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.
ZTE adds larger screen, minor improvements to Grand Memo design
ZTE launched an updated version of the Grand Memo at Mobile World Congress, one year after it revealed the original. The Grand Memo II LTE upgrades the original's 5.7-inch display to a six-inch model -- as rumored last week -- along with a number of other performance improvements. Electronista paid a visit to the company to see how far the phablet has improved on its predecessor.
New rugged device has wide range of radios, GPS, GLONASS
Panasonic today unveiled plans at Mobile World Congress to broaden its Toughpad range of rugged tablets with a new five-inch model. The new device is aimed for mobile workers who need a protected device that can handle voice and data in the field or in challenging environments, including the emergency services and public safety as well as logistics, factories and warehouses.
Mid-range Xperia M2 takes style from Xperia Z2, lowers specification
The Xperia M2 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet both launched at the same time as the Xperia Z2 earlier today. One attempts to be a value-priced alternative to the Xperia Z2 in appearance and functionality, while the other takes after the name and offers a far larger surface to use. Electronista stayed at the Sony exhibit to look over the two other devices, and work out if they are worth a second glance when compared to the new flagship smartphone.
5.2-inch Xperia Z2 smartphone tested shortly after unveiling
Earlier today at Mobile World Congress, Sony unveiled the upgraded version of its previous flagship Android smartphone, the Xperia Z1, alongside two other devices. The Xperia Z2 appears to be similar to the original, but with a number of improvements. Electronista travelled to Sony's stand at the trade show to try out the device, in order to find out if it is as impressive as Sony makes it appear.
Three Android devices in Nokia X range includes 4-inch, 5-inch models
Nokia has started its campaign at Mobile World Congress this morning by launching a total of five devices, with three running on Android. The Nokia 220 featurephone and Asha 230 were unveiled by the company, with the main launch this year being taken up by the rumored Nokia X, as well as a variant with more storage in the form of the Nokia X+, and a larger-screened version called the Nokia XL.
Mid-range Alcatel smartphones tried out before Mobile World Congress
Earlier today, Alcatel launched a number of Android smartphones, including two new additions to its OneTouch Idol range of devices. At a pre-Mobile World Congress event, the manufacturer offered the media the chance to try the OneTouch Idol 2 and OneTouch Idol 2 Mini before the show formally opened. Electronista spent some time with both of the smartphones earlier this evening.
Reference phone, tablets and developer tools at heart of announcement
Firefox OS is expanding rapidly, according to claims made at Mobile World Congress today. Mozilla, the company behind the widely-used web browser, outlined some of the finer points of the expansion of the separate Firefox OS in devices reaching out globally -- including a move into new high- and low-end consumer devices, new reference devices and tools for developers to port applications.
OEM program, cheaper parts to attract more developers and markets
With the announcement of the next Windows Phone update coming later this year, Microsoft has teamed with Qualcomm in order to expand access to phone creation during a session at Mobile World Congress. The company is pushing to bring the cost of their phones down to appeal to lower-priced markets in hopes of attracting more partners.
Successors to OneTouch Idol have 3G, LTE variants
Alcatel has revealed a trio of smartphones before Mobile World Congress, covering the mid-range and entry-level markets. The OneTouch Idol 2 and OneTouch Idol 2 Mini are mid-ranged devices that are new to the OneTouch Idol family of devices, while the addition to the Pop series, the OneTouch Pop Fit, is a miniaturized device with budget specifications, and accessories that allow it to be worn while exercising.
Tizen-powered Galaxy Gear successors are incremental upgrade
Samsung has unveiled two smart watches as successors to the Galaxy Gear, confirming rumors from yesterday. Launched the day before Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy S5, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are updated versions that retains the styling of the original but makes a number of improvements, including switching from running on Android to Tizen, and removing the Galaxy branding altogether.
New smart watches will apparently not use the Galaxy branding
Rumors of Samsung offering multiple models of its smart watch in the future may in fact be true, based on leaked images. A low-resolution image of two follow-up devices to the Galaxy Gear was posted online, followed by a second, higher-resolution version, though it turns out the smart watches may not actually be part of the Galaxy device range at all.
Video trailer for Samsung event hints at fitness, photography features
Samsung has released a teaser video for its upcoming Unpacked 2014 Episode 1 event at Mobile World Congress, hinting at a few possible features and updates to the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone. The trailer's release comes at the same time as a leaked image that claims to show the Galaxy S5 will be available in a golden color option when it ships.
LTE-enabled 8-inch tablet, octa-core smartphone in Archos additions
Archos has listed devices it will be showing at Mobile World Congress next week, with one tablet and three smartphones making the trip to Barcelona. The list is headed up by the 80 Helium 4G, a tablet with an 8-inch 1024x768 IPS display and LTE connectivity, and the 50c Oxygen, a smartphone with a 5-inch 1280x720-resolution display backed by an octa-core Mediatek Cortex A7-based 1.7GHz processor.
HTC smart watch will be shown privately at Mobile World Congress
HTC will be showing part of a collection of smart watches behind closed doors at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. Bloomberg claims the company will use the trade show to demonstrate two prototype watches, one of which is apparently based on the Qualcomm Toq offering the same low-powered Mirasol display, Bluetooth connectivity, and music playback functionality.
LG G2 mini reduces specification as well as screen size
LG has revealed a smaller version of its G2 smartphone, as part of its pre-Mobile World Congress announcements. The LG G2 mini takes after its larger stablemate in styling and functionality, including the rear buttons, though like other "mini" models of devices, the specifications are pruned to more budget-friendly options, such as replacing the 5.2-inch display of the original for a 4.7-inch 540x960 version.
Next Samsung smart watch said to use Tizen instead of Android
Samsung could launch multiple new models of the Galaxy Gear smart watch at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. A separate report also claims the electronics giant will also change the software running on the device, away from the version of Android used in the current version and onto the lesser-used Tizen mobile operating system.
Android-based Nokia smartphone more likely after teaser image release
The Mobile World Congress launch of the Nokia X, codenamed "Normandy," is looking more likely, thanks to a new leaked image and a teaser from the company itself. An image said to be a promotional shot for the Android-based smartphone has surfaced, while the official Nokia Conversations blog is promoting the event using an image strongly hinting at a green X, the color typically associated with Android itself.
Home button-mounted fingerprint scanner will unlock device, launch apps
Two leaks for the incoming Samsung Galaxy S5 suggest it will ship with a fingerprint scanner and a smaller-than-rumored rear camera. The new details, surfacing less than a week before Samsung's launch event at Mobile World Congress, claim the flagship smartphone will use a fingerprint reader built into the home button of the device, in a similar manner to the iPhone 5s.
ZTE outlines two upgraded versions of smartphones it launched the same time last year
ZTE has detailed two new smartphones it will be launching at Mobile World Congress next week, among other possible unveilings from the company. The Firefox OS-based ZTE Open C will be shown alongside the Grand Memo II LTE, both following up on the ZTE Open and the ZTE Grand Memo the manufacturer revealed at the same event last year.
HTC Desire 8 launching in China this month
HTC has confirmed the existence of its upcoming Desire 8 smartphone, via a teaser on the company's Weibo account, at the same time as a separate leak shows the apparently-metallic appearance to the HTC M8. The Desire 8 image states there will be a launch on February 24th in Beijing, China for the phablet, which is currently believed to have a 5.5-inch display, with the launch date hinting at a dual launch at the same time as the opening day of Mobile World Congress.
Budget LG smartphones announced ahead of Mobile World Congress
LG has unveiled three new smartphones that make up the third generation of its L-series device range, one week before Mobile World Congress. The L90, L70, and L40 are budget 3G smartphones running Android 4.4 with relatively similar specifications and physical designs, metallic frames, and will work with LG's Quick Window covers for notifications while protecting the display.
Cut in price of smart watch by AT&T, Best Buy
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has received some cuts in price in the United States, with both Best Buy and AT&T discounting the smart watch. At the same time, more reports are claiming to confirm a successor to the wrist-based device will be revealed at Mobile World Congress later this month, alongside the Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy Tab 4.
Box allegedly confirms higher-specification Galaxy S5 rumors
Specifications for what could be the Samsung Galaxy S5 have leaked, in the form of a retail packaging photograph. An image claimed to show details of the internals of the device, expected to launch at Mobile World Congress at the end of this month, with a number of items listed apparently correlating with other specification rumors that recently surfaced.
Report claims Nokia X launch will take place at Mobile World Congress
Nokia will be launching its long-rumored Android-based smartphone at Mobile World Congress, sources of the Wall Street Journal claim. The smartphone, codenamed "Normandy" and thought to be called the Nokia X, is said by the report to be aimed at emerging markets rather than developed regions, and apparently will not be used to promote Google's own services.
Video hints at Windows Phone release, offers few clues
Nokia has started to tease what it could be showing at Mobile World Congress this month, with the release of a short but mysterious video clip. The YouTube video arrives alongside some claimed specifications for the rumored Android-powered Nokia X, a device which is also set to be revealed at the conference by the company, and suggestions the video could relate to the Lumia 929 or the Treasure Tag accessory.
Unpacked event to be restrained launch compared to Galaxy S4
Samsung's "Unpacked 2014 Episode 1" event at Mobile World Congress will not only host the launch of the Galaxy S5 smartphone, but also a new Galaxy Gear, claims a report. Sources of the New York Times claim that the event will be a "relatively low-key" affair when compared to the singing and dancing used for the launch of the Galaxy S4 at New York's Radio City Music Hall last March.
Rear camera details revealed before expected Mobile World Congress launch
LG has started to promote the G Pro 2 ahead of its expected launch at Mobile World Congress, by revealing more details about its imaging capabilities. Information released through its Korean social site claim the smartphone will have a 13-megapixel rear camera with an improved Optical Image Stabilization technology the company is calling "OIS Plus".
Event held on first day of Barcelona Mobile World Conference
Samsung has invited the media to an event on February 24 that it is calling the "Unpacked 5" event. The event, on the first day of the Mobile World Congress, is intended to debut Samsung's "new flagship product" which is likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone.
Barcelona could be venue of Android-based Normandy launch
Following the release of its latest quarterly results, Nokia has started to send out invitations to an event at Mobile World Congress in February. In a similar manner to last year, the company will be holding a press conference on the morning of the event's first day, though the details of what Nokia will reveal before Microsoft's acquisition remains unknown.
Pre-Mobile World Congress launch speculated for new Samsung flagship
Samsung may unveil the Galaxy S5 smartphone on February 23rd, the day before Mobile World Congress opens, according to a rumor. The launch is claimed to be taking place at 6pm local time in Barcelona, Spain, as part of a Samsung Unpacked event, which could also be the venue for the debut of Samsung's updated mobile user interface, among other devices.
5.2-inch Xperia smartphone could be joined by new Sony tablet
Sony could be preparing to unveil a new flagship smartphone in the next month, according to a rumor. The codename "Sirius" device is tipped to be launched at Mobile World Congress in February, though it is possible that another device, a high-end tablet codenamed the Sony "Castor" could also make an appearance at the Barcelona-based trade show.
Smartphone from Samsung believed to appear at Tizen event
The first consumer Tizen devices could be shown off the day before Mobile World Congress, at an invitation-only event on February 23rd. Invitations have reportedly been sent to members of the media for the event, which hopes to show attendees what progress Samsung, Intel, and other backers have made on making the operating system suitable for use by the public.
Asus intros Atom-powered phone/tablet hybrid
Confirming recent rumors, Asus has unveiled a new seven-inch tablet, the Fonepad, that is powered by Intel's Lexington Atom processor. Consistent with its name, the Fonepad is a tablet but doubles as a smartphone with 3G voice-calling functionality. We met with Asus at Mobile World Congress to check out the hybrid device and see how it performs as a tablet and as a phone.
Tablet serves as phone dock
Asus' PadFone has maintained a unique strategy in the mobile market, acknowledging that smartphones and tablets are now essentially powered by the same components. The PadFone infinity is the latest extension of the concept, pairing a high-end Android phone with a dock that converts the pair into a 10-inch tablet. We stopped by Asus' low-key meeting room at Mobile World Congress to see the Infinity in action.
Lumia range additions, phones for developing markets
Yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 smartphones, alongside the Nokia 105 and Nokia 301 mobiles aimed towards customers in developing countries. Electronista braced against the crowds to try out the new devices destined for mid-range and budget-based markets, and came away from the Nokia booth pleasantly surprised.
Android flagship at MWC
HTC brought its new flagship One handset to show off at Mobile World Congress, after the device was revealed last week at separate events in New York and London. Electronista stopped by the company's booth to see first-hand if the handset is as good as its specs list suggests.
New entry-level, midrange smartphones
Acer was among several computer companies with a presence in Barcelona this week to promote their latest mobile electronics. The Liquid Z2 and Liquid E1 represent the Taiwanese company's push into the entry-level and midrange smartphone markets, respectively. We had a chance to try out both devices at Mobile World Congress, ahead of their official arrival later this month.
Samsung adds another display size
Samsung chose to delay its Galaxy S IV unveiling until several weeks after Mobile World Congress, though the company did bring along a few new devices to show off this week in Barcelona. We dropped by the company's booth to handle the Galaxy Note 8.0, a new tablet that fits squarely between the Galaxy Note II smartphone and larger Note 10.1 tablet.