The phablet market is exploding, and just about every manufacturer wants a piece of the oversized pie. Here at Mobile World Congress ZTE has just announced the Grand Memo II LTE, the successor to last year's Grand Memo. It ups the screen size to a full 6 inches of IPS goodness. Well, maybe goodness - they aren't saying what the resolution is just yet, just "HD," which I'll assume means 720p.
Nokia unveiled its long-awaited Android-powered phone today, but in something of a twist, it turned out to be not just one device, but three! As expected, the Nokia X, X+, and XL all run software based on the Android Open Source Project, but that software looks very little like Android in most respects. Like Amazon's Fire OS, Nokia's "X" Android fork eschews all of Google's various products and services in favor of a heavily modified user experience and custom app ecosystem.
Along with a new flagship phone, Sony has raised the curtain on a new high-end tablet at Mobile World Congress. Like previous Sony designs, the Xperia Z2 Tablet takes its name, looks, and general hardware from the Z2 smartphone. The most impressive part is the Snapdragon 801 processor, which should be able to take all comers with its 2.26Ghz quad-core architecture.
The rest of the tablet is lagging a little bit when compared to newer offerings from Samsung.
We've been seeing quite a lot of Sony's "Xperia Sirius," and it looks like Sony is ready to take the wraps off of it here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As expected, it's the flagship successor to the Z1, somewhat disappointingly named the Xperia Z2. Sony is also announcing the Xperia M2 today, a more midrange phone with Sony's standard industrial design and dual SIM card slots.
The Z2 improves on the Z1 with a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD display, matching LG's G2.
Sony's SmartBand is a little more than a fitness tracker, but it's not a smart watch either. This device ties into the Sony Lifelog app to track your movement and connect the dots between your physical and digital activities. Interested? The SmartBand and Lifelog app are hitting the market in over 60 countries next month. That means only a few more weeks of using your dumb brain to remember things that happen to you.
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.
As part of its Mobile World Congress presentation, Huawei officially unveiled its own entry into the wearable market with the TalkBand B1. There's no denying the device looks odd, but there's functionality hidden in its slightly weird-looking body. The display portion of the device actually pops out and can be used as a Bluetooth headset, while the band itself can be uncapped to reveal a USB connector for charging.
According to CNet's hands-on, Huawei claims 7 hours talk time and 2 weeks standby battery life for the device.
We're less than 24 hours away from Samsung's Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona, where the Galaxy S5 is expected to be the guest of honor. We'd also thought that the recently-leaked Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (nee Galaxy) would be revealed there, but Samsung issued a press release instead. Now one Instagram video of the Gear 2 seems to have spilled the beans on the S5, at least in a mild way.