 A8 are Android tablets with 10.1-inch and 8-inch screens respectively, with both boasting Dolby Atmos surround sound audio processing, while the Ideapad Miix 300 is an 8-inch slate that will ship with Windows 8.1 and a one-year subscription to Office 365.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge follows Note edge in putting display on smartphone sides
Just as expected, Samsung has launched two flagship smartphones at its Unpacked event today. The Galaxy S6 is the latest update to the long-standing Galaxy S line, while the Galaxy S6 edge improves upon the expanded screen concept introduced with the Galaxy Note Edge last year, but this time Samsung has curved the screen around both sides of the device, giving users an even wider display.
Not clear what differs between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
Today at its Mobile World Congress keynote, Samsung Electronics announced the latest in mobile payment services, Samsung Pay. Utilizing the company's purchase of LoopPay in February, Samsung's effort uses both Near Field Communication (NFC) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), allowing consumers to transition to secure mobile payments at nearly all merchant locations.
April launch in EU, US; worldwide rollout shortly thereafter
Global home furnishings retailer Ikea today announced a product launch of powered bedside tables, lamps, and desks that implement a wireless charging standard. Ikea has adopted the Qi standard, and will sell cases in-store that use the standard for phones that do not have the technology integrated, like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S5.
HTC fitness tracker has built-in GPS tracking, connects to heart rate monitors
HTC revealed a third device at its Utopia in Progress event, alongside the One M9 and the Vive VR headset, a rumored fitness tracker which marks the company's first foray into wearable devices. The HTC Grip has been designed in partnership with sports clothing manufacturer Under Armour, with the tracker sending data to Under Armour Record for monitoring the wearer's progress.
The B2 brings an upscale design and new features
Huawei has introduced a new fitness tracker, the TalkBand B2, that made its debut alongside the company's new smartwatch at Mobile World Congress. Serving as a successor to the TalkBand B1, the B2 edition again doubles as a fitness wristband and a Bluetooth earpiece.
Physical design of HTC One M9 remains relatively unchanged from previous model
HTC has just used its Utopia in Progress event to launch the latest iteration in its One smartphone range. The HTC One M9 is similar to the earlier M7 and M8 devices, housing a 5-inch 1080p display in a familiar two-tone metal unibody design with front-mounted BoomSound speakers, though they now have Dolby Audio processing to provide 5.1-channel surround sound.
Glass front and back, metal sides expected with Samsung Galaxy S6
Images of what is believed to be one of the Samsung Galaxy S6 variants have leaked, giving what could be an early look at the smartphone before its expected launch on Sunday. Reports are also coming in that Samsung could also be having some trouble manufacturing one of its new flagship devices, with the curved-screen version apparently having yield issues with the display.
Smartphones joined by trio of Kazam Windows tablets
British smartphone producer Kazam has introduced a number of new devices ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress. The Trooper range of Android smartphones has been bolstered with six new models, with the company also preparing to show off three Windows tablets and two Windows Phone devices at the Barcelona-based tradeshow.
Pre-Mobile World Congress leak confirms 2K display for Sony tablet
Sony has accidentally revealed one of its Mobile World Congress Xperia launches a week before it was supposed to. The company's official Xperia Lounge app briefly showed an image of the Xperia Z4 Tablet, before being pulled from view, and though few details have been revealed in the leak, it appears the tablet may end up being a high-specification device.
LG Magna, Spirit, Leon, Joy all borrow G3 physical design
LG has unveiled four smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress, in a similar move to its Watch Urbane launch. The four mobile devices, named Magna, Spirit, Leon, and Joy, are all said to be mid-ranged smartphones that borrow much of their design from the LG G3 including their rear-mounted volume controls, with LG creating LTE-equipped and 3G-only variants of all four models introduced today.
German online store posts supposed images, details of next HTC flagship
The next in the series of HTC's flagship smartphones has been subject to a major leak over the weekend, one week before its reveal at Mobile World Congress. Promotional renders of the HTC One M9 have been spotted on the pages of German retailer Cyberport before being removed, with accompanying specifications claiming it to have a five-inch 1080p-resolution display.
Samsung hints at next flagship reveal ahead of Unpacked event
Samsung has teased its next flagship, due to be unveiled at the Unpacked event on March 1 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The teaser, posted to Twitter as well as sent to the media, cryptically shows a metallic curved line, which could signify either the expected Galaxy S6 will have a wrap-around side display similar to the Galaxy Edge, or Samsung is planning a second Edge device launch alongside a more conventional Galaxy S6 design. Earlier rumors suggest Samsung is planning to use a fixed battery and a glass-covered metal casing in the smartphone.
Standard port replicator now on eight models for ease of docking across devices
Fujitsu announced today three new Lifebook models and one new tablet in the Stylistic line, with fifth-generation Intel Core vPro processors. The devices, expected to debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March, include tablet sizes up to 13.3-inch, with one new model of 14-inch ultrabook. The tablets are all hybrid 2-in-1 devices designed to fit a new docking station.
Former head of Ive studio hiring may hint at new wave of Apple copying
Rumors about the upcoming Galaxy S6 continue to abound as Mobile World Congress -- the annual conference in March where the Korean manufacturer is likely to debut its flagship model -- approaches. In addition to previous rumors, new information suggested by the often-unreliable Korean site Ddaily suggests that the Galaxy S6 may sport an iPhone 6-like all-metal body, and may further copy Apple in making the battery of the unit unremovable.
HTC smartwatch said to share data with Under Armour fitness platform
HTC may join Samsung in launching a wearable at Mobile World Congress in March alongside a new flagship. Though lacking in detail, a report claims the smartwatch will take advantage of a partnership between HTC and Under Armour, with the wrist-based tracker connecting to the sports apparel brand's own fitness service for health and fitness tracking.
Samsung allegedly adding wireless charging to rumored smartwatch
Samsung may be preparing to launch a round-faced smartwatch in March, according to rumors. The alleged launch at Mobile World Congress may take place alongside the expected next installment in the Galaxy S flagship smartphone line, with the Galaxy S6 reportedly using glass on the rear as well as the front and a metal construction.
Barcelona event in March could be launch of new HTC flagship smartphone
HTC may use an event at Mobile World Congress at the beginning of March to launch a new flagship smartphone. The manufacturer has issued invitations to members of the media for an event taking place the evening before the Barcelona-based show starts, with the invitation giving relatively few clues as to what HTC will reveal to the press.
Sony enters fitness tracker market with discrete wearable device
Sony initially unveiled its SmartBand wearable tracker at CES in January as the company's first foray into the fitness tracker market. Consisting of a rubberized band and a central and small Core sensor acting as the brain of the device, the tracker in theory performs all of the usual tracking functions of a fitness band, as well as handling other aspects of the wearer's life, such as music, when used with the accompanying Lifelog app. Electronista spent time at Sony's Mobile World Congress booth to try out the SmartBand.
Mini name applied to marginally-smaller version of LG G2
LG initially revealed the G2 Mini last week, at the same time as a number of other devices including the G Pro 2, ahead of Mobile World Congress. The slightly-smaller handset has received the same "Mini" treatment as other similar models, and attempts to put the styling and features of its full-sized counterpart into a marginally lower-specification smartphone. Electronista took time to try out the device in Barcelona, with the initial impression being that LG has mostly succeeded with the device.
ZTE Firefox OS device is massive improvement from last year
At last year's Mobile World Congress, ZTE launched its first attempt at a smartphone running Firefox OS. This year, the company is following up on the ZTE Open with the ZTE Open C, a similarly-styled device that is also aimed at emerging markets. This time, the smartphone arrives with a fair number of improvements over its debut. Electronista took the budget Firefox OS device for a spin to see what's new.
Large 8-inch display, LTE in mid-range Huawei tablet
Huawei is using Mobile World Congress to demonstrate more than just smartphones, such as the Ascend G6 4G, by also announcing the launch of the MediaPad M1. The eight-inch tablet, which can be used to make phone calls like others in the MediaPad range, is a mid-ranged device that the company hopes will sell thanks to its LTE connectivity. Electronista spent some time with the tablet, and found it to be a little underwhelming.
Jury snubs Samsung, Microsoft, others; iPhone 5s passed over for best smartphone
Despite not having a presence at the massive Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain, Apple nonetheless scored a win in the Global Mobile Awards, awarded by the governing body of the MWC convention, the GMS (Groupe Speciale Mobile) Association. The iPad Air won for "best mobile tablet," ignoring its various competitors and latest entries from Microsoft, Samsung, LG and others. The HTC One was awarded "best smartphone."
G Pro 2 uses 5.9-inch display with 3.3mm bezel, 4K video recording
LG has been demonstrating the G Pro 2 smartphone, the sequel to last year's G Pro that it unveiled just last week, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The smartphone offers a bright, 5.9-inch Full HD IPS display with a minimal 3.3mm bezel -- and a number of different camera tricks, among other upgrades to the predecessor. Electronista tried out the device to see if it stands up against the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Fitness tracker combines wrist-worn device with Bluetooth earpiece
Huawei has entered the wearable devices market with an accessory that provides users more options beyond just fitness tracking. The TalkBand B1 is a wearable fitness tracker that incorporates a detachable Bluetooth earpiece as part of the design, allowing the wearer to make and receive phone calls when not monitoring fitness. Electronista took a closer look at the device at the company's Mobile World Congress display.
LTE-equipped mid-range device 8MP, 5MP cameras
Huawei has launched its Ascend G6 4G smartphone at Mobile World Congress, among other devices. The mid-range smartphone, said to be based on the Ascend P6 in some aspects, offers LTE connectivity in a device measuring 7.85mm (0.31 inches) thick. Electronista briefly put the Ascend G6 through its paces at the trade show, and found it to be a pretty useful mobile device, albeit with some reservations.
Angular Sailfish OS smartphone navigated with minimal thumb movement
After an initial launch in May followed by the first shipments occurring in November, Jolla has had a few quarters to get its initial Sailfish OS smartphone to a level where it can attempt to compete with devices from more established producers. The company showed Electronista its flagship smartphone, which appears to have taken great lengths to avoid being compared to other smartphones both in hardware and in software.
Mid-range and budget smartphones from Acer offer mixed results
Last week, Acer launched the mid-ranged Liquid E3 and the entry-level Liquid Z4 smartphones, successors to the Liquid E2 and Z3 respectively. Both appeared to be low-cost devices for light or intermediate use, and unusually for the price bracket, offered a rear-mounted button for taking images. Electronista headed to the devices at Mobile World Congress to test both of them out.
New form follows speculative renderings
After unveiling the Gear 2 on Sunday, Samsung made a surprise announcement--the Gear Fit--during Monday's Mobile World Congress event focusing on the Galaxy S5. The Fit departs from the squarish, chunky form of the first- and second-generation Gear watches, opting instead for a narrow display and focusing on fitness applications. Electronista donned the Fit to see if the sleek design equates to an improved experience.
Android flagship gets marginal enhancements
Following a steady stream of rumors, Samsung finally unveiled its new Android flagship at a Mobile World Congress event. The Galaxy S5 brings marginal improvements over its predecessor, adding a fingerprint sensor and a 16-megapixel camera, though it does not bring any revolutionary new features that were hinted at in early speculation. Electronista checked out the new phone to see if it still delivers.