We had a chance to quickly go hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi 5 at MWC directly after its announcement this morning, and I know what your first question is: will I even be able to buy one? Answer: probably not. Xiaomi said China and India would be launch markets with "some other countries" following down the road, but if the company planned to make a big to do of opening up new markets for their hardware, I have a feeling they'd have made a lot more noise at this launch.
With that said, should you want one, even knowing you probably won't be able to through anything but 3rd-party retailers (and likely with non-functional 4G)?
We published a quick look at the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge earlier this week, but today we had a chance to really sit down with the phones and learn a few things. With that in mind, here's our full hands-on.
The hardware on the new S7 and S7 edge is going to be deeply familiar to those with a Galaxy S6, Note 5, or S6 Edge+ - the design features are only slightly evolved, with most of the changes being internal. That's not to say nothing's changed on the outside, though. Samsung specifically considered user feedback, particularly from the S6 edge, and made the phone feel softer and smooth to hold around the sides.
Last year, Google marked its return to public exhibition at Mobile World Congress, but with a whole new twist: it wasn't really exhibiting any of its own or any of its partner's products, it was all just in the name of fun. You see, at trade shows like MWC, business is the predominant subject of conversation, and while quite a few consumer product announcements may occur, they're often secondary to the whole issue of "things which cause money to change hands." MWC isn't open to the public, either, and so attendees are largely in the mobile business in one form or another, or members of the media.
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.
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.
The Alcatel [One Touch] Idol 3 [4.7/5.5] was an excellent budget smartphone for 2015. It had an exceptional camera for its price, a great screen, front-facing speakers, and surprisingly decent battery life. It was also more than a bit slow, and it still hasn't been updated to Android 5.1. The Idol 4 and 4S succeed their predecessors with a look back to what those phones did right, but also looking forward to hopefully resolve what they didn't.
The Idol 4S is undoubtedly the more interesting handset, because it's the one with more stuff. An all-new Snapdragon 652 processor that is shaping up to be quite powerful, a 5.5" 2K Super AMOLED display, a 16MP camera with 4K video, dual speakers, an 8MP front-facing camera with its own LED flash, Android 6.0.1, and a sleek new metal and glass body make it clear that Alcatel isn't sleeping at the wheel.
We're in Barcelona! And I'm struggling to stay awake. It's 3PM here in one of my favorite places to visit (I've been doing it five years now, after all), and I am jet lagged to an extent I've scarcely ever experienced. But 2016 is shaping up to be one of the busiest MWCs ever in terms of smartphone news, and we're just getting started. Over the next couple of days, you'll see big announcements from the likes of LG, Samsung, Alcatel, possibly Sony, maybe a few things from HTC, and likely dozens of smaller companies looking to get their share of the limelight.
Samsung has had its own dedicated Unpacked events in recent years to talk about its new flagship phones, but this year it's doing the deed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Unpacked and the probable Galaxy S7 announcement is now official for Sunday, February 21st at 7PM local time (doors open an hour earlier). That works out to 1PM on the East Coast in the US for the start of the event.
There are a ton of events all year round where companies get to show off their latest products and fancy new tech. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had CES 2016 — one of the most prominent electronics shows of the year, which featured everything from smart fridges to smart belts. The next major exhibition, MWC 2016, is more focused on mobile tech and is scheduled to begin on February 22nd in Barcelona.
In preparation for the event, Sony is sending out invites to the press conference it will hold on February 22nd at 08:30 CET (that's 07:30 UTC or 11:30 PM Pacific time, February 21st).
LG is ready to play and is inviting everyone to come play with it. That's all we can glean from the event teaser and invite that was just sent to press members for LG's MWC 2016 event. The conference will take place on Feb 21 at 14:00 and will likely see the announcement of the LG G5. The rumors have been accelerating regarding LG's next flagship and MWC would be a nice venue for it to make its grand debut.
It might seem soon to you, but LG has been pushing forward its G series announcement year after year, starting with the G2 in August 2013, G3 in May 2014, and the G4 in April 2015.