Tech from MWC 2014 that you can actually buy (pictures)
There are a fair number of prototypes and concept gadgets at Mobile World Congress, but these are the phones, tablets, wearables, and other tech that you can actually buy soon.
Open up your wallets
Mobile World Congress is packed to the rafters with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes. Unlike CES, where many gadgets showcased may never make it to store shelves, there is plenty of tech coming out of Barcelona, Spain, that we can actually buy someday, either in the coming weeks or a few months from now. We're rounding up the highlights of the phones, smartwatches, tablets, and other gadgets that have real release dates here, and we'll continue to update the list through the end of the show.
Samsung's newest flagship phone is a revamp of the Galaxy S4, with an updated shimmery design, fingerprint scanner, and 16-megapixel camera. The S5 will go on sale on April 11(just shy of the S4's first birthday) in 150 countries, according to Samsung. US carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS, and U.S. Cellular all said they will start carrying the phone in April, but did not give an official date. In the US, you'll also be able to pick up the phone at Best Buy, Amazon, and RadioShack.
Samsung followed up the Galaxy Gear smartwatch from 2013 with two new models, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Both devices pair with your Samsung smartphone to show your notifications, and have built-in pedometers and heart-rate sensors, so you can use them for working out. The Gear 2 also gets a camera like the original Galaxy Gear, but the Neo does not.
Both devices are slated to go on sale in April 2014.
The final mobile product from Samsung at MWC is the Gear Fit, a smaller version of the Gear smartwatches with a curved screen. Like the other watches, it pairs with a Samsung phone to deliver notifications, and can also track your heart rate. Expect it to hit stores with the other Gear watches in April.
HTC debuted a plastic version of the HTC One at Mobile World Congress, called the Desire 816. The device is considered to be the company's flagship midrange phone, and it comes with a HD 5.5-inch display, a 13-megapixel camera, LTE support, and a satisfyingly sturdy plastic body.
It will go on sale in China in March, then roll out to other countries in April. We're still waiting on pricing details.
Nokia's first Android phones, the Nokia X, X+, and XL (pictured above), are all aimed at emerging smartphone markets, such as Latin America and India. The phones have basic specs, with low-resolution screens, so-so processors, and simple software features, but they also cost very little.
The Nokia X costs 89 euros ($122), and goes on sale the first week of March. The X+ costs 99 euros ($136), and the XL will cost 109 euros ($149). Both phones will be available in early second quarter.
Sony's next-generation Xperia device is a slight improvement on its predecessor, the Z1. This phone has a larger 5.2-inch screen and a slightly faster 2.3GHz Qualcomm processor. It's running the freshest version of Android, 4.4.2, and has a camera that shoots 4K video.
Look for the Xperia Z2 to launch in Europe and worldwide in March.
Sony also introduced the Xperia M2, a less expensive Android smartphone that's not waterproof, at MWC 2014. It's packing a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, a 960x540-pixel display and an 8-megapixel camera. The device will hit stores in April 2014.
Rounding out the Song Xperia line at MWC is the Z2 tablet, a super thin slate. This 10.1-inch tablet packs a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and Android 4.4, and is only 0.25-inch thick. It's also waterproof for your poolside and beachside tablet reading pleasure. It's expected to go on sale in March of this year in the UK and Europe.
Sony's take on the fitness band and smartwatch not only tracks your movements, but also connects with your phone to monitor your day-to-day activity so it can tell you how much time you spent browsing Facebook, or let you know when you were snapping shots on your camera. The whole point is to paint a daily picture of your life, including where you went, who you were with, and what you did. If that sounds appealing to you, the Sony SmartBand goes on sale in March, and will likely cost about 99 euros ($136).
This phablet from ZTE clocks in at just over 6 inches with a 720p HD screen. The Grand Memo II LTE is powered by a Snapdragon 400 processor and runs Android 4.4. You'll be able to buy one in April 2014 in China, and it will then make its way to Europe, North America, and Asia.
Huawei's wearable, called the TalkBand B1, is half-fitness tracker, half-Bluetooth headset. You can wear it on your wrist to track your activity and then pop it out of the wrist band to talk into it, instead of holding your phone up to your ear. The hybrid device goes on sale in China in March, and hits the Middle East, Russia, Japan, and western Europe later this year.
Unlike the fancy smartwatches of late, the Mio Link doesn't come with any bells or whistles. It's just a simple heart rate monitor that uses an optical sensor to measure your pulse. You can pick one up for $99 starting in April.
This Bluetooth headset comes with a few advanced features, such as noise canceling and dual capacitive sensors which detect whether you're wearing it or not. Plantronics expects the Voyager Edge to ship globally in April 2014 for $129.99.
Blueant's PUMP Bluetooth HD Sportbuds are waterproof, pliable wireless headphones that can stand up to tough workouts. You can pick them up now for $149.95 on Blueant's Web site and at Apple Stores in the UK, France, Canada, and Spain.