mwc

What to expect from Mobile World Congress 2019

Posted by | 5g, events, foldables, hardware, LG, Mobile, mwc, mwc 2019, OnePlus, Samsung, Sony | No Comments

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: 2019 just might be the year that smartphones get fun again. After years of similar form factors and slight upgrades, the mobile industry’s back is against the wall.

For the first time ever, sales are down, owning to economic factors and slower upgrade cycles. Most people who want good phones have had access to them for a while, and smartphone makers are providing fewer compelling reasons to buy new ones.

With their backs against the wall, handset makers are getting creative. We’ve already seen some early fruits from companies late last year and last month at CES. But MWC is really going to be their time to shine. It’s a much larger mobile show, and all parties know that everyone’s bringing the big guns.

Here’s what we expect to see in Barcelona February 24-28.

Huawei: The company looks to have a lot on tap for the event — in part because the North America-based CES is kind of a non-starter. CEO Richard Yu has hinted at a foldable and a 5G handset — which could well be the same phone. More mainstream are the P30 and P30 Pro. The company’s done a good job keeping it under wraps, but rumors about three or four rear-lenses have made the rounds.

LG: As is its move, LG has already announced the G8 ThinQ. We know that the new flagship will feature a front-facing camera with Time of Flight sensor that brings potential tricks like face unlock, along with AR applications. The V50 is also reportedly on tap, potentially bringing 5G along for the ride.

Microsoft: A surprise addition to this year’s show, Microsoft’s already announced an event for February 24, where we expect the company will show off the HoloLens 2. The next-gen version of the headset will arrive as the rest of the hardware and software world is finally ready to embrace augmented reality in earnest.

Motorola: The recent launch of the G7 may have taken the wind out of MWC’s sails, but rumors of a foldable Razr reboot are making the rounds.

OnePlus: We know that a 5G handset and the OnePlus 7 are both in the pipeline — and, perhaps, one and the same? There’s also tell of a closed-door event at the show, but most aren’t expecting any big unveils from the company.

Samsung: Don’t expect a ton out of Samsung this year. The company (inconveniently) is holding its big event a mere days before. Expect the S10 and all its iterations to get a big unveil that week in San Francisco, along with a preview of the company’s upcoming foldable. That doesn’t leave a heck of a lot for MWC, but perhaps we’ll get a peek into the world of wearables or PCs.

Sony: While Xperia phones have long felt like a bit of a loss leader, the electronics giant has always made a big show of launching flagship devices. Those, in turn, have long been a launchpad for some exciting camera tricks. This year, the Xperia XZ4 appears to be on tap for the event. The handset looks to be an interesting one, with a reported 21:9 aspect ratio display and a beefy 4,400 mAh battery.

Powered by WPeMatico

LG hints at gesture interface for smartphone flagship next month

Posted by | Android, barcelona, gesture interface, hardware, leap motion, LG, LG Premiere, Mobile, mwc, MWC2019, Samsung, smartphone, smartphone hardware, smartphones, TC, touchscreen | No Comments

LG has put out a gesture-heavy hint ahead of the annual unveiling of new smartphone hardware at the world’s biggest mobile confab, Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in a month’s time.

The brief video teaser for its forthcoming MWC press event in Barcelona, which was shared today via LG’s social media channels, shows a man’s hand swiping to change on-screen content, including the message “goodbye touch.”

The title of LG’s teaser video includes the name “LG Premiere,” which could be the name of the forthcoming flagship — albeit that would be confusingly similar to the mid-tier LG Premier of yore. So, hopefully the company is going to make that last ‘e’ really count.

Beyond some very unsubtle magic wand sound effects to draw extra attention to the contactless gestures, the video offers very little to go on. But we’re pretty sure LG is not about to pivot away from touchscreens entirely.

Rather, we’re betting on some sort of Leap Motion -style gesture control interface being added to the front of the handset, using sensors to detect a hovering hand, for example — probably accompanied by heavy marketing about how filthy-with-germs phone screens are so it’s totally better you don’t actually touch them.

Safe to say, the idea looks terribly gimmicky. Or, well, just terrible. This kind of stuff has been tried (and failed to stick) plenty of times before — as long ago as a decade, in the now no longer mobile-maker Sony Ericcson’s case.

Samsung also added a gesture feature, called Air Gesture, to some of its handsets more than five years old — which lets smartphone users do things like wave to answer a call or swipe through air to scroll up. Some of its smartphones also offer hands-free scrolling via facial tracking.

Yet smartphone users everywhere still seem as hooked as ever on actually fingering their touchscreens. And gesture-based interfaces have, fittingly enough, largely failed to stick.

Although you could view Apple’s Face ID technology as a form of non-touch gesture control, as my TC colleague Ingrid Lunden suggests. Albeit the primary point in that case is security/authentication, so it’s more than just a frictionless way to interact with a device without touching it.

Smartphone makers — and Android OEMs especially — are under acute pressure to stand out in a fiercely competitive and growth-stalled market. So despite a flighty history for gesture interfaces on mobile, a bunch of hardware experiments look to be in play, such as whatever LG’s cooking.

And that includes — as we noted earlier today — what’s now open flirtation with foldable tablet smartphones (see: Xiaomi teased a double folder phone.)

We’ll be on the ground in Barcelona to bring you news of all the major hardware releases next month — including keeping an eye on whatever LG is preparing to unbox (but not actually touch) on February 24. So stay tuned.

We just hope that another detail in LG’s description for the teaser video, in which it asks its followers whether they’re “prepared to get stunned by the LG Premiere,” does not augur a highly potent new form of contactless haptic feedback.

Powered by WPeMatico

Samsung’s DeX docking station gets revamped, turning a smartphone into a trackpad

Posted by | dex, hardware, Mobile, mwc, mwc 2018, Samsung | No Comments

 If you were having any doubts about Samsung’s commitment to its DeX, consider them assuaged. The company introduced its smartphone docking hardware with the Galaxy S8 and has talked up a new version for every big phone release since then — and today’s big Galaxy S9 reveal is no different. We were pretty lukewarm on the idea — or at least skeptical of how big a niche such… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

This is the Samsung Galaxy S9 launch video

Posted by | Gadgets, Galaxy S9, Mobile, mobile world congress, Mobile World Congress 2018, mwc, mwc 2018, Samsung, samsung galaxy, samsung galaxy s9, TC | No Comments

 And this year is all about business. While the Samsung Galaxy S9 is going to be announced tomorrow at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Slashleaks shared the official promo video for the Samsung’s upcoming flagship device. It’s a polished 3-minute video packed with information about the new phone. First, just like rumors said, it looks just like the Galaxy S8. There are some… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Archos announces a cryptocurrency hardware wallet (yes, Archos)

Posted by | Archos, cryptocurrency, Gadgets, mobile world congress, Mobile World Congress 2018, mwc, mwc 2018, Safe-T, Safe-T mini, TC | No Comments

 Remember Archos? Yes, that Archos, the company that made portable multimedia players (PMPs) with below average touch screen ten years ago. The company is still around, selling cheap Android phones, cheap tablets, cheap drones and more. And yet, for the first time in many years, I’m excited by an Archos product again. The company announced (via Next INpact) a cryptocurrency hardware… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Will the Galaxy S8 let Samsung put the Note 7 behind it for good?

Posted by | galaxy s8, hardware, Mobile, mwc, MWC 2017, Samsung, samsung galaxy s8 | No Comments

 This is the Samsung Galaxy S8. Sure, it’s still a couple of weeks until we get the see the thing in person on March 29, but we’ve gotten what appears to be a pretty solid view of the handset from just about every angle. Once rare and coveted, device leaks have long since become part of the release cycles for many manufacturers, built into the hype machine ahead of a… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

The promise of 5G is still years away

Posted by | 5g, Mobile, mwc, MWC 2017, Qualcomm, TC | No Comments

img_1358 Tech companies are terrible at tempering expectations. Really, really bad. Take last month, when Qualcomm CEO Stephen Mollenkopf told the audience at his CES keynote, “5G will have an impact similar to the introduction of electricity or the automobile, affecting entire economies and benefiting entire societies.” That’s a pretty damn high bar. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Apple and Samsung are set to reignite the fanboy wars

Posted by | Apple, Gadgets, mwc, MWC 2017, Samsung, TC | No Comments

apple-samsung-bling2 The latest rumors put Apple and Samsung on a direct collision course. If they pan out, the next iPhone and Galaxy will look very similar with curved screens and thin bezels. But then there’s the price. One option is going up market, while the other will probably stay mainstream. Once upon a time Samsung blatantly copied Apple to the point the courts agreed and forced Samsung to pay… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico