I've long had no issue admitting my inability to get excited about Sony's smartphone products. Often, they're too late to market here in the US, have specifications that while competitive are rarely groundbreaking, and really do very little on the software feature front. When I saw the Xperia Z1 at IFA last year, I just wasn't all that impressed - Sony's flagship still suffered from ridiculous screen viewing angle issues, and the UI felt almost no different from what Sony shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich.
You've probably read by now that Nokia's making Android phones. Sort of. And I'm sure there are all sorts of analysts, experts, and other people trying to scream at you collectively that this means something. Nokia's changing directions. Nokia's making Android a backup if the Microsoft merger doesn't go through. Nokia's Android is going to finally end Google's dominance in the world of cheap smartphones!
Let's leave all that aside, because those are frankly annoying and pointless conversations to have.
One year ago we took a look at the original Grand Memo, ZTE's mid-range entry in the bustling "phablet" market. Fast forward and ZTE is back at Mobile World Congress, showing off a new and improved version called the Grand Memo II LTE, that's better in every way... but still not really good enough to elicit a "wow" of surprise. Check out our hands-on video below.
The Grand Memo II bumps up the screen size to 6.0 inches, putting it squarely in between the largest of the conventional smartphones and low-cost tablets.
Sony announced its new Xperia Z2 Tablet here at Mobile World Congress, so we swung by their booth on the show floor to get a hands-on with the next tablet flagship. This is the successor to the Tablet Z, now more fully aligned with the leading Sony phone in both name and hardware.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Z2 Tablet is that it is thin. Crazy thin - 6.4mm, in fact, thinner than the previous tablet, thinner than any phone you're likely to get your hands on in the United States, thinner than the iPad Air by more than a millimeter, and lighter as well at only 425 grams.
Because one two wearables weren't enough, Samsung had to go and announce a third. This one is a little bit different from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, however – it's called the Gear Fit, and it's basically a fitness tracker with a twist... or rather a curve.
The Fit isn't your typical run-of-the-mill fitness tracker, according to Samsung. It's packed with "the most comprehensive fitness tools available," and it also sends notifications from Galaxy smartphones, alerting users of incoming calls, emails, texts, alarms, and the like.
We can finally put the months of rumors to bed – Samsung just unveiled to Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We'll have hands-on for you shortly, but let's go over what Samsung is announcing first.
It's looking like some of the more outlandish rumors were way off base – the Galaxy S5 is not specced much differently than other flagship phones in recent months, and it's certainly not made of metal.
Samsung started pushing an update to KitKat for the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9500) less than a week ago. Now, it's time for the Snapdragon-equipped S4 (GT-i9505) to see some action. In addition to the standard Android 4.4.2 feature set, this update will also bring some tweaks to the lockscreen, including a shortcut to the camera and full-screen album art during music playback, an improved landscape-mode keyboard, several bug fixes, and the now standard white KitKat status icons.
It seems like just yesterday when we heard that Verizon was inviting users to the Moto X 4.4.2 soak test, and now here we are. Big Red just updated its Moto X support docs with the full 4.4.2 changelog, which should mean that the update is preparing to roll out to users soon – possibly within a few days.
Update 2/24: Motorola just pushed the release notes to its customer portal, so the update should be hitting devices any time now.
So, you may or may not have noticed that a pretty special thing happened recently: we surpassed 500,000 followers on Google+. Five hundred thousand. Half-a-million people now get their AP fix directly from Google+, which we think is pretty great.
As a huge thanks to all of our G+ followers (and everyone else who reads AP, of course), we teamed up with NVIDIA to offer a giveaway that's just as special as the occasion it represents: we're giving away two SHIELDs.