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.
The phablet market is exploding, and just about every manufacturer wants a piece of the oversized pie. Here at Mobile World Congress ZTE has just announced the Grand Memo II LTE, the successor to last year's Grand Memo. It ups the screen size to a full 6 inches of IPS goodness. Well, maybe goodness - they aren't saying what the resolution is just yet, just "HD," which I'll assume means 720p.
Along with a new flagship phone, Sony has raised the curtain on a new high-end tablet at Mobile World Congress. Like previous Sony designs, the Xperia Z2 Tablet takes its name, looks, and general hardware from the Z2 smartphone. The most impressive part is the Snapdragon 801 processor, which should be able to take all comers with its 2.26Ghz quad-core architecture.
The rest of the tablet is lagging a little bit when compared to newer offerings from Samsung.
We've been seeing quite a lot of Sony's "Xperia Sirius," and it looks like Sony is ready to take the wraps off of it here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As expected, it's the flagship successor to the Z1, somewhat disappointingly named the Xperia Z2. Sony is also announcing the Xperia M2 today, a more midrange phone with Sony's standard industrial design and dual SIM card slots.
The Z2 improves on the Z1 with a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD display, matching LG's G2.
We're back in Barcelona once again at Mobile World Congress - thanks to our sponsor Avast! - and this year is shaping up to be one for the books. And by the books, I mean Samsung's books - Galaxy S5 speculation has reached a fever pitch, and the world's #1 Android OEM has all but spelled out at this point that they'll be Unpacking their latest flagship at this year's show.
New phones and tablets aren't the only thing that Samsung will unveil in Barcelona. A recent Twitter post indicates that the company will reveal a new line of Exynos mobile processors, cryptically titled "Exynos Infinity." The post from the official Exynos account omitted any other details, but a debut during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 24th (concurrent with, but technically distinct from, Mobile World Congress) is a safe bet.
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The Galaxy S5 may or may not be coming to Samsung's Unpacked event in Barcelona, but reliable leak source SamMobile thinks it is. The specialist site is reporting a series of leaks for the camera in Samsung's next flagship, starting with its sensor, a new 16-megapixel module. That would give the S5 more photo fidelity than the current Galaxy S4 and Note 3, but still it would still lag behind Sony's best-in-class 20.7MP sensor.
While certain manufacturers are removing LED flashes from high-end smartphones (we're looking at you, Sony) Samsung is improving theirs. In a lengthy blog post on Samsung Tomorrow, the South Korean company posted technical specifications and photos on five new OEM flash modules, some of which use new techniques for brighter and wider flashes.
To be honest, the whole post is pretty dry, mostly talking about size and power improvements.
Just like every other manufacturer, Huawei would really appreciate it if you paid them some attention starting next week. Once Mobile World Congress starts, it'll be a mad melee of journalists, PR managers, presenters, and executives all scrambling to either show off or see the latest hardware. Huawei is being a bit proactive with their announcement trailer, poking fun at the world's two biggest phone makers in the process. IDC says Huawei is currently number three.
The L series has made up the middle and bottom of LG's lineup for a few years now, and the company is unsurprisingly refreshing the line at next week's Mobile World Congress. The new L90, L70, and L40 phones stretch from the mid-range to the low end of the current hardware spectrum, so they probably won't be getting the same amount of marketing attention from LG or its carrier partners. On the plus side, all three phones run a skinned version of Android 4.4.