Thousands of people will be converging in Barcelona this week for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015. Before the real show kicked off, however, some top tech companies have already started taking the veil off their latest products. Here is a brief round-up of some key announcements made on the eve of MWC 2015.
Samsung unveils two Galaxy devices
As usual, South Korean tech giant Samsung presented two new Galaxy smartphones at an Unpacked event on the eve of the MWC 2015. The two devices are the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, which the company will hope can help in regaining market share lost to Apple after its American rival launched the iPhone 6.
The two flagship devices have 5.1-inch display just like their predecessor, the Galaxy S5, and will be powered by 64-bit ARM processors. Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will run on the latest Android 5.0 (Lollipop) operating system.
One key selling point for these devices with metal bodies is the inclusion of Samsung Pay, which looks set to challenge Apple Pay all the way in that it can be used for payments virtually everywhere credit cards are accepted until its rival.
Samsung also announced a virtual reality (VR) headset for the Galaxy S6.
HTC unveils One M9, reveals plan for virtual reality headset
HTC also took the veil off the latest device in its One range of devices – the One M9. This new device is an improved version of the popular HTC One M8. The One M9 is similar to its predecessor in terms of a 5-inch 1080p display and an aluminium body, but it comes with an impressive 20-megapixel camera, which is significantly better than the 4-megapixel sensor on the old model.
The improved camera, however, meant the latest flagship device does not have Duo rear camera like the M8. There were some other minor changes. HTC also announced a partnership with video game publisher Valve to develop a virtual reality headset called Vive, capable of displaying high-definition videos and equipped with over 70 sensors for a variety of functions.
LG introduces more smartwatches
LG has increased the number of its smartwatch models to four by unveiling two more on the eve of the MWC 2015 in Barcelona. One of the new LG Watch Urbane smartwatches is targeted at low-end users with its basic features, while the second comes with high-end, premium features.
The cheaper Watch Urbane model uses Android Wear OS and has an elegant metal body. The more-expensive model, which has a 1.3-inch plastic OLED display and smooth stainless steel frame, runs on LG’s own Wearable Platform OS. The high-end version supports NFC and 4G LTE connectivity and has a heart monitor and on-board GPS, amongst other useful features.
Huawei unveils first smartwatch, other wearables
Huawei doesn’t want to be left out among firms to benefit from expected surge in smartwatch sales in 2015. The Chinese company has taken the veil off its first smartwatch, which some industry watchers have termed the “best-looking Android Wear watch.”
The Huawei Watch has a 1.7-inch crystal OLED display with a higher pixel per inch (286ppi) than LG smartwatches, which have 245ppi. The wearable comes with a stainless steel frame as well as useful features such as a heart monitor.
Huawei also introduced an improved version of the activity tracker wristband, the TalkBand B2. It further introduced the exercise-focused TalkBand N1 earphones with integrated activity tracker and 4GB MP3 player.
Alcatel announces OneTouch Idol 3
Alcatel? The name might sound back-in-the-days, but the company was also in action on the eve of the MWC 2015. Alcatel unveiled the OneTouch Idol 3, which is actually two smartphone variants.
One model sports a 4.7-inch screen, while the other has a 5.5-inch display. There are also differences under the hood, including use of distinct processors. The most notable feature on the devices is reversible conversation.