Day one of Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile tech show of the year, is coming to a close and already we've seen some huge announcements from the proceedings. Yesterday brought new phones from Samsung and HTC, plus a whole slew of device announcements, from Alcatel to ZTE.
Today, we look under the hood at the guts that make our mobile tech work and dig into issues like privacy and encryption. There are still plenty of, and to check out too, including a few unique products you might not expect to see.
Google is getting into wireless
Google is in talks to launch its own, but you shouldn't ditch your carrier just yet. SVP of Products Sundar Pichai teased the news in a press conference Monday, saying that the search giant is working on partnerships with major wireless carriers, which are rumored to be Sprint and T-Mobile.
The service likely won't compete with other carriers, but instead could supplement what they already offer. Pichai referenced Google's Nexus program in his speech, which Google launched to help build "pure" Android devices, running the operating system without any modifications. Details are still murky, but expect an official announcement in the coming months.
Security's a big issue
Responding to worries of personal privacy and mobile security, a few companies demo'd their answers at MWC. First up are theand , two devices with plenty of security features.
Both the phone and tablet run PrivatOS 1.1, an Android-based operating system that allows IT administrators to manage, lock and wipe devices when necessary. The Blackphone 2 also comes with the "Silent Suite" which automatically encrypts video and voice calls over a peer-to-peer VoIP service, offers encrypted messaging, an an automatically encrypted address book. Silent World allows subscribers to make encrypted calls to folks who haven't sprung for an encrypted device.
Meanwhile, the tablet makes use of "Spaces" -- a feature that creates separate, locked-down versions of your tablet's user interface. That's helpful if you want to hand the tablet to your kid, while keeping photos and other media secure.
Next, Finnish company Jolla launched version 2.0 of its, a gesture-focused alternative to Android that runs on the and , among other devices. Along with that release, Jolla also announced Sailfish Secure, a new version of the niche mobile operating system that's designed to bring peace of mind to businesses, government officials and privacy-minded phone fans.
Jolla partnered with SSH Communications Security to create, which uses SSH's communication encryption and key management features.
Finally, are you weary of facial recognition on smartphones?use infrared LEDs to confuse smartphone cameras to prevent your face from being recognized. These are still concept devices, but you might be able to wear them one day, if you're really keen on privacy.
A little less than one year after Microsoft closed its deal to purchase Nokia, the Seattle-based software giant unveiled two new Lumia smartphones, the 640 and the larger 640 XL. Both phones are sporting the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and are priced modestly.
The 640 has a 5-inch, 720p display, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor. Meanwhile, the 640 XL has a slightly larger 5.7-inch display with the same 720p resolution screen, a beefed-up 13-megapixel rear camera and the same Snapdragon 400 processor. Both come in black, white, blue and bright orange color choices.
The two models will come in 3G and 4G LTE variations. with slight price differences between the two. For more details on pricing, check out our First Takes for theand .
Microsoft also debuted the portable,, which works with Android, iOS and, of course, Microsoft devices.
New Xperia devices popped up at MWC, theand the super-skinny , which is also splash-friendly.
The M4 Aqua is a pared-down version of the earlier Xperia Z3, Sony's 2014 flagship phone. To cut costs, Sony used a lower-resolution 720p (instead of 1080p) display, a less-powerful processor and a 13- rather than 20-megapixel camera.
A followup to the Z2 tablet, the Xperia Z4 is a powerhouse device with a 2K resolution screen and an octa-core processor. All of its tech is encased in a super-slim, lightweight design that's stunning.
Budget smartphones are rampant at Mobile World Congress, andis one of the best of the bunch. Though it costs just $169, it features a 5.5-inch screen, 4G LTE, Android 5.0 Lollipop and Dolby Sound.
To go with your new Android phone,that can, well, project videos or photos onto virtually any surface. The projector can rotate up to 90 degrees, so that you can point the video or images in many different directions. It'll cost $250 when it goes on sale in the US this year.
Alcatel's been busy at the show, churning out several new devices. The, a budget phablet running the Cyanogen OS instead of regular Android (though the OS is based on Android 4.4 KitKat). It's running on a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek processor and has a 6-inch 1080p display. Other notable specs include a stylus, 13-megapixel camera and 16GB of internal storage.
Theline, which comprises 24 devices, is getting a 5.5-inch model with Android 5.0. It also features 4G connectivity and a 720p display. There are also two new , a 7-inch and an 8-inch model.
Alcatel is also working on better, faster mobile connectivity, with its initiative. The new technology seeks to blend Wi-Fi and cellular coverage, to increase the download speed by 2.5 times, increase the upload speed by 55 times and double the Wi-Fi range in a home or office. Wi-Fi and cellular networks are quite different, but the company has found a way to use the strengths from each to create faster speeds.
Speaking of mobile connectivity, the company has three new portable hot spots, the. They come in 3G, 4G and 4G+ options.
Intel shows off new chips
Hoping to catch up to Qualcomm and others,at Mobile World Congress; the Atom x3, x5 and x7 mobile chips. The x3, formerly known as SoFIA, will target budget smartphones and tablets, while the x5 and x7, previously known as the "Cherry Trail" chips, will go into mainstream and high-end tablets.
Ford 'MoDe' Electric Bikes
In not-so-mobile news, Ford showed off two concept electric bicycles, the, at Mobile World Congress that connect with the iPhone 6. Both e-bikes can fold up for storage and have sensors on the back that let riders know when a car is coming too fast from behind. The bike can then vibrate to warn the rider, and flash lights to warn the approaching driver.
Other neat features include haptic feedback in the handlebars to give directions and a horn that has two volumes: one for motorists and a quieter one for pedestrians.
The phones we saw
is getting in the smartphone game with these bright, colorful Android and Windows Phone models.
Japanese carrier KDDI and Mozilla have partnered to create a.
Theis a 4G LTE Android phone with a waterproof design.
Chinese company, a super-slim and pricey Android phone.
uses sound waves to scan your finger and unlock your phone, and it works even if your fingers are sweaty or dirty.
Qualcomm is also working on making smartphones smarter with the, which combines hardware and software to create a devices that can learn from how you use them.
Panasonic has a wireless, 4G camera for home security called the. It'll cost $250.
Theis now allowing paid apps.
that allows more devices and routers to connect to and transmit data over two bands at once.
You can now check yourfrom your car.
gets Apple's Touch ID and Android Wear support for its security features.
Theboasts five health-tracking features in one.
Today's just Day One of Mobile World Congress 2015. Check back tomorrow for more news from the show and keep up with all of our coverage on CNET.
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