13 Mar New Phones at Mobile World Congress 2015
New metal, new processors, new Android.
The iPhone has some stiff new competition.
Being the largest of its kind, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the mobility playground for tech companies with 2015 showcasing plenty of surprises. The key standouts are new phones from Samsung, HTC and ZTE, to name a few.
Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge
This year’s standout is the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Samsung have moved from plastic construction and shifted to aluminium and glass. They have also added wireless charging and coloured notifications (on the S6 Edge). Both models have a 16 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera, and apart from the S6 Edge having curved sides, are very similar in features.
The fingerprint scanner on the home button now activates without having to swipe the screen and works with Samsung Pay. Available at over 30 million terminals worldwide, Samsung Pay makes use of Near-Field Communications to allow the S6 and S6 Edge to function as a payment device.
Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Features
Shift to Aluminium
Samsung have shifted from the earlier plastic handsets, instead opting for metal and glass. The phone frame is built from aluminium with the front and back covered by Gorilla Glass 4.
The S6 and S6 Edge can be placed onto a wireless charging station providing a 20 percent charge in approximately 30 minutes. Both Samsung and third-party chargers can be used. The two main wireless charging standards, WPC and PMA, are supported by the handsets.
Curved Edge and Colour Notifications
The S6 Edge has a curved screen, which provides a readable display on the two longest edges. This can be used for colour notifications assigned to five different address book contacts. The edge can also display alerts and notifications from other apps as required. You can configure the edge to light up when the phone is face down, allowing you to keep an eye on your notifications. Pretty handy when you’re in meetings.
Galaxy S6/S6 Edge Tech Specs
- 5.1 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display (1,440 x 2,560 pixels)
- 16 megapixel rear-facing camera
- 5 megapixel front camera
- 3GB RAM
- 64-bit Octa-Core Qualcomm Exynos 7420 (4 x 2.1GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz cores)
- 32GB, 64GB, 128GB internal storage, (non-expandable storage)
- Android 5.0 Lollipop with TouchWiz
- 2550mAh battery (S6), 2600mAh battery (S6 Edge)
- Available colours: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (S6), Green Emerald (S6 Edge)
Launches mid April however pricing and availability in Australia are still yet to be released.
HTC One M9
The launch of the HTC One M9 at the MWC in Barcelona has shown some impressive new features to help boost productivity, including a more powerful processor and HTC’s Android user interface; Sense 7. While pictures taken from the new 20 megapixel camera may not induce mouth-watering envy, the improved front-facing camera performs well for video applications.
HTC One M9 Features
Multiple cores enable the HTC One M9 to balance both processing power and battery use by utilizing slower, less power hungry 1.5GHz cores for simpler tasks. When required the processor can kick into full swing, with the device having 3GB of RAM making easy work of multitasking.
Ultra-Pixel Front Camera
The front-facing camera is a HTC UltraPixel f/2.0, 26.8mm lens delivering crisp, wide angle shots even in low light. Capable of Full HD 1080p recording (1080 x 1920 pixels) this will certainly come in handy for video conferencing.
HTC Sense User Interface
This location detecting home-screen widget will identify your location and display apps and preferences according to your location. This could be useful for separating apps for work, home and on the road.
HTC One M9 Tech Specs
- 5.0 inch Full HD 1080p capacitive touchscreen display (1,080 x 1,920 pixels)
- 20 megapixel rear-facing camera with up to 4K video recording
- 4 megapixel front-facing camera
- 3GB RAM
- 64-bit Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor (4 x 2.0GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz cores)
- 32GB internal storage, MicroSD slot (128GB of expandable storage)
- Android 5.0 Lollipop with Sense 7 by HTC
- 2840mAh battery and side mounted power button
- Available colours: Gold on Gold, Gold on Silver, and Gunmetal Grey
At this stage pricing and release dates have not been confirmed.
ZTE Grand S3
While the ZTE Grand S3 is not an immediate challenge to the Apple iPhone, the eye recognition security feature is an interesting addition.
Grand S3 Features
Eye Recognition Security
The front-facing camera scans the eye to unlock the phone. ZTE claims that even a photograph cannot unlock the phone. Each time the device scans your eye, accuracy is improved.
Large 5.5inch, full HD 1080p screen (1,080 x 1,920 pixels).
Large Battery Capacity
The Grand S3 is powered by a 3100mAh rechargeable battery.
Grand S3 Tech Specs
- 5.5inch Full HD 1080p touchscreen display (1,080 x 1,920 pixels)
- 16 megapixel rear-facing camera with Dual LED
- 8 megapixel front-facing camera
- 3GB RAM
- 64-bit Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor (4 x 2.5GHz cores)
- 16GB internal storage, MicroSD slot (64GB of expandable storage)
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- 3100mAh battery and side mounted power button
At this the Grand S3 is only available in China, however talk of the global launch is in the pipeline.
The MWC is always an exciting event to watch. From the big guys in mobility to the small start-ups, this meetup of innovators shapes what’s in store for mobility in the coming year.