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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.