If you were busy yesterday morning, or too hung over from Saturday night, you may have missed Samsung's Unpacked presentation from Barcelona, Spain. Sure, you could read about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and their upcoming availability in the US, the revised Gear VR, and Samsung Pay... Or you could blow 40-some minutes watching the show in all its glossy grandeur. Did you really have anything better to do at work, today?
There's no beating the adorably cute Friends Furever Android commercial, but Google can still try to bring some "oh" and "awww" into more ads for its platform. This new Be Together, Not The Same video is all about people from various age groups using their Android phones and tablets for fun and youthful stuff.
Along with the Xperia Z4 Tablet, Sony has announced the mid-range waterproof Xperia M4 Aqua today at Mobile World Congress.
With a 5" 720p display, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octacore, and 2GB of RAM, the Xperia M4 Aqua doesn't seem too impressive to begin with. However, when you start factoring in all the other specs, you'll understand why Sony says that there are "no compromises" in this mid-ranger.
First up, a 13MP camera (remember when that was a feature of high-end smartphones?) with Sony's Exmor RS sensor and a large F2.0 aperture with 3200 ISO sensitivity dons the back of the Xperia M4 Aqua and adapts to various environments.
Sony's mobile division may be spiraling into oblivion, but that isn't stopping the company from dropping new hardware at Mobile World Congress. First up is the really hot Xperia Z4 Tablet, a very light and thin 10.1" tablet.
Not to be completely left out of the spotlight during Mobile World Congress, Cyanogen Inc. has a few announcements to make. Firstly, the logo and website you knew are now gone, replaced by something with a bit of a sci-fi vibe. More importantly, the company has partnered with Qualcomm to make it easier for Cyanogen OS to find its way onto more devices.
The age of microUSB is about to come to an end, and SanDisk is on hand to usher in the new reversible era. The company has just announced a 32GB flash drive with two connectors—one full-size USB 3.0 and one USB 3.0 Type-C. There aren't many things you can plug that Type-C connector into yet, but it'll be really neat when there are.
The new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have a lot going for them. But one thing that they don't have is MicroSD card slots... which is kind of a big deal, since removable storage has been a notable feature of almost every Samsung Android phone, ever. With impeccable timing, flash storage specialist SanDisk announced the world's largest MicroSD card on the same day. I can hear Samsung fans crying out in frustration all the way from Barcelona.
SanDisk's 200GB Ultra® microSDXC™ UHS-I Premium Edition card holds an astonishing 200GB of storage in a standard MicroSD form factor. Before today, the largest card offered by SanDisk (or anyone else) was "just" 128GB.
Samsung presentations always include a litany of buzzwords and redundant features, some of which are meaningless or borrowed directly from Google and Android, while others point to bigger aspirations. Today's announcement for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge introduced a new feature called Samsung Pay, a direct competitor to Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Even though this is just one more product that attempts to have consumers replace their credit cards with a phone, it carries a distinct advantage over NFC-based alternatives: it also works with traditional credit card readers.
Samsung Pay offers two methods for communicating with payment terminals: Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).
Samsung, LG, and HTC are the heavy-hitters in the Android world - you can generally expect their flagship devices to be on almost every American carrier. So it is with HTC's new One M9, which has been confirmed for four out of the five major US carriers right out of the gate. We asked a US Cellular representative if the company planned to offer the One M9 after they confirmed that they'd be carrying Samsung's new S6 and S6 Edge, and were told that it wasn't on the release schedule at the moment.
As if you hadn't guessed already, all five major United States wireless carriers have confirmed that they will indeed offer Samsung's new flagship phones later this year. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular have all posted pages that say they'll be selling both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, though details on exact launch dates, prices, and capacities are predictably hard to find. No matter what your preferred carrier, you'll have an option when the phones come out.