The Mobile World Congress show running this week in Barcelona from February 24-27 continues to be a popular venue for new product introductions, from laptops and tablets to smartphones and smart watches. We're also seeing plenty of interest in related mobility solutions centering around the BYOD (bring your own device) trend and enterprise-grade mobile device management (MDM).
While a number of companies are using MWC 2014 to debut their high-end devices, technology analyst Jeff Kagan tells us it's the budget phones and low-cost devices that are especially hot at this year's show.
Samsung Galaxy Devices
The world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung, has already used MWC 2014 to unveil the Galaxy S5 smartphone as well as multiple Galaxy Gear smartwatches. The S5 takes over the S4’s spot at the top of Samsung’s line of Galaxy phones with improved specs and new features, but a largely similar design.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is the second device to be announced that will be running Snapdragon’s faster 801 chip, however the actual difference in processing speed has yet to be seen. Instead of adding new software-based features to its flagship phone, Samsung has opted to provide new hardware features like a heart rate sensor and fingerprint sensor. Some of these features are similar to what other devices already provide, but Samsung is wrapping them all into a single, high-end handset.
Along with the S5 smartphone and the Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch, Samsung also announced the Gear Neo and Gear Fit. featuring the Gear Fit in its presentation. In response to the complaints that surrounded the original Galaxy Gear, these devices have much longer battery life and a variety of health-related and smartphone-centric features.
Sony Xperia Z2
One of the few flagships to become a major talking point outside of Samsung’s S5 is the Xperia Z2 from Sony. Early reports are suggesting that the Z2 is set to be one of the best Android phones on the market, with the latest Snapdragon processor and a much better display than the Z1, which was already a very well-received device.
Considering that Microsoft is set to takeover Nokia at any moment, Nokia’s decision to come out with an Android smartphone is surprising. While a variety of reports suggest that the Nokia X was in the works well before Microsoft’s acquisition of the company, Android is still a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS.
The Nokia X will be part of a larger push into emerging markets by Nokia and Microsoft, since the device will be released at a low price point. Within Nokia’s unveiling of the X was an overarching theme that the X will primarily be a Windows Phone device with numerous Microsoft services, in place of Google services.