Mobile World Congress 2015: What We Already Know

Mobile World Congress 2015

Mobile World Congress 2015 will be taking place in Barcelona next week from March 2-5. Tech giants from around the world will show off their newest tech products for 2015. Thankfully,  per usual, several companies have decided to leak some news early in anticipation of the conference. Whether intentional or accidental, here’s what we’ve got so far:

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony “accidentally” leaked the new Xperia Z4 Tablet yesterday on Lounge. Not much is known about the Z4, but it will be a large 10″. According to the short-lived Lounge page, it also has a not-so-impressive 2K display along with “the latest ultra fast processor” and “industry leading battery performance.” No specifics were stated, and it looks like we’ll have to wait until March 3rd to find out more.

Lenovo Vibe Series

Lenovo Vibe Shot

Lenovo Vibe Shot

We’ve got five new additions to Lenovo’s Vibe series. First and foremost is the Vibe X3, which highlights a 5.5″, 1080p display, front-facing stereo speakers, and a 20.7 megapixel camera on the back. It doesn’t sound like the most exciting phone, but maybe Lenovo’s holding onto the wow-factors for now.

Next up is the Vibe Shot, also known as the Vibe Max (above) which, you guessed it, is all about the camera. The display is a little smaller than the X3 at 5 inches, but it has the same 1080p display. As for specs, the Vibe Shot is packing a Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB of storage. Lenovo’s thrown in a microSD card slot just in case you need some extra room for all those pictures. As for the 16 megapixel camera, it has optical image stabilization and three-tone flash to get the most natural-looking brightness, and its own shutter button. How flattering for Nokia.

Then there’s the Vibe P1 and P1 Pro, which are all about battery life. The Vibe P1 has a 4000mAh battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 support, just in case. According to the release, the P1 has nano ceramics coating, 64-bit octa-core CPU, and 2GB RAM in the MediaTek chipset. Need more battery than that? The P1 Pro carries a 5000mAh battery with a fingerprint sensor. Our guess is that the specs are the same (including its size), based on the images, but we can’t say for sure.

Lastly, we’ve got the Vibe S1, coming in 5 different colors. The Vibe S1 is aiming at a younger audience, with a front-facing camera for the selfie lover in your life. We get the feeling that the S1 might be akin to the iPhone 5c compared to the iPhone 5s, with the S1’s lower price point and specs less impressive than the X3. However, we don’t have any details, so we’ll just have to find out during the Mobile World Congress.

LG Magna, Spirit, Leon, and Joy

LG Magna, Spirit, Leon, and Joy

From Left to Right: LG’s Magna, Spirit, Leon, and Joy

It looks like LG put the G4 on the backburner and is releasing four mid-range phones at the Mobile World Congress instead. Starting with LG’s Leon and Joy, both of them are on the lower-end of the spectrum, with 4.5″ and 4″ displays, respectively. Leon packs a punch with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of internal memory, 1GB RAM, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. Where it falls short is the 1900mAh battery and the VGA front-facing camera. As for the Joy, it runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has a 1-megapixel camera, and has half the memory and RAM of Leon (4GB and 512MB, respectively). It looks like the Joy is for the less tech-oriented, or for that someone looking for an inexpensive smartphone.

Both the Spirit and Magna have the same processing power, rear-facing camera, RAM, and internal memory. The differences are the Spirit’s 4.7″ display, 5-megapixel front-facing camera and its 312 ppi display, with a 2100mAh battery. The Magna, on the other hand, has a 5″ 294ppi display and 5 megapixel front-facing camera with a removable 2540mAh battery. With those specs, the Magna is competing with Samsung’s Galaxy S6, which will also be appearing at the Mobile World Conference.

Of course, HTC has already committed its own leaks of the HTC One M9 which we’ve covered here. Stay tuned for next’s week updates during Mobile World Congress.

Via: Phandroid, GSMArena, PC Pro UK

HTC One M9 Videos Leaked

onem9w2.0

HTC has sprung several leaks on the upcoming HTC One M9 smartphone, just days before its debut at Mobile World Congress. And surprisingly, it looks almost no different than 2014’s One M8.  The Germans over at MobileGeeks.de have published HTC press shots of the 5″ device and an @Upleak Tweet has released several HTC One M9 tutorial videos.

The new HTC flagship is boasting a 1920 x 1080 resolution, a Qualcomm 2.0 GHz Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor (yes, eight cores), 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, not to mention the 128 GB of external available via a MicroSD slot. The new rear camera is 20-megapixels with auto-focus and a BSI sensor. The front-facing is HTC’s well-known 4-megapixel ultra-pixel camera. The video leaks of the device include tutorials of software features (BlinkFeed and the new 20 mp camera, for instance) have surfaced, most without audio.

The M9 also appears to come in two color options, gunmetal grey and silver.  The elegant antenna lines look identical to the M8, along with the rounded all-aluminum body.  The main visual change is the camera, which now has a square lens that sticks out, somewhat like the iPhone 6. Boom Sound speakers are of course still included, but what’s really noticeably different is the software. The M9 will come with the newest HTC Sense 7 UI along with an upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop underneath. Sell date is a guess of April 2015 with a price point at 749 Euro. This has yet to be confirmed by HTC itself, but considering the number of credible leaks from HTC in years past, it’s likely an accurate picture.onem933.0

Personally, we’re just glad HTC didn’t alter the screen size, as the M8’s tall (BoomSound speakers) and wide 5″ frame was already pushing users’ hand-breadth for a comfortable grip. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” seems to be the mantra here, and HTC’s customers are sure to appreciate that when it debuts later this week.


Source: MobileGeeks, Twitter

Should You Buy The New Nintendo 3DS XL?

New 3DS XL

Nintendo has just released the New 3DS XL timed with the re-release of Majora’s Mask. You’ve likely seen the commercial, but the only thing it featured was the C-stick. The revamped console does have some great new features, but what exactly makes this 3DS different than your old one? Read on below to find out.

Google Engineer Lambasts Nest Protect Smart Smoke Detectors for Bugs

Nest Protect

In one of the most annoying, yet entertaining videos, Google engineer Brad Fitzpatrick demonstrates how his entire network of Nest smart smoke detectors (bought by Google for $3.2 billion) recently turned against him upon one accusation of “smoke in the master bedroom.”

In the following six minute video, Fitzpatrick can be seen attempting to “hush” five Nest smoke alarms in his home, as they continue to chirp at ear-piercing levels no matter his strategy, and all despite there actually being no smoke inside the house.

Note: Seriously, we recommend muting this video after you get the gist of the situation.

Brad posted the video on YouTube with the caption, “You can stop or mute this video if it’s annoying, but you cannot stop a Nest.” He also added the comments below urging users to “NOT buy a +Nest smoke alarm,” and saying that because of the product’s bugs, he often ignored Nest smoke alarm notifications on his Android smartphone, assuming they were false.

Untitled
Not a very smart home after all. The entire ordeal is almost something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey when HAL 9000 refuses to “open the pod bay doors” for Dave. In this case, it’s Nest refusing to stop chirping and sending out false fire alarm notifications. We have reviewed Nest’s Learning Thermostat without issue, but this video sure makes us reticent to buy a Nest Protect smoke detector, let alone five of them.

Of course, we’re curious if Fitzpatrick even considered reporting the bugs to Nest before uploading this (understandably angst-filled) video.

What do you think?

Via: BGR
Source: YouTube

Italian Researchers’ CoeLux Creates Artificial Sunlight

light-bring-to-market

In the short days of winter, many experience seasonal depression or lulls in mood. Without all that nice vitamin D, people’s sleep cycles get skewed and moods altered. Thanks to a new artificial skylight developed by CoeLux researchers, humans could soon feel happier indoors, and even in those “English Basements” so heavily advertised on Craigslist.

The technology tricks cameras and the human eye using a thin coating of nanoparticles over an LED projector. It’s also paired with complex optics that give the illusion of distances between an artificial sky and sun. This simulates Rayleigh scattering, a principle which illustrates how the atmosphere diffuses sunlight. The technology gives an illusion of blue sky and an faux sun (the literal LED). It’s a pretty amazing  trick seen in the demonstration below.

Scientists in Italy want this device to bridge the gap between dark spaces and architectural design by reproducing the effect of how sunlight acts in nature. Color and saturation are matched perfectly in the filmed examples above, and the reactions are awesome. “It’s like magic,” said one demo viewer. Professor Poalo Di Trapani has been developing the CoeLux for the last ten years at the University of Insubria, and it won Light Source Innovation of the Year at the 2014 Lux Awards.

We thought Phillips’ Hue was pretty cool already, but the CoeLux could bring artificial daylight to the darkest of spaces at any time of day. Unfortunately, this technology comes at a bit of an outlandish price: $61,000 and $7,600 for installation. I guess we’ll have to wait for the general consumer version.

Via: Weburbanist
Source: CoeLux