The Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, is the biggest global trade show on mobility. Until some years ago, the show focused only on smartphones. Companies would wait for the show to launch their flagship smartphones. But things have changed now. While some brands still showcase smartphones at the event, many new gadgets are also unvieled. MWC has become a platform to look beyond phones and apps, and there is a lot of action around virtual reality gadgets, wearables, accessories and much more.
The main attraction, however, were the smartphones. HTC and Samsung announced their flagship smartphones for 2015 at the event. Microsoft, Gionee, Huawei, Alcatel One Touch and Lenovo, too, were geared up for the show. The smartphones that caught our fancy:
HTC One M9
Successor to the One M8 launched last year, the One M9 has a dual-tone, allmetal body with mirrored edges. HTC claims to have an ergonomically tapered design to fit it easily in the hand. HTC has continued with the unibody design with a curved back, so that it resembles the existing HTC One series phones. The M9 has a 5-inch full HD display with 1920×1080 pixels. It is powered by a 2Ghz octa-core processor with 64-bit capability on Snapdragon 810 chipset and is paired with 3GB of RAM. The onboard storage is 32GB and can be expanded up to 128GB. The device has a 20 megapixel camera.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
A couple of weeks after Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said the company will back away from its smartphone business, the Japanese handset maker announced a mid-range smartphone. The M4 Aqua features Sony's OmniBalance design and is waterproof. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 64-bit chipset and runs on the Android Lollipop operating system. It will have a 13MP camera with F2.0 aperture and Sony's intelligent Superior Auto mode.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Last year, Samsung tried to be innovative and came out with the Galaxy Note 4 Edge. While announcing the flagship Galaxy S6, the company has now announced another variant - the Galaxy S6 Edge. With almost similar specifications to the Galaxy S6, this new device has a dual-edge display. It weighs 132 grams and packs in a 2660mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S6
As expected, Samsung took the wraps off its next flagship smartphone in the Galaxy lineup. Designed from scratch, the Galaxy S6 features a 5.1 Quad HD display with 2560×1440 pixel resolution and 557pixel per inch. Running on the Android Lollipop operating system, it has Exynos Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore application processor and is paired with 3GB of RAM. It features a 16MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera. It weighs 138 grams and packs in a 2550mAh battery. Available in 32, 64 and 128GB variants, it doesn't support expandable memory.
Gionee has come up with some great phones in the past. One more in its portfolio is the S7 that was announced at the MWC. It doesn't compete in the race for the thinnest smartphone and has a waist line measuring 5.5mm. It adorns Gorilla Glass 3 panel on the front and the rear. It has a 5.2inch AMOLED display, which the company claims is 20 per cent more efficient than the regular AMOLEDs. It is powered by 1.7Ghz octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor, 2 GB of RAM and runs on the Android Lollipop operating system. There is a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing Selfie camera. It has 16GB internal storage and packs in a 2700mAh battery. This smartphone will be launched in India in April.
Lenovo Vibe Shot
Lenovo announced an interesting smartphone at MWC 2015. This device looks like a camera and, in fact, is dubbed as a camera-phone. It has a 16MP camera with 2997x5328 pixels, optical image stabilisation, auto focus, and triple-LED flash. It also features an 8MP front-facing camera. It has a 5inch display with 1080x1920 pixel resolution. Running on Android Lollipop, it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset-based 1.7GHZ quad-core processor. It has 3GB of RAM, 32GB onboard storage and up to 128GB expandable memory support.
The latest member in the BlackBerry family is once again a full touch device minus a keypad. This is a mid-range offering with a 5inch HD display. It runs on BlackBerry 10.3.1 OS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8960 1.5Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB onboard storage with support for a memory card of up to 128GB. BlackBerry has restricted the phone's thickness to 9.5mm and its weight at 170 grams. The phone has an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera and a 2800mAh battery.
Microsoft has announced two new smartphones - Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL. The 640XL is a phablet with a 5.7inch HD display and 1280×720 pixels resolution. It has Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Running on Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, it packs in a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon quad-core processor and is paired with 1GB of RAM. The phone has limited internal storage of 8GB but supports an expandable memory card. It has a 13-megapixel autofocus camera with an LED flash and a 5-megapixel fixed focus front-facing camera. Connectivity options onboard include LTE, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The phone comes with a 3000mAh battery.