During the past week, the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile electronics —smartphones, tablets and wearable technology— have been showcasing their latest products at Mobile World Congress 2014. MWC is the mobile industry’s equivalent to the Consumer Electronics Show and that means big names (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a keynote) along with big product reveals —like the Samsung Galaxy S5. Basically, If you want to know what to expect in the world of mobile for 2014, just look at what’s on display at Mobile World Congress. Our MWC 2014 wrap-up covers the big news from Barcelona.
Samsung Introduces Galaxy S5, Gear 2 Smartwatches and Gear Fit
If there was one big player at MWC 2014, it had to be Samsung. Everyone has been waiting for the details on the Galaxy S5 —the hotly anticipated followup to last year’s Galaxy S4— and Samsung didn’t disappoint. Bigger, faster, a new look case (including gold option), fingerprint sensor and a heart rate sensor too!
As for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, it’s been replaced by two models running Samsung’s own Tizen operating system. They’s also been joined by Samsung’s own tack on the fitness tracker, the Gear Fit.
Sony’s New Xperia Z2 Pair
Sony had a pretty good year in mobile in 2013, thanks to some solid smartphones and the big, bright (and waterproof) Xperia Tablet Z —one of my favourite Android tablets.
At Mobile World Congress, Sony introduced a brand new Xperia Z2 pair: the Xperia Z2 smartphone, and Xperia Z2 tablet. The resemblance between these two mobile devices isn’t just in the name. They share similar design cues, despite having big displays (5.2-inches for the smartphone and 10.10 for the tablet) they are both extremely slim —in fact, Sony says the Xperia Z2 tablet is the world’s thinnest and lightest waterproof offering. Both also make the most of Sony’s leadership in cameras, audio and display technology.
Expect the Xperia Z2 duo to be making their way to Canada and Best Buy before too long.
Nokia Dabbles in Android
Nokia makes some of the most colourful smartphones out there, not to mention the 41 MP Lumia 1020 —probably the most capable camera phone in existence. Nokia is also the leading producer of Windows Phone 8 smartphones, and it’s destined to become a division of Microsoft this year.
So given Nokia’s commitment to the Windows Phone 8 platform, it was a bit surprising to see the rumours proven true when the company displayed a new line of Nokia X smartphones that run Google’s Android operating system. These phones don’t support Google services and Nokia will have its own app store, but it’s still a little unexpected.
I’m not sure if we’ll see these one in Canada for a bit as Nokia has them earmarked for emerging markets, but it’s always possible they’ll show up as an affordable option from a Canadian carrier.
Finally, Alcatel was out in force at MWC 2014 with a variety of new devices bound for the North American market, including news of the OneTouch Idol X, which is due to arrive at Best Buy this spring.
Oh, and if you’re looking to scoop up a 2013-vintage smartphone before the new models run out, one of the Mobile World Congress traditions is to look back and name the best products from the previous year. According to MWC, the best smartphone of 2013 was the HTC One and the most innovative manufacturer was LG.