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Samsung Announces The Galaxy S7 And S7 Edge: 'Dual Pixel' Cameras, Always On Display, Water Resistance, External Storage and More, Available In March

Samsung's flagship announcements have become cornerstones of the Android upgrade cycle. Just like last year, the company has announced two new Galaxy-branded phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Both phones are modest bumps over their previous designs, both in terms of hardware and style, but there are some notably improved features that power users and practical consumers will both appreciate.

The new phones bring back two of the most-missed features that were dropped from the S6 generation: expandable storage (via MicroSD cards) and water-resistant bodies. The former comes from a new "hybrid" nano-SIM tray, which houses both the SIM card and the MicroSD card in a single metal tray that slides out via a standard SIM tool.

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Lenovo's MWC 2016 Lineup Aims For The Low End With Cheap Vibe K5 Phones And Tab3 Tablets

Mobile World Congress has become the premiere stage for new phones and tablet introductions, and since Lenovo saves its Motorola portfolio for the latter half of the year, it's time for the first-party devices to shine. Well, shimmer. Perhaps "gleam" would be a better word. Out of five new phones and tablets introduced on the show floor, none of them are particularly mind-blowing, and the phones are unlikely to make it to stores in the US or Europe. Anyway, let's take it from the top:

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Samsung's Galaxy S7 Press Conference Is In A Giant Room Filled With A Bunch Of Gear VRs

Can you even? I cannot even. I am sitting in a giant room in Barcelona with hundreds, possibly thousands, of chairs, each equipped with a hard-wired Gear VR (likely for antitheft purposes).

A box under my seat reads "do not touch." I touched the box. Nothing happened.

DSC01408

We'll be hearing all about the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge shortly. And I will probably leave this press conference with a headache and a sore nose. But I will be able to say I went to the first press conference conducted [partially] in virtual reality. Which is something, maybe? You can watch the live stream below.

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Samsung Announces Connect Auto, An OBD-Based Wi-Fi Hotspot, With AT&T As The First Network Partner In The US

"Connected cars" are all well and good, but you need a pricey new model or a mobile hotspot to see the benefit. Samsung thinks it has a solution for everyone with an older car: a gadget that plugs into a standard On-Board Diagnostic port (OBD) and rebroadcasts mobile Internet on local Wi-Fi. It's a simple idea, but one that's easy and unobtrusive. The company calls it the Samsung Connect Auto.

The Connect Auto was announced in Samsung's home country of South Korea, though the timing coincides with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There's no date or price for the gadget, but Samsung has already announced its first network partner: AT&T.

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The Consumer Version Of HTC's Vive VR Headset Will Arrive In April For $799 With Two Free Games, Pre-Orders Begin February 29th

The HTC Vive has been making waves in the PC and gaming worlds, quickly emerging as a serious competitor to the more well-known Oculus Rift VR headset. The Vive has been in development for over a year with input from developers and other users, not to mention HTC's corporate partner Valve. The headset is nearing completion, and the company has announced that the final consumer model will ship in early April for the disappointing price of $799. For that price you get two motion-sensing controllers, two room scale sensors, and VR games Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Fantastic Contraption. Pre-orders begin next week on February 29th.

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LG Announces The LG G5 And Friends: CAM Plus, Hi-Fi Plus, 360 VR, 360 CAM, And Rolling Bot

Out of this year's Mobile World Congress flagship announcements, the LG G5 has been one of the most leaked and just as equally intriguing. Now the smartphone has been officially unveiled at the company's press conference in Barcelona and it's not coming alone. Instead, the modular approach to the G5 has allowed LG to introduce a slew of extensions and accessories for the phone. There's a lot to go through, so let's get right to it.

LG G5

First, the G5 will boast a metal aluminum body with an "invisibly integrated antenna" and a slide-out bottom that lets you easily swap the battery.

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Hands On With The LG 360 VR Headset

It seems like everyone wants to grab a slice of the virtual reality action, and LG is not one to get left behind. One of the accessories (or "friends," as LG calls them) that are pairable with the new G5 is the LG 360 VR — LG's own take on a VR headset.

The LG 360 VR is somewhat more akin to a standalone headset like the Oculus Rift than it is to Google Cardboard or the Gear VR, which are little more than glorified goggles for holding your phone in front of your face. Like the Rift, the LG 360 VR has two screens that present a separate image to each eye.

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Hands-On And First Impressions With The LG G5 ("And Friends") At MWC 2016 (Video)

The LG G5 is the dark horse to Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge here at MWC, no doubt. While LG has received increasing critical acclaim and its flagship G series gained many fans in recent years, the mainstream smartphone narrative firmly places LG products in the shadow of those of their domestic rival. Could the G5 finally change the conversation and help LG stand out? If it doesn't, it certainly won't be for a lack of trying - the G5 is easily the most dramatic evolution of LG's smartphones in several years. Whether that evolution will translate to sales, or even a substantially better phone, though, remains unclear.

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Evan Blass Shows A Mysterious New Metallic Sony Xperia PP10

Since the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and LG G5 have already been leaked to death by almost everyone on earth, Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, is turning his attention toward lesser known devices. He already showed us a family portrait of 6 color variants of the midrange HTC A16 and he's back with another press render, this time for a Sony Xperia device.

There isn't a lot of information to go with the photo, just a PP10 name, which Evan says could either be a codename or a retail branding. I'd personally lean toward the former, especially given how its reminiscent of the new MediaTek Helios P10 processor.

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New Midrange HTC Desire Codenamed "A16" Leaked In All 6 Sparkly Colors

Unlike Samsung and LG, HTC doesn't seem to be ready to reveal its next flagship, the One (M10), at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. But the company's portfolio doesn't stop at the One lineup. There's the Desire range as well, and one of its impending models is codenamed A16 and pictured in the leaked photo above, courtesy of Evan Blass (@evleaks). There are six color variants including plain black and white, and starry / sparkly black, white, red, and navy. Or at least that's the way my eyes see it.

But don't let that code confuse you into thinking this is an A-series smartphone, like the One A9.

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