Even though we’ve seen some devices announced early last month at CES 2013, it looks like Mobile World Congress is becoming more of the spot to pull out the big guns as far as smartphones and tablets are concerned. This year we got to see some interesting products from Sony, and a surprising entry by Samsung regarding your wrist and its not a Gear watch, well then again its close to it. Also we get to see how two screens are better than one and you may not even realize it.
After Yotaphone’s first attempt turned into a dud, this second go round of a prototype looks promising. On the front is a 5” full HD AMOLED display and on the back is a 4.7” e-ink screen that has qHD quality. Now you may be wondering why would I mess with a black and white screen when I have a gorgeous HD display? Battery Life. Besides reading some e-books, you can respond to texts, calls, and hopefully emails. It helps save on the 2,550 mAh battery. Also the YotaPhone 2 is running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, 3GB RAM, and 32GB built-in storage. OS is comprised of Android KitKat 4.4 and also has an 8MP LED camera and 2MP too. It sounds all so promising now hopefully it makes it way stateside.
Samsung Gear Fit
The biggest surprise from Samsung wasn’t the inevitable Galaxy S5 and Gear 2 watches but instead its Gear Fit device which is a fitness/ activity band. It’s a beaut coming in at 1.84” and is a Curved Super AMOLED display. Dust and water keep away thanks to resistance by a IP67 grading. It’s not a surprise that Samsung would be coming for the Nike FuelBands and Fit Bits of the world though. Otherwise it works similar to a smart watch with the ability to get emails, notifications, change wallpaper; clock faces and even control your music. It remains to be seen how much pricing will be but Samsung maybe in for a fitting fight.
Sony Xperia Z2
After coming off various renditions of its Xperia Z, Sony has decided to go to the next level with its Z2 model. While it looks similar to its predecessors, it packs a newer FULL HD 1080p 5.2” display, Qualcomm newest Snapdragon 801 processor, and a 20 megapixel camera that shoots 4K video. Last year I did tons of video with the Xperia that came out brilliant so I like to see how well Sony has upped the video hardware in the Z2. Also Android’s latest KitKat 4.4.2 software will be running under Sony’s usual light OS skin.
LG G Pro 2
LG has really come back in good graces with consumers after the release of the LG
Optimus Pro that came out last year exclusively to AT&T, as well as its change of the game smartphone the LG G2. The LG Pro 2 looks to taken a combo of both and add some sweet features to go along with it. It has a 5.9”FULL HD IPS display (6.2” tall); rear controls, weighs in at 172g, 8.3mm and has an extremely thin 3.33mm bezel. Under the hood is an Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, huge 3,200 mAh battery and 4K/UHD shooting 13MP camera we say with the LG G Flex. At least this time OIS is back in the fret. Also the 2.1 front facing camera has a LCD flash. Reminds me of something Snapchat implied a while back. Software wise its running Android 4.4 KitKat, adds on to its best feature which is Knock On with Knock Code. Tap on your screen in a number of ways to unlock the device. After additions are Magic Focus (depth of focus for pictures) and Content Lock (lock certain apps).
Sony SmartBand activity tracker
While the SmartBand from Sony doesn’t have a standout look like the Samsung Gear Fit, it does have some interesting features to make it appealing to those looking to use it. For one its graded IP58 which makes it waterproof and this is even with the microUSB out in the open. The way SmartBand is designed you can either rock it on your wrist or throw the main module in your pocket. It tracks sleep patterns and wakes you up when it thinks you have reached optimal potential. Its “Lifelog” app keeps notes of all this plus anything else you decide to do such as exercises. Notifications will also be alerted on the band whether its calls or emails. As normal as it may look, it maybe all you need.
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Last year at MWC, Sony showed us its waterproof Xperia Z tablet and it actually wasn’t bad using it. It was light and thin and Sony looks to be refreshing that same success this year. You are still getting a 10.1” FULL HD 1080p display but adds a “Live Color LED”, Camera is 8.1 MP w/ Exmor RS (on front w/ 2 megapixel), weight is dropped to 426grams (LTE 439g) and is 6.4mm thick. Processing power has it with a 2.3 Ghz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip, 3GB RAM, android 4.4, and those good old protection capabilities with it being waterproof (ip55/58) as well as dust resistant (ip55). Battery also sits at 6,000mAh. I just wonder if we will get another Kitchen Edition to go along with this…
Samsung Galaxy S5
With the Galaxy S5 we were expecting either two models or a premium build and we didn’t actually get either. We do have Samsung using Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 801 processor, they upped the display by 1” to now being 5.1” and it has a 16MP camera that shoots 4K video. Besides that it has taken a cue from Sony’s Xperia line and is Dust/Water Resistant with a IP67 grade and is usually Android’s 4.4 KitKat OS which has changed the UI a bit and hopefully not as TouchWiz heavy. Finger print scanning has been added as well, but my eyes are on Ultra Power Saving Mode and the Download Booster. Download Booster utilizes your WIFI and LTE connections and combos to give you one powerful grab of data. If this is true, Samsung may have a hit on its hands.