Posts Tagged mwc

LG L80 budget smartphone appears in Indonesia

LG‘s earnings report hinted at a wider-scale rollout of its L Series smartphones and now the next wave of that plan has started. In Indonesia, LG has unveiled the L80, so far the fourth of the lineup of affordable smartphones that was introduced way back in February at MWC 2014.

The LG L80 is the latest member of the L Series III, the third generation of smartphones that LG keeps on churning out for the budget device market. The first two batches have been met with a decent amount of success, and so LG is unsurprisingly expecting the same from this new range. The first three members have already been revealed, the L40, L70, and L90, with the last one being the first scheduled to launch after MWC. Now we have the L80, which is making Asia its first destination.

Despite the number, the L80 is actually larger than the L90, the former sporting a 5.0-inch IPS screen while the latter only 4.7. The resolution, however, is strangely smaller at WVGA, usually 800×480 pixels. Both, however, seem to share the same 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm chip and 1 GB of RAM. Internal storage is lower on the L80, with only 4 GB of memory. It also supports a dual SIM setup, which is quite common for smartphones targeting emerging markets. Despite the budget smartphone moniker, LG isn’t skimping on the software aspects. Buyers will be meeting Android 4.4 here as well as LG’s beloved Knock Code UX feature.

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LG hasn’t yet made hints when and where the LG L80 will make its presence felt next, or whether it plans to bring the smartphone to the US at all. In Indonesia, the L80 will cost 2.5 million Indonesia Rupiah, which converts to $215, and will come in black and white color options.

VIA: GSMArena

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Lenovo S860 Gets Launched, Ships Out Next Week

During the MWC 2014 held last February in Barcelona Lenovo announced several of its upcoming smartphone devices expected to be launched this year. One such model is the Lenovo S860, a 5.3-inch device that packs a 4,000mAh battery pack, which is now being launched and will be out in the market next week.

Lenovo s860

The Lenovo S860 will first be sold in the Indian market with pre-orders of the device already starting at the Lenovo online store. The device costs INR21,500 or around US$355. According to Sudhin Mathur, Director-Smartphones, Lenovo India, “We launched the S860 at MWC this year and the smartphone completes our range of products like P780 and S660 that provides users an incredibly long battery life. It was also recognized as one of the best launches from Lenovo at MWC this year.”

Technical Specifications

  • Processor: MediaTek 6582 1.3 GHz Quad Core
  • Operating System: Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Display/Resolution: 5.3” HD (1280 X 720) IPS; Capacitive touchscreen with 5
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB ROM
  • Integrated Comms: WCDMA 2100/900 (3G), GSM 900/1800/1900 (2G); Speed: HSPA+ 21Mbps(DL) / 5.76 Mbps (UL)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 3.0 HS
  • Camera: 8MP rear-facing auto-focused camera with LED and flash, 1.5MP front-facing fixed-focus camera
  • Battery: Li-Po 4000 mAh, fixed; Up to 43 hours talk
  • Weight: 190g (.41 pounds)
  • Dimensions: 149.5 x 77 x 10.3mm, 5.8 x 3.0 x .40 inches

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The Lenovo S860 sports a brushed metal exterior giving it a premium feel. Its 720p 5.3-inch display is great for watching videos or browsing the web.

Some of the key features of this device include

  • Attractive design with brushed-metal exterior that is resistant to scratches and fingerprints
  • Two speakers and a large, 5.3-inch screen provide an enhanced viewing experience
  • Equipped with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, Android’s most popular OS
  • 8MP rear camera for sharp and clear photography
  • Gesture and motion-based enhancements to user interface for better one
  • Dual SIM card capability to store two numbers in one phone

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What’s probably one of the best features of this device is its use of a 4,000mAh battery. According to Lenovo this can provide up to 28 days of standby time on a 2G network or up to 40 days on a 3G network. Talk time on a 2G network lasts up to 43 hours while that on a 3G network lasts up to 24 hours on a single charge.

This device certainly has decent features and hardware specs. The only downside is that it will be launched with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean instead of KitKat. Hopefully Lenovo will be releasing an update soon.

There’s no information yet as to when this device will become available in other markets.

via Lenovo India

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Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ now up for order at $369, shipping in 3 weeks

Lenovo has announced that the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ that we scoped out back at MWC is now available for $369. Though you can order today, shipments aren’t expected for another three weeks. The 10-inch tablet runs Android 4.3 (update to Android 4.4 KitKat shortly) and has a 1920 x 1200 HD display, not to mention a nice little built-in stand and an optional keyboard dock accessory. The whole thing is powered by a 1.6 Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor and 2 GB of RAM. You can expect 18 hours of battery life from the 9000 mAh battery.



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Quick comparison: HTC One (M8) versus Samsung Galaxy S5 specs

With the arrival of the new HTC One, and before it, the Samsung Galaxy S5 at MWC, the stage is set for one of the great Android rivalries of 2014. It’s way too early to call this one — the HTC One has only just launched, and the GS5 is widely available for pre-order but won’t be hitting store shelves until April 11. However we’re ready to go through the basics with a quick spec comparison after the break.

    



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Biker that helped Peter Chou make his MWC appointment will be at HTC’s All New One unveiling

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HTC’s very own Peter Chou was apparently running late to Mobile World Congress thanks to a major traffic jam, but thanks to a friendly biker on the road, he managed to avoid a bulk of the traffic and get there right on time. Apparently the biker, Obdulio Herrera, willingly helped Chou out of the traffic jam and got him to the doors of his MWC appointment in barely 10 minutes. Pretty friendly, right?

After getting in touch with Obdulio to verify some of the information, including finding out that he had just dropped his daughter off at school, what color his motorcycle was, and that he didn’t have to speed to get to MWC on time, HTC is looking to repay the favor to Mr. Herrera by inviting him to London when HTC will unveil their All New One for 2014. Talk about returning a favor.

Obdulio Herrera says he simply believes that when others are in need, we should help them out without worrying so much about being repaid. Sometimes just making someone else’s life a little bit easier is reward in itself, and it’s tough to argue with his logic. Hopefully we’ll hear more about him at the even on March 25th this year.

source: HTC

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LG L90 arrives as first and largest in L Series III line

Just a week after it made splashes in MWC 2014, LG has officially announced the arriveal of the LG L90. Billed as the premier model in its new line of budget smartphones, the L90 tries to combine premium features with budget hardware and an equally affordable price tag.

Before MWC 2014 even started, LG pre-announced the upcoming members of the new L Series III. Representing LG’s line of budget smartphones, the previous generations of L Series have been met with a decent amount of retail success, something that LG naturally wants to repeat, starting with the largest of the group, the L90.

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There is no mistaking that the L90 lies slightly on the lower end of the device spectrum. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcom MSM8226, more popularly known as the Snapdragon 400. The 4.7-inch IPS screen, though comfortably large, only supports a qHD resolution of 960×540 pixels. The 1 GB RAM might be decent for moderate uses and the 8 GB internal storage can be augmented by a microSD card.

The specs might not be that high, but LG wants to give it a bit of flair, particularly in the user experience department. LG is making available the latest iteration of its “tap to unlock” system, currently called Knock Code, letting users safely unlock their smartphone using one of over 86,000 tapping combinations.

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The LG L90 will start its market availability this week, but initially in CIS regions. This will later be followed by other international markets, though LG isn’t yet disclosing when or where. Pricing details are also still unknown at the moment.

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Motorola’s MWC event now available for your viewing pleasure

MotorolaMWCWhen we first heard that Motorola was going to be hosting a little event at MWC we were unsure as to what they would be chatting about. With the Lenovo deal fresh on everyone’s mind we hoped that we’d find out more on that. However discussions held at the short event went in a different direction. There was talk of the Moto G’s success, the next-gen Moto X in the works, and even a moment on wearables.

For those that missed the event, Motorola has finally uploaded it to its YouTube account. We have that video for you after the break. If you have a half an hour to kill, then this may be right up your alley.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Watch ‘An Evening with Motorola’ from MWC

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For those of you that might have missed the half hour long sit down with Motorola executives, Moto was kind enough to upload the video for you to watch at your disposal. Many questions are answered by the men of Moto. Questions that involved future plans of the company, and the recent acquisition by Lenovo. There was also mention of a new Moto X coming out this year, but a lot of you probably read all about it. So if you feel like seeing what the newly bought company had to say at MWC, check it out below and let us know your thoughts.

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Miss Motorola’s Press Event at MWC? Don’t Worry, You Can Watch the Replay Now

Last week, Motorola held a 30 minute event in Barcelona at MWC, where three Moto executives sat down and answered questions about the company’s future, success, and acquisition by Lenovo. The event was not streamed for the masses, so we know there are plenty of people who have no idea what exactly the execs talked about. 

Motorola has been kind enough to throw together the below video, in which you can sit down and watch the full event unfold.

As mentioned, it’s sort of long and doesn’t really provide too much insider info that wasn’t already written up last week. For example, they announced that a new Moto X is coming, the company has plans for wearables, and MotoMaker was launched internationally.

Have a watch below.

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Galaxy S5 Backlash! MWC Catch Up Madness! – The ManDroid Show

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The ManDroid has returned after being off for about a week and a half. Been pretty hectic in my real world life, but the ManDroid Show must go on. Play MWC catch up on today’s show, as well as talking about all the Galaxy S5 backlash. You got to love the technology world. Enjoy the show!

News Topics
Galaxy S5 official
Lenovo announces the S-series
Sony M2 and smartband
Gear Fit announced
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Nokia X, XL, and X+ announced
Qualcomm announces 801 processor
Sony Xperia Z2 announced

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For the record: the Samsung Galaxy S5 actually has 10.7GB free on the 16GB Version

samsung galaxy s5Despite not even being official for a week, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has already had its fair share of criticisms, ranging from its appearance to the fact that people think it hasn’t innovated enough from its last iteration. One particular sticking point that has caught everyone’s attention is the fact, as discovered by Android Central, that the devices seen at MWC 2014 only had 7.86GB of its total 16GB available for use. Understandable, the community was slightly outraged: having less than half the available space available for use is slightly ridiculous, even by Samsung‘s standards, and for most people was just another nail in the coffin for the Galaxy S5. Well, you can put your hammers away, for not anyway, as the record is about to be set straight.

samsung galaxy s5While the devices at MWC 2014 did indeed only have 7.86GB free, quite a lot of the space being taken up was content that was only there for MWC and the Unpacked event. What this means is that the device will actually have quite a lot more free space on the 16GB model, 10.7GB in fact, and while this still pales in comparison to the amount of free space available to other device, least of all Nexus devices, this amount is still much better than the 9GB left by the Galaxy S4.

So there you have it: the Galaxy S5 isn’t as much of a storage hog as we previously though, so there shouldn’t be any more reservations with getting the 16GB version. Are you more convinced to get the Samsung Galaxy S5 now that you know you actually have internal storage space to play with? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: Telekkom-Presse, Android Central via SamMobile (1), (2)

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Think Tank: What is HTC Doing With the Dual Camera Setup on the All New One?

Press renders for the all new One from HTC are making the rounds quite heavily, and if you haven’t been paying attention, there is apparently two cameras along the backside of the device. While a few may joke about HTC raising the EVO 3D from the grave, I personally find any speculation about 3D camera support hard to believe, as new creations shown off at MWC this past week are now making headlines.

A partnership between an Israeli-based startup called Corephotonic and Qualcomm introduced a dual-sensor setup at MWC, with one lens being telephoto and the other being wide angle. The idea is to give smartphones the ability to not only take great pictures, but then to allow users to zoom in on these pictures much better. Let’s face it, zooming in on photos taken on smartphones isn’t great on most phones, so improvements on this key feature would be quite welcomed. 

Since current smartphone camera setups are a single clunkier lens, the cameras have actual moving parts for when users zoom in on a subject. By adding in a telephoto lens for the sole purpose of taking shots where distance and clarity is the goal, HTC could be looking to make big advancements in the mobile photography game.

Below in the video, CNET went hands-on with the dual-lens hardware. As you can see, there is an insane difference between photos taken with the dual-lens versus the single lens setup. When photos taken with the dual-lens are zoomed in, the image remains vibrant and crystal clear, while the single-lens starts blurring and details are lost. Be sure to watch the video.

With the Snapdragon 800 chip from Qualcomm powering this project, and a Snapdragon chip rumored to power the One (2014), this may not be too hard to imagine. We certainly hope HTC is planning on more than just a 3D picture mode.

Have any others ideas as to what HTC could do with a dual-camera setup on the backside of the new One? Shoot your ideas down below.

Via: Engadget

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Samsung’s Gear Fit awarded “Best Mobile Device” of MWC 2014

SamsungGearFitAward  One of the devices that Samsung announced at MWC this year, the Gear Fit, was awarded “the best mobile device” by GSMA. Part fitness tracker, part smartwatch, the device looks to be functional without getting in the way. It sports a curved display with a higher resolution than even the newly announced Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. It even boasts double the battery life to that of the Gear 2. It has a heart monitor and syncs with Samsung’s S Health.

We’re still waiting on availability and pricing, but the smartwatch/fitness tracker garnered more attention than even the Galaxy S 5. Considering that the Gear Fit, nailed something that even the original Galaxy Gear couldn’t, the whole being functional without getting in the way thing, it’s easy to see why it’s received so much attention.

source: Samsung Tomorrow

 

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Samsung will launch its 64-bit chips later this year

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According to Kyushik Hong, who is the VP of marketing for Samsung’s system LSI unit, the company’s 64-bit mobile chips are coming later this year. It was widely believed that Samsung would launch its first 64-bit chip with the Galaxy S5, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Instead the company only announced a new hexa-core chip and a refresh to its octa-core chipset during the MWC. He reaffirmed that hardware sporting this new 64-bit chipset will start rolling out immediately after its announcement. In his words – “Our chip will be ready whenever the operating systems and ecosystem go 64-bit. We’re pretty sure we’re not going to be the bottleneck for that.”

This new chip will be launched under the Exynos moniker, like all its mobile SoCs. With the Android platform pushing to support 64-bit chipsets, there is bound to be a lot of demand for Samsung’s chips. We have already heard about Intel’s plans to launch such a chipset along with Qualcomm which announced a unique midrange 64 bit chipset at the MWC. So Samsung could face some competition from these manufacturers early on. But Qualcomm is expected to have more of an impact on the mobile chipset segment. It currently leads the pack with the Snapdragon 801 chip with the launch of the Snapdragon 805 taking place soon.

Source: CNET

Via: Sam Mobile

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MWC 2014 recap: Android hits, misses, surprises and snubs

The Mobile World Congress, along with the association that organizes what’s generally regarded as the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, dubbed GSMA, are weird.

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This year’s trade fair was barely wrapped up, and the GSMA announced the winners of the 19th Annual Global Mobile awards, among which you had a one-year-old Android smartphone, and a four-month-old tablet whose creator didn’t even bother to put together a booth in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, the “most innovative device manufacturer of the year”, LG, came to Catalonia with a pair of handhelds it chose to unveil earlier this month, plus a slate of staggeringly lackluster low-end, low-cost phones. Innovation at its best, eh?

So, what happened with honoring the actual show’s exhibitors? The gadgets that debuted on the Barcelona stage this week? Apparently, we’ll have to wait a full year to see if the GSMA deems them worthy of any accolade.

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Or we can commend them ourselves. And bash those that deserve it. Also, how about we single out the OEMs we expected more from at MWC 2014? Here it goes:

MWC 2014 – Android hits

Sony Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet

To be clear, the Z2 and Z2 Tablet are knockouts just by comparison. They’re not breathtaking, revolutionary, or incredibly innovative, since they share a lot of common ground, almost too much with their predecessors.

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Still, as Sony’s main competitors either snubbed MWC, or came to the show unprepared, the Z2 duo has no real challenger for the “best smartphone” and “best tablet” crowns. Now if only the Japanese would also know how to price and market them to unlock their true potential.

HTC Desire 816

They tried the “hero” approach, failed, and are now back to square one: trickling out various devices to cater to diverse needs and budgets. You know, the Galaxy strategy. Only for once, HTC looks to have actually put some thought into a non-flagship phone.

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Instead of downsizing and making sacrifices all around, they’ve cut costs in a few departments, but not drastically. Nothing’s dramatically reduced at the Desire 816, yet rumor has it the plastic 5.5-incher shall cost no more than $300. Jackpot!

Samsung Gear Fit

Okay, calling a wearable gizmo right now a hit might be a bit of a stretch. Also, technically, the Gear Fit doesn’t run Android. Or Tizen. It’s something in between, simpler, more elementary, with less bells and whistles.

Samsung Gear Fit

But dat curved AMOLED display! And the battery life! The price! This is what people want from wearables, Samsung, not overpriced, jumbo-sized “smartwatches” they need to charge every frigging five hours.

MWC 2014 – Swing and a miss

Samsung Galaxy S5

There, I said it. The “next big thing” is, in my book, the biggest disappointment of MWC 2014. Sure, it’s not far behind Sony’s Xperia Z2 on paper, but since when is being a close second good enough for Samsung?

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The design is off (way off), the 2 GB RAM underwhelming, the camera upgraded but not enough, the battery less than stellar, and, oh, did I mention the crappy design? What’s that, a Galaxy S5 “Prime” with everything but the kitchen sink on it is coming in May? Great, but right now, this is Samsung’s spearhead. And it’s blunt.

ZTE Grand Memo II LTE

Ugh, not again. I mean, did ZTE really learn nothing from its unfortunate CES experience last month? Apparently not, or else they’d have thought twice before taking to the Barcelona stage for the intro of a 6-inch 720p phablet with Snapdragon 400 power… in 2014.

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MWC 2014 – Biggest surprises

Nokia X, X+ and XL

I know, I know, Nokia’s first foray in Android (-ish) land was well documented for months, with concrete evidence, photos, online listings and all, yet there were still people doubting they’ll go through with it. Also, three AOSP-based phones right off the bat? We did not expect that.

Now, is the X family a pleasant surprise, or a bomb waiting to explode? It depends on how you feel about Android being butchered skinned, and Microsoft’s services as an alternative for Google. I for one think all’s fair in love, war and technology, so honestly, I’d give these fellows a whirl just out of curiosity.

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My biggest beef with them? Designs. It’s unacceptable for a 5-inch smartphone to tip the scales at 190 grams, no matter how dirt-cheap it is. And besides, the X, X+ and XL are not even that cheap if you compare them to, say, Motorola’s Moto G.

MWC 2014 – Snubs

What happened with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 slates? Did the Koreans fear they’d maybe steal Galaxy S5’s thunder? Or would two flops have been simply too much for one event? And sorry, I can’t help dissing LG one more time.

In theory, no, they weren’t MWC’s biggest clowns, as they brought the G Pro 2 and G2 Mini to the expo. But their “news” was the F70/F90 duo. Again, “most innovative device manufacturer”? Hilarious.

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Other Android players traditionally active at shows like CES and MWC that were unusually quiet this week include Lenovo, Asus and Acer. Well, sure, Lenovo did showcase a trio of budget-conscious smartphones and a sleek, “multimode” 10-inch tablet.

But somehow, I feel they could have done better. Like, maybe take advantage of Samsung’s mishaps, and roll out a genuine high-end handheld contender. Asus and Acer? Guess they’ve started realizing the low-cost tablet market is flooded, and now they’re out of ideas.

Bottom line, this clearly wasn’t the greatest Mobile World Congress ever. But with HTC’s All New One announcement looming, the Galaxy S5 Prime around the corner, and possibly LG’s G3 too, who has time to think about that? Oh, and don’t forget Project Ara. Or the Nexus family’s swan song(s).

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HTC looking for biker who helped the CEO get to the MWC event in time

Peter Chou

HTC has set off a massive ad campaign to look for a biker who reportedly gave the CEO Peter Chou a drop to the event location just a few minutes before it was set to begin. It is claimed that Chou was taking a taxi to the event, but considering the traffic jam at the event, he decided to take a lift from this biker. But when Chou offered him money for dropping him right on time at Fira Barcelona, the biker refused to oblige and went on his way. HTC is now looking to spot this biker so as to reward him accordingly.

The company has written a blog post on its site asking him to get in touch with HTC if and when he gets the message. All there is to know about this man is that he’s “45-50 years old, riding a Green Honda Scoopy with a yellow plate“. So if you know this person, make sure you inform HTC so that he can get a word of appreciation from HTC. It is commendable of the company to humbly acknowledge what went behind the scenes of a major event, when most such occurrences go unnoticed.

Source: HTC

Via: Android Central

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Samsung Gear Fit adjudged the ‘Best Mobile Device’ at the MWC

Galaxy Gear Fit

The Samsung Gear Fit was announced during the MWC as a surprise package along with the Galaxy S5. What’s not immediately obvious about this device is the fact that this uses Samsung’s curved AMOLED display which makes it an ideal companion for your wrist. And now, the Gear Fit has received the ‘Best Mobile Device’ award at the MWC event in Barcelona.

Earlier during the event, the HTC One received the Top Smartphone Of The Year award which was a matter of pride for the company. This new award will certainly give Samsung the much needed boost for the success of the Gear Fit. Perhaps the only downside of the smartwatch is the limited compatibility. It was mentioned that only 20 Samsung devices were compatible with the smartwatch, so people who own a LG, Sony, HTC or any other branded smartphone, this smartwatch is no good. Samsung hasn’t spilled the beans on the pricing of the smartwatch, but anything close to $250 should be reasonable.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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MWC 2014: We’ll see you later, Barcelona

MWC has wrapped up, and Android Community is leaving Barcelona. Over the time spent in Spain, quite a bit was seen. In wrapping up our coverage of the event, we wanted to reflect on the highlights — and lowlights — of the event.

Samsung

Why not start there, right? Samsung’s Galaxy S5 was easily the biggest announcement at MWC 2014, commanding a bulk of the coverage on launch day. While it was everything we expected it would be, there were a few neat features we didn’t expect. A pulse monitor on the back was unexpected, and really kind of cool. We’re not sure we’d use it much, but it’s there for those who would.

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The three Gear wearables were also interesting, as was the inclusion of Tizen — on two of them, at least. Save for the Gear fit, which apparently has no real OS to speak of, the other two Gear devices are Tizen, Samsung’s proprietary OS. Likely to be their wearable OS moving forward, Tizen seems capable of simple tasks, but likely won’t be a powerhouse. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are a nice upgrade from the bulky Galaxy Gear, but also a step back with Tizen. Time will tell how that move will work for Samsung.

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Sony

We’ve come to expect top-end devices from Sony, and they didn’t disappoint this year. The Xperia Z2 smartphone was a nice upgrade from the Z1. Aesthetically, we were a bit let down there were no changes, but why mess with success, right? If they’re confident people will find that design attractive enough for another year, then we’re happy to have it. Inside, a slew of minor tweaks to the software only increase its value. With regard to specs, the Z2 is just not going to be beaten.

The Z2 tablet was a nice addition, and was shockingly thin. Essentially, it’s a Z2 smartphone with a 10.1-inch screen. Same specs, same everything except for the camera hardware and software. Their M2, however, promises to be the cream of the mid-range crop. Taking Sony’s dedication to quality and bringing it to the notoriously spotty mid-range market will be an interesting move, and one we’ll keep an eye on.

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Lenovo

We covered Lenovo’s stuff in-depth earlier in the day, but it’s worth saying that what they’re bringing to the world of mobile tech is really interesting. Aside from their purchase of Motorola, Lenovo has a slew of devices that are really nice. At just about every price point, Lenovo has something we liked at MWC — and that’s saying something. We look for them to make a big splash in 2014.

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Nokia

The Nokia X devices were a bit more than we expected, but we’re still not sure that’s a good thing. They’re low cost, and the hardware choices bely that distinction. Though we got what we expected wight he hardware, the software choice surprised us.

Not quite Android, but also not a forked version, we don’t know what to make of the X’s software. Nokia’s take on apps is almost theft, as they promise Android apps can be ported over without change, by and large. It’s almost a parallel version of Android, aimed at emerging markets. We’re going to give this time before calling it a failure or success, but for now — it’s strange.

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Conclusion

MWC is tough — always is, probably always will be. Running around, covering devices, and weaving our way through traffic is always a chore. This year’s MWC was made a lot easier with our Scottevest gear. The ability to shove all our tech in a coat, shirt, or vest made a huge difference. We were also a bit shocked not to be weighed down with all that tech, but our Scottevest stuff kept us moving.

There was a ton of stuff on display at MWC this year, and we suggest you take a look at our MWC 2014 tag for more in-depth coverage of all the fun we had. Blackphone, Acer, Huawei — there was just a lot going on we couldn’t get to in this post. We had a lot of fun covering it, too, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.

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Hands-on: Impala app offers true smart photography [VIDEO]

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Conventions like MWC are massive technology overloads. It’s easy to miss smaller things when you have devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 being announced, but we have found an app that is quite the hidden treasure.

The Impala app for Android was invited to MWC by Qualcomm, where they took over a small section of the booth. The app is not finalized because Qualcomm only gave them 2 months, but it’s impressive how far the developers have gotten. And after a few minutes I realized why Qualcomm wanted them there.

What does Impala do?

To put it in a simple way, Impala turns your phone into a smart camera/organizer. This software analyzes the image when you are taking a photo and optimizes your camera settings to make the photo better.

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For example, the app knows when you are shooting food, so it optimizes the camera settings to make your food look better. Likewise, the app can optimize photos of people. There is more than that, though. It actually gets a little interesting.

This app can be programmed to pixelate hands, for example. Or maybe people don’t want pictures of faces, skin or anything else. As we can see in the video and image below, this device was programmed to pixelate hands.

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Impala’s organizational features

This software is doesn’t only take advantage of photo taking. It has post-photo features many of you will enjoy. Impala analyzes all your images and organizes them in categories for you. It worked amazingly in the demo.

How well does it work?

I have to say I was impressed by the performance of this app. They had images of cars, people, mountains, and many other categories in the gallery. Not a single image was in the wrong category, which is impressive. Categorization works like a charm!

As for the settings, it looks amazing, but I will have to wait a bit before I set my opinion in stone. It’s something I would have to try more in depth to judge. I happen to love photography, so I am often a bit cautious with automatic settings.

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Release date

Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long before this app is released! Impala representative told us the app was going to be released in about 2 weeks.

Can’t wait to check it out!

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[MWC 2014] Galaxy S5 Hardware Hands-On: Play It Again, Samsung

playitagainLove it or hate it, the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly be the best-selling Android phone in 2014. Whether or not the hardware actually warrants those kinds of incredible sales figures is largely irrelevant, thanks to Samsung’s marketing machine and consumers’ general willingness to buy things they’re familiar with. And “familiar” is certainly an excellent way to describe the phone’s hardware. While it isn’t quite the ho-hum upgrade that came with the GS4, and there are some significant hardware features that add to its value, the GS5′s overall design probably won’t win it any new fans.

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[MWC 2014] Galaxy S5 Hardware Hands-On: Play It Again, Samsung was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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[MWC 2014] Samsung Gear Fit Hands-On: A Happy Medium Between Smartwatch And Fitness Tracker

gear fit thumbThe smartwatch craze has gotten a little out of hand, if you’ll pardon the pun. Various manufacturers and innumerable crowdfunding campaigns seem ready to leap into the shallow waters already populated by Pebble, Sony, Fitbit and the like. Just because Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is the most mainstream of these wearable devices doesn’t mean it’s the best – on the contrary, in addition to general dissatisfaction with the somewhat rushed hardware, many reviewers found themselves questioning the need for a relatively powerful and feature-filled device on their wrist.

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[MWC 2014] Samsung Gear Fit Hands-On: A Happy Medium Between Smartwatch And Fitness Tracker was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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[MWC 2014] Hands-On With The Galaxy S5 Software: A Closer Look At What’s New In Samsung’s Latest Handset

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Whether you like it or not, there’s little doubting that the Galaxy S5 was the star of the show at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Samsung had the largest press event, the most crowded booth, and the most hype built up leading into the show. It doesn’t matter if it’s still plastic, if it’s still running TouchWiz, or that it’s still arguably one of the uglier flagship devices on the market – this phone obviously matters a lot.

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[MWC 2014] Hands-On With The Galaxy S5 Software: A Closer Look At What’s New In Samsung’s Latest Handset was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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[MWC 2014] Samsung Gear 2 And Gear 2 Neo Hands-On: Yeah, You Can Probably Stop Caring About These Now

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Samsung unveiled literally three smartwatches at MWC this year. If that tells you anything, it should be this: the company is desperate to make a wearable product stick in the marketplace. It will do anything to whittle down the form factor, price point, and functionality consumers are most responsive to. And thus, we now have 3 Gear devices to choose from – the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit – Samsung is taking its shotgun approach to the smartphone market and inundating your with choices, hopefully enough choices that you will actually choose to buy one

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I reviewed the original Galaxy Gear.

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[MWC 2014] Samsung Gear 2 And Gear 2 Neo Hands-On: Yeah, You Can Probably Stop Caring About These Now was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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Sony SmartBand and Lifelog Camera: hands-on from MWC 2014

We saw a preview of the Sony wearables back in January, during CES. And nicely, Sony was prepared to offer a bit more this time around. Coming out of MWC 2014, there was some hands-on time with the Sony SmartBand SWR10. This is a Bluetooth dongle at the moment, and will be paired with the Smart Lifelog Camera companion setup.

The band itself doesn’t appear all that spectacular. At first glance it just looks like some of the other trackers we’ve been seeing. But there is a bit more going on here. To begin with, the band is not going to be the only option for the wearable. It seems Sony has put some thought in here, and maybe even realized that some people already wear watch, and may not want to wear something else on their wrist.

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For that, Sony will have an option that attaches to a regular watchband (as above). Regardless though, the technology itself does some familiar monitoring. Sony has mentioned how it will be able to keep track of your steps throughout the day, as well as monitor your sleep. This will also pair with a smartphone app for a bit more including GPS tracking.

Some of the other features will include music controls, and being able to take a picture remotely, using your smartphone. As for the gear, Sony has said it will be waterproof (IP58) so users will not have to worry about getting caught in the rain. Plus, it will be just fine for those taking a shower, or looking to take a dip in the pool.

Sony will have this connecting over Bluetooth LE, and with the initial pairing over NFC. Bottom line here, it looks like Sony is taking the fitness wearable trend, and extending it out a bit further. In this case, that further has convenience, as well as a side of life tracking.

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Engadget Mobile Podcast 200 – MWC edition – 2.26.14

The Mobile Podcast turns 200 today and we’re coming to you direct from the MWC showfloor in Barcelona, so please excuse all the background hustle and bustle. Brad Molen and crew are providing some fresh first-hand perspective about Samsung’s new smartwatch line and the dimple-backed Galaxy S5 (complete with finger print scanner). Nokia also has a new lineup, this time Android-based, and Sony’s offerings are delivering enhanced imaging and higher resolutions. We saved you a seat at the table — right next to the silent superstar — so please join us for this special MWC 2014 edition of the Engadget Mobile Podcast.

Hosts: Brad Molen

Guest: James Trew, Chris Velazco, Steve Dent, Joseph Volpe

Producer: Jon Turi

Music: TychoCoastal Brake (Ghostly International)

Hear the podcast:

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[MWC 2014] Samsung Announces New Octa And Hexa-Core Exynos Processors, Along With Improved NFC, Imaging, and WiFi Tech

exaSamsung usually produces both Exynos and Snapdragon variants of its flagship phones, the former mostly used in non-LTE versions. However, the company didn’t mention Exynos at all during the Galaxy S5 event. Now Samsung has gotten around to announcing two new Exynos 5 chips, one of which is probably going to be in the GS5.

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The Exynos 5422 is a small spec bump over the 5420 announced last summer. It consists of four Cortex-A15 cores and four Cortex-A7 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration.

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[MWC 2014] Samsung Announces New Octa And Hexa-Core Exynos Processors, Along With Improved NFC, Imaging, and WiFi Tech was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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[MWC 2014] LG Named Most Innovative Manufacturer And HTC One Deemed Best Smartphone Of 2013 At This Year’s Global Mobile Awards

GlobalMobileAwards-ThumbFor nineteen years now, mobile manufacturers, software developers, and other innovators have received recognition during the Annual Global Mobile awards. This year’s event, held yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, was hosted by comedian James Corden. Of more interest to us, however, are the awards.

LG walked out of the event with the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Year title, having released such prominent devices as the G2, G Flex, Nexus 5, and the G Pad 8.3 this year (along with the LGGPGPE).

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[MWC 2014] LG Named Most Innovative Manufacturer And HTC One Deemed Best Smartphone Of 2013 At This Year’s Global Mobile Awards was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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ZTE Open C: hands-on with a Firefox OS handset

ZTE has been showing a Firefox OS phone here at MWC. The handset is the ZTE Open C, and it will bring a 4-inch WVGA display size and a variety of colors. The handset isn’t sporting the highest of specs but that is more about the market this device is headed than anything else.

You can expect the ZTE Open C to arrive in emerging markets. And as such, it will likely be priced accordingly. More to the point for today, while made of plastic, the handset doesn’t feel overly cheap. Of course, there is no mistaking this device — one is not going to assume it falls into any high, or even mid-range device category.

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You’ll find v1.3 of Firefox OS with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor. There is also 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a 1400 mAh battery and 3 megapixel rear-facing camera. Users can also expect to find WiFi, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, an accelerometer and GPS.

One possible perk for some may come with the colors. ZTE has said there will be a variety of six, including the red you see here in the post. Otherwise, as you can likely see from the images, the Open C is on the smaller side. This one measures in at 126 x 64.7 x 10.8mm. And again, despite the plastic construction, and lower end specs, the handset didn’t feel all that bad in hand.

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Kazam wants you to come for the hardware, stay for the service

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Kazam has a battle on its hands. The company may have been launched by former HTC execs, but it can only trade on that association for so long. That’s something the firm is directly addressing here at MWC, it seems, with the launch of two new octacore handsets — the Tornado 2 5.0, and Tornado 5.5. Two phones that it hopes will have mass appeal. We got to look at a pre-release version of the former, which uses MediaTek’s MT6592 (clocked at 1.7GHz) that launched late last year. The Tornado 2 5.0 will also come with a 5-inch, 720p IPS display, sport an SD card slot (to augment the 8GB onboard), have dual SIM capabilities, and an 8-megapixel camera. When it launches in Europe later this year, it’ll do so somewhere in the £250 region (depending on markets).

The device itself is unassuming in its design. The all-black body and minimal design are simplistic. While not at all unattractive, it’s not a handset you will be able to pick out at a distance. The version we got to spend some time with didn’t have final software, so we’re unable to comment on its performance, but that’s something we hope to be able to report on in more detail sooner rather than later. That’s also why you’ll see capacitive buttons, and on screen ones in the gallery below. %Gallery-slideshow181936%

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MWC 2014 Global Mobile Awards recipients announced

Probably one of the highlights of each year’s MWC is the organizer GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards, which is on its 19th run this year. This year’s announcement ceremony was brightened up by the comic antics of British actor and comedia James Corden, who played roles in films such as Gulliver’s Travels and Three Musketeers.

Among the less hardware-oriented awards, we have AT&T and FiLIP bagging the Best Mobile-Enabled Consumer Electronics Device. The two collaborated last year on the FiLIP smartwatch and locator for kids. We wonder what vocal T-Mobile CEO John Legere will have to say about AT&T going home with another award, this time with the Best Consumer Mobile Service title for its Digital Life. The GSMA awarded Device 6 for the Best Entertainment App, particularly under the Games category. The Most Innovative Mobile App title went to PointGrab for its CamMe selfie app.

In terms of mobile devices, Nokia was able to get two awards, one for the Nokia Lumia 520 for the Best Low-Cost Smartphone and the Nokia 105 for the Best Entry-level Smartphone. The Best Mobile Tablet award went to Apple for the iPad Air. Finally, the GSMA awarded the title of the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer to LG.

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Many of you might be more interested in the Best Smartphone award. Some might be surprised, or even shocked, to see the HTC One getting that distinction, but that is based on last year’s figures and performance. The Best New Mobile Handset, Device, or Tablet, which was revealed at MWC 2014, will still be announced on 27th February at around 9:00 AM CET, which should be around 3:00 AM New York EST.

SOURCE: GSMA

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