Right now a mobile payment system is kind of like a pair of Crocs in the mid-2000s: everyone has to have one and it isn't clear why. Of course Google Wallet has been around for years, but now that Apple Pay (and Samsung Pay, and apparently everyone is paying everything) is around Google needs something a little more competitive, perhaps using those newly-acquired Softcard assets. We've known about Android Pay, a new mobile payment API, for a few weeks.
The Grand S3 isn't a beefed up version of the Galaxy S III, an easy mistake to make just from skimming the name alone. No, it's the latest version of ZTE's flagship handset. This time around, the company is using more than competitive pricing to draw attention to its kind-of-premium device. Anyone who buys this phone in the future will apparently be able to unlock it using their eyes.
ZTE has partnered with EyeVerify to incorporate its Eyeprint ID solution with an upcoming version of the Grand S3, a phone that's already on sale in China.
BlackBerry will not be ignored, guys. While you're off gawking at the new Samsung and HTC phones, BlackBerry is slaving away to roll out a new version of BBM for Android. How about a little appreciation, huh? The update, which is expected tomorrow (3/2), includes the promised Android Wear support and a few other interesting features.
At Mobile World Congress SanDisk announced a microSD card coming with a massive 200GBs of space. That's for consumers to buy. But there's something for manufacturers too. The company has also announced improved iNAND storage to pack inside mobile devices.
As always, the new iNAND 7132 storage solution is SanDisk's most advanced yet. The company's latest embedded flash drive offers faster transfer speeds, enabling improved performance for burst photography and 4k video capture.
Alcatel Onetouch is not a huge brand in North America, but it's about to get a boost. The company's HERO 2+ smartphone is the next device to be graced with Cyanogen OS, and it's coming to the US and Canada for $299 unlocked with LTE. If you want a phablet, but don't want to pay phablet prices, this might be for you.
The photo-focused smartphone is becoming a definite niche, and at Mobile World Congress, Lenovo is hoping to break in with a new model. The Vibe Shot (which sounds a lot like something you'd order at a questionable cocktail bar) is a Lollipop-equipped phone with a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8MP front-facing shooter. Other photo-focused features include optical image stabilization, infrared autofocus, and a tri-color LED flash. Lenovo hopes to launch the Vibe Shot in June starting at $349.
Lenovo has used this year's Mobile World Congress as a chance to unveil two new affordable Android tablets that expand upon the immensely cheap TAB 2 A series introduced in January. These slates don't aim for a lower price point ($99 is hard to beat, after all). Instead, both come with LTE.
Left: TAB 2 A10-70, Right: TAB 2 A8
The TAB 2 A10-70 (not to be confused with the A7-10) has a 10 inch FHD screen, is only 8.9 millimeters thin, and weighs around 500 grams.
Qualcomm's current top processor is the Snapdragon 810, which is only shipping in the LG G Flex 2 and set to appear in upcoming flagships like the HTC One M9. But at Mobile World Congress the chip manufacturer is already taking the wraps off of its next-gen design, the predictably-named Snapdragon 820. Details on the exact capabilities of the new chip are scarce, but Qualcomm says it should be ready to ship to mobile manufacturers sometime in the second half of this year.
Several weeks ago, rumors started floating around about a purported Google MVNO codenamed Nova. It looks like that's a little more than a rumor now, as Android lead Sundar Pichai essentially spilled the beans at a talk today at Mobile World Congress. Now, before you get too excited, it looks like this is going to be on a much smaller scale than we originally thought, and is in fact not intended to go head-to-head with the Big Four.
It almost goes without saying, but benchmarks are not everything. These numbers don't always tell you how a device will perform, but they do tell you something. Right now the Galaxy S6 is telling us that Samsung's new Exynos chip is very, very fast. It's putting up AnTuTu scores of nearly 70,000, well above the values produced by devices like the LG G3, Nexus 6, LG G Flex 2, and even the new HTC One M9.