Inside the Mobile World Congress 2014

It is that time of the year again: the Mobile World Congress, one of the most important technology vents worldwide is over. In 2014, brands like Nokia, Samsung, LG or Sony have showcased all their potential, with the latest and new product introductions together with great entertaining activities. The HALL 3 could be considered the main meeting point for journalists and average visitors, were we could also find companies such as Qualcomm or Intel. In my opinion, it was the ‘coolest’ area to talk about mobile devices, even if other brands such as Wiko, Alcatel OT and hTC were placed in other halls. 

mwc_intro

I started the first day of the conress very early in the morning, armed with my Nokia Lumia 1020 and my BlackBerry Q10 for the pictures and the video reviews. At 7.30 I was already having breakfast at the Nokia stand: coffee, pastries, sandwiches and some other snacks to get enough energy to face a long day of product coverage.

nokiax

About 1 hour later everyone would be surprised when Stephen Elop announced the launches of the Nokia X, X+ and XL, all of them with Nokia X platform (Android OS based and compatible with Android Apps). The key attractive of the new devices was the price, between 89 and 109 Euros (before taxes), together with the value of great body finish, dual-core application processor and displays between 4-inch and 5-inch (Nokia XL): all the devices coming with an UI very similar to Windows Phone and providing smooth performance.

Hands-on video (Spanish), click here; additional technical data (spanish), click here

Sony’s stand, in front of Nokia’s, had a lot of space to showcase the devices and also offer product entertainment with large TV screens to experience the 4K video recording possibilities deployed in the new Xperia Z2 Android based Smartphone.

xperia m2In the event, visitors and journalists could discover the new Sony handsets: the Xperia M2 and the Xperia Z2, both with a similar design and glass finish (front and back): the Xperia Z2 comes with a 20,7MP main camera, 5.2-inch FHD display and a 2,3Ghz Quad-core processor. The Xperia M2 is the most modest in specs with a 4.8-inch display, 8MP camera and 2300mAh battery.

One of the most remarkable entertanment activity offered by Sony during the Mobile World Congress was a journey in helicopter to the mountain of Montserrat (ca. 40km from Barcelona), which included a 25 minute flight aver the city where I was able to take great pictures. 

Hands-on video of the Xperia Z2 (Spanish), click here; additional technical data (Spanish), click here

Samsung joined the announcements during the Mobile World Congress 2014 introducing the Galaxy S5, in a crowded event at CCIB. Some people criticized the design and no innovation in the device, but I think the Galaxy S5 meet the balance in specs

Galaxy S5_

The Samsung Galaxy S5, with a design similar to the Galaxy S4, brings a soft back cover, which is excellent to comfortably hold the device, being something very positive in use. Also, the display increases up to 5.1-inch, and the rear camera is 16MP. On the other hand there are some features I didn’t like, as for example the 2800mAh battery capacity, lower than expected. The Galaxy S5 comes with fingerprint reader and IP67 waterproof certification.

Hands-on video (spanish), click here; additional technical data of the device (spanish), click here

In the 1to1 demo, Samsung showed me the new smart watches, one of them being incredibly attractive: the Samsung Gear Fit, with wide screen. In the demo I could see the other two versions of the Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, both with Tizen OS, dual-core processor,1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen, 4GB internal memory and IP67 waterproof certification. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are only compatible with Samsung devices.

additional technical data of the device (spanish), click here

gear_samsung

The notorious absence in the Mobile World Congress of 2014, at least in the halls of FIRA 2, was BlackBerry, however the brand announced two new devices with BB10 OS: the Q20 and Z3.

The Z3 will be available in the Indonesian market and will bring a 5-inch screen, while the Q20, available during the second half 2014, will come with physical QWERTY keyboard and a 3.5-inch screen. It will bring back the trackpad and return/menu buttons, which were typical in BB7OS based handsets.

Z3_bb

In the Hall 3 Huawei and ZTE showed their devices. ZTE introduced the Grand Memo 2 Phablet, as well as the Grand S 2. The ZTE Grand Memo 2 is a Phablet with a 6-inch screen and 4G/LTE compatible.

 Hands-on video (spanish), Grand Memo 2/Grand S 2; additional technical data (spanish), click here

hTC also attended the Mobile World Congress, showcasing the last devices, far away from the other major brands, but few meters away from Nvidia. What did hTC announce this year? Two new models, the Desire 610 and the Desire 816, non of them being a direct competition of Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2.  hTC plans to introduce a new flagship device during the month of March.

The Desire 816 is the most powerful handset, with a 13MP main camera and 5.5-inch HD display, a quad-core processor and a 2600mAh battery capacity. The Desire 816 and 610 bring BoomSound technology delivered through a 2 front speakers.

additional technical data (spanish), click here

HTC Desire 610 3V

LG attended the Mobile World Congress 2014 and showed the visitors the already announced LG G Flex, a Phablet with a curved and extraordinary flexible 6-inch screen. I got a demo of the G Flex flexibility, checking how the curve profile could be converted in a “flat” screen while pressing over the device. I also had the opportunity to meet LG’s Design Chief, Chul Bae Lee, who explained me the reason of the backside buttons of the G2 and G2 Mini and the curved design of the LG G Flex. To watch the interview with Chul Bae Lee, click here (English).

LG_L40_l70_l90

LG introduced the F70 and G2 Mini (which probably will become a sales success) and the 3rd generation of the L-Series, bringing three new Smartphones with Android OS and 3 display sizes (3.5, 4.5 and 4,7-inch screen). The most powerful of them is the L9, with quad-core processor and 8MP camera.

additional technical data of G2 Mini and F70 (spanish), click here; L40/L70/L90, click here

During the MWC 14 there was a lot of curiosity related to the Blackphone, an Android based device promising high level security. Do you think it will be deeper security compared with the BB10 and Samsung decvices with Knox? Geeksphone is one the companies responsible in the development of the Blackphone, offering medium specs at a high price (600 US Dollars.)

Do you want to see a short demo of the Blackphone? Have a look to this hands-on video, click here (English)

During the Mobile World Congress I had the opportunity to talk a few minutes with Wiko, a European brand that brought the Highway, an interesting model with an octa-core MediaTek processor and 16MP camera. What made me pay attention to it was the elegant and cool design of that handset.

12831758505_4e2efd9d25_b

In the Hall 1 I met one of the Jolla members, the ones continuing the work done with MeeGo: the Jolla device comes with Sailfish OS, an operating system with gesture based UI and Android apps compatibility; You can check the demonstration of the Jolla device in the next video hands-on, click here (English).

For the gamer, Archos showcased its 2nd generation GamePad portable console, based on Android OS: cool design, 7-inch HD IPS display, 1,6Ghz quad-core processor, 8/16 GB memory, Bluetooth/WiFi connectivity, 2GB RAM and 400 grams weight.

Gamepad2_archos

Finally, I would like to include a pair of video-demos related to the automobile industry: a QNX demo, in Qualcomm’s stand (click here) and an AppLink demo in Ford’s stand (click here). Both videos recorded in English.

During the Mobile World Congress I have seen lots of new products, too many to include them all in a unique post. Therefore I have just introduced the products I liked the most. I have to say that the MWC 14 was not as good as expected offering fre Wi-Fi coverage: there was only high speed broadband in Nokia’s stand and in the Media Village, just enough to satisfy the journalist’s needs.

The MWC 14 is over, and I am very pleased to say that my video and photo coverage was a success thanks to my Nokia Lumia 1020 device, with 41MP camera: it was the solution to record the hands on videos and take pictures during the 4 days event.

Do you want to see inside the Mobile World Congress 2014?

1. Hall 3 panorama videoMWC 14: Hall 3 (panorámicas desde diferentes puntos)

2. 5MP images, available through my Flickr accounthttp://www.flickr.com/photos/101747969@N03/sets/72157641364862404/

** This post is dedicated to the BlackBerry for Business Group members on LinkedIn**