I honestly think the YotaPhone was one of the coolest smartphone innovations of 2013, and while I wouldn't exactly be the first in line to buy a device from an unproven OEM, Yota Devices has once again piqued my curiosity with their announcement of the "next generation" YotaPhone here at MWC.
The new YotaPhone solves what was arguably the biggest problem with the original's otherwise innovative concept - interacting with the e-Ink display.
File this under more is better – Qualcomm has just announced new ARM chips with more bits and more cores than ever before. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are the chip maker's new 64-bit mobile processors, and the 615 packs eight CPU cores. Despite the big headlining features, these aren't intended to be flagship chips.
Qualcomm is in the habit of making custom CPUs for its ARM chips – those are the Krait cores you hear so much about.
Snapdragon 800, you say? Old hat, dear readers. Meet Snapdragon 801 - it's the Snapdragon 800 you've come to know and love, plus one. With Qualcomm's flagship mobile chip having had over a year since its announcement at CES 2013 - and no definitive successor in sight - it seems the world's #1 ARM chip vendor thought it would be wise to give the 800 a bit of a facelift for the first half of 2013.
When a new Android device comes out, we spend a lot of time obsessing over which ARM chip it runs and how much RAM there is, but the storage speed often has a significant impact on performance too. Although, mobile flash storage controllers haven't been been improving at the same rate as other hardware. SanDisk hopes to fix that with the iNAND Extreme embedded storage platform, which offers three times the random write speed and twice the sequential read speed of current solutions.
SanDisk has announced a new step up in the mobile storage department. The company's new microSD card packs a whopping 128GB of space, and it can be yours for a mere 200 bucks. This is the first 128GB microSDXC card on the market, doubling the size of previously available cards.
Users of the Subsonic music streaming service are probably familiar with DSub, which was already highly praised. Well, it just learned a new tricks. Top billing for this update goes to Chromecast support, which lets you pipe online and local music your nearest HDMI port. That's not all DSub has in store, though.
The new Samsung smartwatches might not have Android, but that doesn't mean they will be devoid of apps. PayPal has posted a video of its new smartwatch app in action on the Gear 2. This is a cartoonish rendering, but the real app will reportedly function just like we see in the video.
The expansive parking lots of your local mall can be a nightmare as you scan the sea of metal and glass to find your car. There are plenty of apps that will set a GPS marker to help you find it, but you have to actually remember to use them. Auto Finder takes care of things for you all on its own, though. Just install the app, and it always knows where you left the car.
Just in case you were worried there wouldn't be anything intriguing or unexpected about Galaxy S5, check this out - Spritz, a new company (launched February 23rd) looking to "reinvent reading" will be coming exclusively to the S5 and Gear 2 by way of an email app. From Spritz's news release it isn't clear whether this will be the default app on the phone or a preloaded one, but the technology itself makes it interesting either way.
Besides the TalkBand B1, Huawei introduced three other devices in their MWC presentation - the MediaPad X1 7.0, MediaPad M1 8.0, and the Ascend G6. The first is pegged as a phone/tablet hybrid, the second just a tablet (capable of Wi-Fi calling and SMS), and the third a budget to mid-range phone.
We'll take a quick look at all three, but let's start with the MediaPad X1.
MediaPad X1 7.0
The X1 "combines the functionality of a smartphone and tablet" in its aluminum alloy body, and besides Huawei's own suite of software enhancements with Emotion UI 2.0, has plenty of specs worth looking twice at.