Between the 24th and 27th February, the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2014 once again brought together the globe’s biggest device manufacturers, cellular operators and technology providers under one roof.
With both critics and consumers eagerly awaiting new product releases and reveals, this year’s event did not disappoint. Alongside some expected news, there were several surprises as well. So here are some of the main highlights from MWC 2014.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone
Arguably the event’s biggest announcement, Samsung showcased its latest and greatest smartphone offering. Even though its been just under a year since the tech giant unveiled the S4, this upgraded model features a faster processor, bigger display, revamped camera and a more sophisticated design.
In order to compete with the iPhone 5S, it is no surprise that the Galaxy also features a fingerprint sensor. However, unlike main rival Apple, Samsung has gone one step further with biometrics, as the S5 includes a heart rate sensor as well.
Sony Experia Z2 Tablet
Just like other Sony products bearing the Xperia name, the Z2 tablet is both dust and waterproof. But despite it’s super slim design, the Z2 packs a strong punch that would satisfy the needs of any power-thirsty tablet user.
Key features include a 10.1-inch display, 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and a 6000mAh lithium polymer battery. Sony says that these hardware alterations mean the Z2 charges 75 per cent faster than alternative tablets and allows for 10 hours of video playback.
LG G Pro 2 Smartphone
Yet another larger than life smartphone packed full of impressive hardware and clever software, the LG G Pro 2 looks to compete with the very best oversized handsets on the market.
Boasting Android KitKat and some innovative camera features, there is no reason why this device can’t become the majority of consumers’ phablet of choice. It remains to be seen whether the G Pro 2 will be available outside of Asia, but the device could just be a sneak peak of the upcoming G3, expected to arrive later this year.
Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit Smartwatch
Even though Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch was greeted with mixed reactions upon its release in September 2013, a smaller fitness-focused alternative caused a real stir at MWC 2014.
The compact Gear Fit features a curved Super AMOLED display that looks more like a bracelet, designed to sit comfortably on the users wrist. In addition to phone notifications, the device is also capable of measuring the user’s heart rate, monitoring daily activity and tracking sleeping habits.
Nokia X Series Smartphones
Even though Microsoft has agreed to buy out Nokia’s devices business, the Finnish phone manufacturer is pressing ahead with alternative operating systems besides Windows. Its range of X Series smartphones will run a version of Android to appeal to “the next billion internet users” according to former Nokia CEO Stephan Elop.
In spite of fairly average performance specifications, it is clear that Nokia is targeting emerging markets with these devices. After tempting cash-strapped consumers to purchase budget handsets, both Microsoft and Nokia hope customers will choose to upgrade to more expensive Windows Phones.
By: Narges Berry