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.
While the entirety of Huawei's presentation at Mobile World Congress was devoted to their intriguing new wearables, today is also the public debut of their new tablet/phablet, the MediaPad X2. The 7" device has an attractive metal construction, full HD screen, and all the connectivity you'd expect out of a high-end phone.
As it appears, that is indeed an aluminum unibody that looks similar to a speakerless HTC One. At just 7.18mm, it is also incredibly thin for how large it is.
HTC's One series has kept a consistent design language since its minor re-launch in 2013, and it looks like the Taiwanese manufacturer doesn't intend to mess with a good thing. After several leaks, the One M9 (following the M8 and M7) was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this afternoon (or morning, depending on where you're reading this).
If you measure the success of a product release by the element of surprise, Huawei might not score too well. We found official product videos for the new Huawei Watch yesterday, ahead of today's announcement. Huawei's TalkBand devices showed up in ads days ago and in their own wearables app yesterday.
But, in case you want further confirmation that this is what HTC will indeed unwrap later today at its MWC conference, Best Buy has let its own M9 product page go live. It's a listing for the AT&T-compatible grey variant of the phone, with 32GB of storage and priced at $649.99.
Huawei can't seem to keep its MWC goodies under wraps. Its gorgeous Huawei Watch leaked earlier thanks to two lengthy product videos, showing a Moto 360-like round watch with small steel bezels and an elegant design. But that won't be the only wearable the company is working on (and presumably announcing at MWC in a few hours). After showing up prematurely in a few public ads, the TalkBand B2 has made an appearance in none other than Huawei's own Wear application.
Huawei Wear, the companion app to the OEM's bands, has received an update. When picking out a new device to connect to, the app suggests the TalkBand B1, the ColorBand, and a yet-unannounced TalkBand B2.
Watch the video below. Watch it several times if you need to. Try to figure out what it's trying to promote. A remote and exclusive European ski resort? An auction house for classic Mercedes cars? Champagne intended only for use in questionably phallic gestures? Nope, it's Huawei's Watch. That's not a typo, it's actually called the Huawei Watch. Let's... um, watch.
The design of the Android Wear device looks more or less like the Moto 360, with its metal housing and thin bezels but without its signature "flat tire" screen cutout. The Huawei Watch also has conventional lugs (presumably making for easy watch band swaps) and a single "crown" button at the 2:00 position.
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.
The M9 keeps the same basic One family traits including the metal unibody and dual front-facing speakers, with an added piece of gold-colored metal trim around the bezel, iPhone 4-style.
For Android fans, Google's corporate head quarters in Mountain View has taken on the mythical status of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. But for all the cool stuff that comes out of it, the Googleplex is essentially just a collection of big office buildings, no more or less interesting than any of the wide office parks in that part of California. Google is preparing to build a new campus, and its current proposal to the city council shows off a series of buildings that aren't quite like anything else in the world.
The most striking part of the proposal is the huge translucent covering that wraps around the Google spaces, creating an effect somewhere between an enormous circus tent and greenhouse.