360-degree video. Next to the holodeck, it really is the holy grail of next-generation viewing. The possibilities are seemingly endless - can you imagine a 360-degree video drone copter buzzing around a basketball arena or providing live coverage of a protest in a foreign land? A submarine wading through the depths, giving you the complete ability to pan around the undersea world? And unlike 3D or other crazy video tech, you don't even need a special TV - just a way to control the current area of focus in the video.
At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, three Android smartphone unveilings really did stand above the rest: Sony's Xperia Z2, LG's G Pro 2, and Samsung's Galaxy S5.
We know which one is going to sell best, which will have the biggest marketing budget, and which has more plastique - the Galaxy S5's success in spite any of any perceived shortcomings is all but assured. That's just kind of how these things go.
Whether you like it or not, there's little doubting that the Galaxy S5 was the star of the show at this year's Mobile World Congress. Samsung had the largest press event, the most crowded booth, and the most hype built up leading into the show. It doesn't matter if it's still plastic, if it's still running TouchWiz, or that it's still arguably one of the uglier flagship devices on the market - this phone obviously matters a lot.
Samsung unveiled literally three smartwatches at MWC this year. If that tells you anything, it should be this: the company is desperate to make a wearable product stick in the marketplace. It will do anything to whittle down the form factor, price point, and functionality consumers are most responsive to. And thus, we now have 3 Gear devices to choose from - the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit - Samsung is taking its shotgun approach to the smartphone market and inundating you with wearable choices, hopefully enough choices that you will actually choose to buy one
I reviewed the original Galaxy Gear.
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.
Samsung usually produces both Exynos and Snapdragon variants of its flagship phones, the former mostly used in non-LTE versions. However, the company didn't mention Exynos at all during the Galaxy S5 event. Now Samsung has gotten around to announcing two new Exynos 5 chips, one of which is probably going to be in the GS5.
The Exynos 5422 is a small spec bump over the 5420 announced last summer. It consists of four Cortex-A15 cores and four Cortex-A7 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration.
For nineteen years now, mobile manufacturers, software developers, and other innovators have received recognition during the Annual Global Mobile awards. This year's event, held yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, was hosted by comedian James Corden. Of more interest to us, however, are the awards.
LG walked out of the event with the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Year title, having released such prominent devices as the G2, G Flex, Nexus 5, and the G Pad 8.3 this year (along with the LGGPGPE).
Samsung has announced a slew of improvements to its KNOX enterprise security product at this year's Mobile World Congress. For starters, users can now manage two separate secure containers per device, ideal for consultants with multiple clients or people who just want to better separate work data from personal files.
The total list of changes goes much deeper.
- Two separate secure containers per device, for example, for consultants who work for several companies or doctors who work for several clinics.
Motorola Mobility held a Q&A session at Mobile World Congress today, and while there wasn't much in the way of spectacle to coincide with the event, there were quite a few substantive announcements. For starters, the company is working on a watch that will be available some time this year. This won't be the first thing Motorola's tried to strap onto our wrists, but the company says style and battery life are two things it intends to address, and it would prefer to create a piece of jewelry rather than ugly tech.