MWC 2016 LIVE: HP, Sony and Lenovo unveil new products, while Google shows off a robot
Mobile World Congress 2016 is finally here. Taking place earlier than it’s usual March slot, MWC 2016 sees phone and tablet makers head to Barcelona to unveil their latest wares – and it’s that time of year once again. MWC 2016 is in full-swing, and as you’d expect, Alphr is there to get you the latest news, and review the products you want to hear about.
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about what’s going on at MWC 16, but we’ll also be live-tweeting events and conferences as they happen.
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about what’s going on at MWC 16, but we’ll also be live-tweeting events and conferences as they happen.We’ll be updating this page throughout MWC, but if you want to stay totally up to date, follow the Alphr twitter account @alphr, and the Alphr Away team: @ianbetteridge, @davidcourt86 @jon1bray for insight and news as it happens.
MWC 2016: Day three
As the dust settles after high profile launches like the refined S7 and the innovative LG G5, we now have a chance to look at some of the weirder stuff at this year’s MWC. Alongside its groundbreaking modular smartphone, LG also unveiled the Rolling Bot, the ultimate gadget for cat lovers. Controlled via your phone or tablet, and equipped with a camera, microphone, speaker and laser pointer, the Rolling Bot can keep an eye on your house – and keep your pets entertained.
Google’s selfie-drawing robot
One such experiment was the IOIO. After you take a selfie, the image data is converted into triangulated coordinates for the triangle-shaped robot to plot out on paper. Armed with the plot points, the robot then gets to work drawing your special selfie portrait using its attached ink pen.
MWC 2016: Day two
Jonathan Bray was unexpectedly wowed by the Lenovo Miix 310, a budget hybrid that “gets an awful lot right”.
Jonathan Bray describes the Sony Xperia Ear, Eye and Projector as “an intriguing toe in the water from a company looking beyond the smartphone to the next development in mobile tech.” While only one of the three has been confirmed as a real-life product you’ll be able to buy, they nevertheless offer an intriguing glimpse into the future.
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 may have grabbed the headlines at MWC, but how does it compare to Apple’s iPhone 6s? Alan Martin pitches the two flagships head to head.
Reviewed at the tail end of yesterday, the HTC One X9 was described by Jonathan Bray as “a middle-of-the-road phone that will live or die by its price. The 5.5in handset has been out in China for a few weeks now, and it isn’t currently clear whether or not it will land in the UK.
Our friends at Expert Reviews had some hands-on time with the LG X Screen – most notable for its dual-screen setup. The handset has a 4.93in, 1280×720 pixel screen backed up by a secondary 1.76in 520×80 pixel panel immediately above it. “The second screen can be set to stay on with the phone is in standby,” reads the review. “This sounds great in theory, but in reality its appeal is much more limited.”
MWC 2016: Day one
Last year the LG G4 was a case of ‘so close but so far’, but this year LG appears to have made a serious contender for smartphone of the year. The LG G5 brings modular phones to the masses and offers two expansions so far; a B&O audio module and a DSLR style camera. The LG G5 will also offer a six expansion devices including a VR headset and 360 camera, but inside the handset appears to deliver too.
Throw in the handset’s impressive 554ppi, 5.3 inch screen and Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM – and the LG G5 is one of the best things we’ve seen at MWC so far. According to Jonathan Bray’s detailed hands on, “if LG gets the price right ‘the LG G5 could be a contender this year.”
LG also announced it’s working on a rolling IP camera known as the “Rolling Bot”, which is sure to send many cats into a frenzy.
We’ve already been impressed by Huawei’s smartphones, but it looks like the manufacturer is just as good at making tablets – and Windows should be worried. Although it might look like a standard 2-in-1 tablet, the Huawei combines everything Huawei has learnt making phones into an impressive package.
Ian Betteridge found the MateBook to offer a mix of Apple iPad Pro with a dollop of Microsoft Surface Pro – and that can only be a good thing. Better yet, Huawei seems to have stuck to its usual aggressive pricing: The entry-level MateBook ships with a Core m3 version equipped with 4Gb RAM and 128Gb SSD for just $699 – probably around £599 including VAT. That’s cheaper than an iPad Pro with just 32Gb of storage. Intrigued? We are.
Samsung S7 and S7 Edge
At a slick conference this evening, Samsung took the wraps, off the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Although they may look pretty similar to their predecessors, underneath Samsung may have done just enough tweaking to keep them ahead.
The S7 looks alot like the S6, but packs in a few tweaks and improvements that show Samsung has actually listened to feedback about the S6. Alongside a faster processor and better camera, the S7 also sees the return of the much-missed microSD slot.
The S7 Edge has been tweaked too, so it no longer feels like a snazzy, pointless version of the standard S7. This time around the S7 Edge has a 5.5inch screen, 0.4inches larger than the standard S7, and features expanded use of the Edge function, too.
Although it didn’t have the shock of the LG G5 unveil, Samsung may have done just enough to keep the S7 ahead of its competitors. We’ll know for sure after more in-depth reviews.
Samsung also promised a free Gear VR for every Samsung S7 pre-order, and announced its own 360-degree camera, so you can capture VR content for yourself.
While MWC is all about mobile devices, HTC decided it was also time to bring VR headsets into the mix by unveiling the finished consumer edition of its highly anticipated virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive.
Alongside revealing the sleek finished headset, HTC also revealed that pre-orders would open on the 29 February, with units selling for an eye-watering $799 (£570). We’ve not been given a final UK price point just yet, but we can’t imagine you’ll be able to pick one up for any less than £550 – £600.
Oh well, we’ve always known that VR wouldn’t be for everyone.
Sony, not wanting to make its mobile phone range too simple to understand, has released a new smartphone that comes in two variants, but looks exactly the same.
Why should you care about Sony’s Xperia X series? Well it’s set to supersede the current Z-series of Sony’s flagship Xperia devices. Interestingly, the X and X Performance are both identical phones bar their processor.
Both have the same 2GB of RAM, 23-megapixel camera, 5-inch 1,080 x 1,920 pixel display, Android 6 Marshmallow and 69 x 7.9 x 143mm dimensions. However, the X Performance boasts Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 820 processor, whilst the X has a comparably low Snapdragon 650.
The real proof is in the pudding, and with Sony’s handsets selling in such small volumes, it seems unlikely the X or X Performance could turn the tables.
Sony is a dab hand at creating beautiful-looking devices, and even the budget-level Xperia XA oozes style and charm.
Featuring curved glass edges and a near edge-to-edge display, only the XA’s matte plastic cladding betrays its premium-level design as a low-cost handset.
While no price has been announced just yet, it’s looking likely that’ll hit the sub £200 sweet spot, placing it in the same range as the Moto G, Honor 5X and OnePlus X.