Samsung just announced the Galaxy S7, and it's going big on VR this year. Not only is there a spiffy new 360-degree camera, you can get a free Gear VR with purchase of a GS7. You'll have to jump on this fast if you want to get in on the promotion, and as usual, there are several caveats. Notably, this promo is valid in the US only. Read More
In addition to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung also announced an extra-special accessory at its Unpacked event. The Gear 360 is Samsung's first action camera, and not content to compete with GoPro and other conventional models, the company designed a camera that records video in 360 degrees at once. This is achieved with a ball-like body design and two sensors, each paired to a fish eye lens that captures 180 degrees of action. The camera and Samsung's software then stitches the video together for easy 360-degree presentations and VR playback.
The Gear 360 isn't the first 360-degree camera on the market, but with Samsung's marketing muscle behind it (not to mention integration with the company's smartphones), it could become the most popular. Read More
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. Read More
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: Read More
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.
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. Read More
"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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More