There are a ton of events all year round where companies get to show off their latest products and fancy new tech. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had CES 2016 — one of the most prominent electronics shows of the year, which featured everything from smart fridges to smart belts. The next major exhibition, MWC 2016, is more focused on mobile tech and is scheduled to begin on February 22nd in Barcelona.
In preparation for the event, Sony is sending out invites to the press conference it will hold on February 22nd at 08:30 CET (that's 07:30 UTC or 11:30 PM Pacific time, February 21st).
HTC's One series has kept a consistent design language since its minor re-launch in 2013, and it looks like the Taiwanese manufacturer doesn't intend to mess with a good thing. After several leaks, the One M9 (following the M8 and M7) was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this afternoon (or morning, depending on where you're reading this). While HTC has made a few noticeable tweaks to the flagship's design, notably dropping the "ultrapixel" and "Duo" cameras of the first two generations, this is clearly a One device.
Ah, the leadup to Mobile World Congress, where high-end device leaks flow like milk and honey. After Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have been almost entirely revealed, we've now got a video demo'ing HTC's next One flagship, the M9. The video below from YouTube user Samia Lou shows off the unreleased M9 next to its One series predecessors, the One M8 and M7 from 2014 and 2013, respectively. Nothing's official until it's official, but this removes pretty much all doubt about the M9's physical design.
The M9 keeps the same basic One family traits including the metal unibody and dual front-facing speakers, with an added piece of gold-colored metal trim around the bezel, iPhone 4-style.
Ah, February: the time when mobile hardware leaks spring out of the ground like daisies. It looks like Thai gadget site MXPhone has gotten its hands on portions of the Mobile World Congress phone lineup from Lenovo weeks ahead of the event, giving us a tantalizing look at the company's hardware plans for the next several months. Of course, it's possible that at least some of the Vibe phones on display below will never leave China, and the chance of any of them coming to the US market is basically zero.
Lenovo Vibe Shot
The most interesting of the new models is probably the Vibe Shot, a camera-focused competitor to devices like HTC's One EYE.
As winter slowly loosens its grip on the northern hemisphere, gadget nerds everywhere poke their noses above ground, looking to see if we'll soon have new hardware to drool over or six more weeks of relatively stale news. Easily the most anticipated springtime hardware announcement of the last few years has been Samsung's annual flagship refresh, and it looks like that will be coming on March 1st. The South Korean manufacturer has sent out invitations to its next "Unpacked" event at Mobile World Congress.
CES isn't the mobile show it once was. Most of the big flagship devices these days are announced at dedicated events or at Mobile World Congress, which begins in just a few weeks. HTC has sent out invites to its MWC event where we will apparently, "see what's next."
Love it or hate it, the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly be the best-selling Android phone in 2014. Whether or not the hardware actually warrants those kinds of incredible sales figures is largely irrelevant, thanks to Samsung's marketing machine and consumers' general willingness to buy things they're familiar with. And "familiar" is certainly an excellent way to describe the phone's hardware. While it isn't quite the ho-hum upgrade that came with the GS4, and there are some significant hardware features that add to its value, the GS5's overall design probably won't win it any new fans.
Let's start with the most visually striking aspect of the 2014 refresh: the rear cover.
The smartwatch craze has gotten a little out of hand, if you'll pardon the pun. Various manufacturers and innumerable crowdfunding campaigns seem ready to leap into the shallow waters already populated by Pebble, Sony, Fitbit and the like. Just because Samsung's Galaxy Gear is the most mainstream of these wearable devices doesn't mean it's the best - on the contrary, in addition to general dissatisfaction with the somewhat rushed hardware, many reviewers found themselves questioning the need for a relatively powerful and feature-filled device on their wrist. After all, there's already one in your pocket.
Enter the Gear Fit, a little brother to Samsung's newly-announced Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, and a stepping stone between more passive devices like the FitBit and the Jawbone UP.
One year ago we took a look at the original Grand Memo, ZTE's mid-range entry in the bustling "phablet" market. Fast forward and ZTE is back at Mobile World Congress, showing off a new and improved version called the Grand Memo II LTE, that's better in every way... but still not really good enough to elicit a "wow" of surprise. Check out our hands-on video below.
The Grand Memo II bumps up the screen size to 6.0 inches, putting it squarely in between the largest of the conventional smartphones and low-cost tablets. The screen looks fine - nothing outstanding, nothing particularly bad - but it has a resolution of just 720p.
Sony announced its new Xperia Z2 Tablet here at Mobile World Congress, so we swung by their booth on the show floor to get a hands-on with the next tablet flagship. This is the successor to the Tablet Z, now more fully aligned with the leading Sony phone in both name and hardware.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Z2 Tablet is that it is thin. Crazy thin - 6.4mm, in fact, thinner than the previous tablet, thinner than any phone you're likely to get your hands on in the United States, thinner than the iPad Air by more than a millimeter, and lighter as well at only 425 grams.