Whether you subscribe to the whole debate on the lack of (and need for) privacy on a personal user level or not, there's no denying that security is crucial in the enterprise. That's the premise behind Silent Circle's new Blackphone announcements today at MWC. The company, which recently purchased Geeksphone to gain full control over its products, has unveiled its plans to foray into the enterprise with a complete suite of devices and services.
The Blackphone 2, which will be available in the second half of 2015, is an upgraded version of the first generation Blackphone. It has switched to a larger 5.5" 1080 display with a bigger battery, faster octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.
If you were busy yesterday morning, or too hung over from Saturday night, you may have missed Samsung's Unpacked presentation from Barcelona, Spain. Sure, you could read about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and their upcoming availability in the US, the revised Gear VR, and Samsung Pay... Or you could blow 40-some minutes watching the show in all its glossy grandeur. Did you really have anything better to do at work, today?
Ok, seriously, when you're done watching the show, check out those articles. We really do have a lot of information Samsung didn't cover during the event.
Alternate Title 1: Watch Samsung Gettin' Edgy Wit It On Stage At Unpacked 2015
Along with the Xperia Z4 Tablet, Sony has announced the mid-range waterproof Xperia M4 Aqua today at Mobile World Congress.
With a 5" 720p display, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octacore, and 2GB of RAM, the Xperia M4 Aqua doesn't seem too impressive to begin with. However, when you start factoring in all the other specs, you'll understand why Sony says that there are "no compromises" in this mid-ranger.
First up, a 13MP camera (remember when that was a feature of high-end smartphones?) with Sony's Exmor RS sensor and a large F2.0 aperture with 3200 ISO sensitivity dons the back of the Xperia M4 Aqua and adapts to various environments.
Sony's mobile division may be spiraling into oblivion, but that isn't stopping the company from dropping new hardware at Mobile World Congress. First up is the really hot Xperia Z4 Tablet, a very light and thin 10.1" tablet.
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 Pay offers two methods for communicating with payment terminals: Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).
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 Gear VR is the product of a partnership with Oculus, which has its own hardware.
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. Naturally, it requires an activated SIM card for service, and it supports up to 150 Mbps with LTE category 4.
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.
Remember when HTC announced a partnership with Under Armour for an Android application and future products? Well, this marriage has carried its first fruit, the HTC Grip. Or maybe it's called the HTC re grip. I don't know, because HTC's branding for this accessory is all over the place.
Last year the buzzword at Mobile World Congress was "wearable." The fervor from that market trend still hasn't died down, but hot on its heels is "virtual reality." Despite a less than fantastic position in the smartphone space, HTC seems intent on expanding into virtual reality to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Google, Oculus Rift (and by extension, Facebook), and Samsung. Say hello to the HTC Vive... or possibly the Re Vive, depending on which HTC promo you go by.
Details on HTC's hardware are scarce - to be honest, we don't even know if the Vive is running Android or compatible with smartphones in any way.