- Mobile World Congress returns to form with Samsung, Sony, and Huawei launching devices
- Samsung's Galaxy S5 is a "more sensible, more cohesive smartphone," Miles says
- Nokia's Android phones, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Huawei MediaPad X1 are also highlights, he says
Mobile World Congress returned to form this year, with Samsung, Sony, and Huawei all choosing to launch flagship devices in Barcelona. These are my picks from the show:
Just months after being sold to Microsoft, Nokia chose to launch its first Android phones. The devices, all dubbed Nokia X, will run Android but be packed with Microsoft services like OneDrive and Skype. The company says the budget phone will enable Microsoft to enter emerging markets it currently can't reach, but whether they still feel that way when Microsoft takes control in March remains to be seen.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung launched a much more sensible, more cohesive smartphone than previous Galaxy S devices. There's a finger print scanner, a heart rate monitor, new camera tricks, and a clever way of making your downloads faster by combining Wi-Fi and signal coverage together. Samsung also announced a fitness band with a curved OLED screen as it continues its push into wearables. Expect to want the gold one come April.
Sony Xperia Z2
The Sony Xperia Z1 was very well received. However, the Z2 sports the latest Qualcomm processor, bringing with it a stack of improvements. That's the main takeaway here for Sony. Harder, better, faster, stronger, as Daft Punk would say. Early reports and a my own "hands-on" test suggest this is going to be one of the best Android phones released this year.
Huawei MediaPad X1
There are two ways to talk up your shiny new powerful tablet. The first is to let it quietly sell on the merits of what you include; the second is to do that and then make sure everyone that comes to your press conference knows how good it is by you trashing the nearest competition - in this case the Nexus 7 and the iPad mini. An amazingly crisp screen, slim form factor, 4G LTE capabilities and a price that is aggressive all help.
A Bluetooth battery
Mobile World Congress is not all about state-of-the-art handsets. One gadget that caught my eye is the Tethercell. It appears to be an AA battery, but it's actually a case for a AAA battery. The case is also Bluetooth enabled, so after placing it in your child's noisy toy, you can shut it off with your phone when playtime gets too much to bear. Peace and quiet. How lovely.
Follow Stuart Miles on Twitter: @stuartmiles