MWC is now behind us. OEMs showed up, showed off, and some left lasting impressions while others did not. Throughout the barrage of announcements and revelations, there are some products that we feel were more note worthy than others. Products that you, our readers might consider in the not too distant future. Products that we envision showing up in even our homes when they are released. I will now highlight a few products and announcements that stood out, but for the sake of simplicity, I will group the products by OEM rather than by category. If I failed to cover your favorite OEM, please don’t hold it against me as there was much to cover. Without further delay, why don’t we get right into it?
We all know about the might of Samsung, and I will not dwell on it here. They were very present at MWC, and they presented quite a number of tech pieces to us. The main device presented was the all new Galaxy S5. By main I mean that it was not only Samsung’s number one device, but also the chief device of the entire MWC. As expected, it bested the S4 with a slightly bigger screen, faster processor and a better camera. Added features like a finger print scanner and the ability to check your pulse rate at the back of the phone are just the icing on the cake for me. The S5 is not expected to be released before April of this year, but based on recent reports, fans are already enlisting their names to get their paws on the next best thing, and to be honest, we can’t blame them for it.
The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, although members of the Tizen OS, are the descendants of the Android based Galaxy Gear, and we felt like they should be included here. The Gear 2 and Neo are a lot like the original Gear in terms of the design language. One would be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. The new offerings have lost weight, the camera on the Gear 2 has been moved from the wrist band to the watch to enable swappable bands while the Neo drops the camera altogether. While these are without doubt some fine pieces of tech, the Gear Fit was the one to steal the show, and was also awarded as the ‘Best Mobile Device‘ at MWC. Like many before it, it will track your movement, workouts and help you to get in shape once you’re willing of course.
The creators of the PS4 felt like they had a point to prove, and that they did. Sony introduced the Xperia Z2 at MWC, and it’s a stunning piece of machinery. The Z2 continues with its solid build quality and not only that, but it improves on its predecessor with small upgrades. The upgrades all blend together to offer a nice package. The screen has increased from 5 to 5.2″, the memory has been bumped up to 3GB, and it comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor. The screen resolution remains the same at 1920 x 1080, but the battery is now a whopping 3200 mAH, which should be enough to get the average user, and even some power users through the day.
Sony wasn’t done with the their offerings and they also released what many consider to be the thinnest tablet of all at a mere 6.4mm thickness. The Z2 Tablet, like the phone, has a Snapdragon 801 processor in tow as well and also the 3GB of memory. Digital noise cancellation when used with a headset, and a host of accessories will be available including the now mandatory keyboard cover. Sony has been known to produce dust and water proof electronics in recent times, and they have not deviated from this winning formula with their latest phone and tablet offerings.
With the success of the Nexus 4, 5 and the G2, LG has risen to prominence and is ever aiming for Samsung’s crown on the Android throne. Shortly before MWC, LG launched the G Pro 2 in Korea and we soon learned of its awesomeness. It packs a 5.9″ screen, a 1080p resolution, a 13 megapixel camera and comes with 16 or 32GB of onboard storage, even though you can add more via the Micro SD slot. Like the Note 3, you’ll be able to shoot 4K videos and of course, Android 4,4 KitKat is on board. The G Pro 2 suprisingly features the Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 Ghz, 3GB of Ram and, like the Z2, contains a 3200 mAH battery. There is no mistake that this phone is a direct competitor to the Note 3 and all other phablets for that matter.
I know that some of us may have scratched our heads at the sight of Nokia being one of the Android OEMs, but, as of MWC 2014, Nokia may be considered as such. Please note that doing so may come with some consequences depending on who your friends are. Nokia launched their ‘Nokia X’ line of Android phones at MWC this year, and the Android community has not been fully receptive of it, but, that was to be expected. The X, X+ and XL are poorly specked when compared to today’s average smartphones, and they are clearly a sign of Nokia testing the waters out before investing in any real hardware for the Android market.
Members of the Android community have long wished for a Nokia made handset that runs Android out of the box, but few wanted it to be a forked version. Sadly, that’s exactly what we got. A forked version of Android that looks more like Windows Phone than Android itself. That said, Nokia has claimed that it will run about 70% of the Play Store apps, which, if my math is correct, is in the region of at least 700,000 applications. Like some members of the Lumia line, these phones are also geared towards the low end market but it has to be priced competitively because we now understand that the Moto G is doing pretty well right now.
The most noteworthy of Asus’ contributions at MWC was the Asus PW100 Nexus 7 dock. The dock features wireless charging and can be used in both landscape as well as portrait mode, although it will only charge your Nexus 7 in landscape mode. If you can get past the $90 price tag (or there about), then I have reason to believe that you will love this device. Based on reviews, the build quality is amazing — something that we’ve come to expect from Asus, and we’ve also learned that it works with the Nexus 4, 5 and other Qi compatible devices that you may own.
I waited patiently for Motorola’s conference, and then even more for their revelation of a new product, but it did not come. There was none. Instead, they did reveal some bits of information. For example, they will be making a smartwatch that will actually look good; something that all good watches do. A 2nd generation Moto X is also expected in August of this year and, considering the splash that the G and the X made in 2013 and even now, we have high hopes for Motorola’s next set of devices. Although no new hardware was presented at MWC from Motorola, they did let us in on their future products, and this was worthy of an honorable mention.
As we await the release dates for some of the devices that were shown at MWC; the S5, Gear Fit, Z2 and G Pro 2 were the stand out performers of the week. There’s very little to separate those at the top these days. Screens, sizes and specs are generally similar at this point, but it just means that OEMs have to try a bit harder to differentiate themselves from the pack. Tell us readers, which device got you excited? Are you going to buy any as soon as they’re released or are you waiting for that Motorola watch to be unveiled? Feel free to let us know.
Image Sources: Mashable, BGR