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.
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, 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.
Nestled in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge presentation was the announcement of a new Samsung Gear VR. They are not christening it with a new name or too much fanfare, but they did want to add refinements and make it compatible with their new flagship(s). Here are a few snaps:
Other than fitting the S6, the device is reportedly 15% lighter with a slightly expanded field of vision. A nice tweak is the ability to charge the device while it is in use, which should allow for longer sessions.
The announcements are coming fast and loose out of Mobile World Congress. Huawei has been steadily sharing new phablets, watches, and more. One of the less conventional gadgets to join the company's lineup includes a Wi-Fi hotspot designed for automobiles, dubbed CarFi. It has been designed to share a 4G LTE connection with up to 10 devices simultaneously, and it doesn't look half bad.
CarFi is similar to many other cellular hotspot devices, but it plugs directly into the DC port found in most cars and trucks.
If there's ever been a persistent comment on Android Police in the last couple of years, it's that powerful smartphones are just too damn big these days. The Nexus 6 is gigantic, and 5.2"+ is quickly becoming standard smartphone size. Finding a good, inexpensive phone that isn't too large isn't impossible, but it's probably not as easy as it should be.
So, that's where Alcatel comes in. Yes, Alcatel has a reputation for making some of the slowest, cheapest, and least likeable prepaid phone fare here in the US, but in China and around the world, Alcatel does offer a pretty large portfolio of handsets.