News from Day 1 of Mobile World Congress
Day 1 of this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona has been a busy one. Not only have we seen new smartphones from LG and Motorola, but we've also gotten our hands on tablets from Samsung and Lenovo and laptops from Lenovo and HP. We even know when Samsung will announce the Galaxy S8.
Here's what you need to know about everything from Day 1 of MWC.
Samsung Announces Galaxy S8 Reveal Event
At Samsung's MWC press conference, the company revealed the date that we'll finally see its Galaxy S8. With a teaser video that aired at the end of the event, the company announced that its next flagship will be unveiled on March 29 at an event in New York City. The video clip didn't explicitly reveal anything about the new phone, but it teased an edge-to-edge screen that removes any bezel space from the front.
We Now Know When Samsung Will Unveil the Galaxy S8
The LG G6's Big Screen and Small Body Make it One-Handable
At this point, we're used to holding phablets in one hand and tapping on their screens with the other hand. The LG G6's superthin bezel and 18:9 aspect ratio make that an issue of the past. Not only is the G6 water-resistant (IP-68 certified), but it offers a versatile dual-lens camera. Pricing and availability are to be announced, but LG says it's going to be aggressive.
Hands on with the LG G6
Galaxy Tab S3 Bets on HDR Super AMOLED Display
In order to jump-start the tablet market, Samsung's appealing to our luxurious sentiments. At MWC, the company announced its Galaxy Tab S3 slate, which will dazzle your eyes with a 9.7-inch quad HD+ Super AMOLED display that makes colors really pop. The tablet's also easy on the ears, as its four speaker setup can tell if you're using it in portrait or landscape mode, so it can properly aim sound at you.To make a more complete experience, the slate includes the S Pen stylus, and Samsung's selling an optional attachable keyboard for a laptop mode. The Tab S3's Snapdragon 820 processor, Vulkan API support and 4GB of RAM should make it one of the fastest Android tablets on the market. Pricing and availability is to be announced.
Hey Alexa, Jump Onto my Moto Z
If you can't get enough of Amazon's Alexa assistant around the house, you'll soon be able to take it with you. At MWC, Motorola announced an Alexa Moto Mod due out later this year that will attach to its Moto Z Droid smartphone to make the digital assistant mobile. Motorola also announced Alexa will be landing on its other handsets later this year.
BlackBerry KEYone's Productivity-Friendly Keyboard Is its Killer Feature
The BlackBerry KEYone ($549, shipping as soon as April) may look like the latest physical-keyboard-equipped handset, but it can be so much more. Unveiled on the eve of MWC, its spacebar houses its fingerprint reader and its keyboard can act as a scrollpad. Its QWERTY keyboard can give even more productivity powers, as you can assign two shortcuts to each letter key. That means a long press on a key can activate one trick, while a short press does another. Also, a convenience key on the right side of the KEYone can be set up to launch your favorite app or activate a task like turning on the flashlight.
For the BlackBerry KEYone, the Keyboard's the Star
Samsung Galaxy Book Packs Smartphone Features in 2-in-1 PC
At MWC, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Book, a detachable 2-in-1 PC that replaces the Galaxy TabPro S. It will come in two sizes, a 10.6-inch version with a modest Core m3 CPU and a 12-inch version that packs a Core i5 processor and a HDR-compatible Full HD display. Both Galaxy Books run Windows 10 and include the S Pen stylus, which offers more than 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity, the ability to annotate PDFs and write notes. Galaxy Books also use Flow to sync up notifications from Samsung phones, as well as share content and respond to messages.While we're happy to see the 12-inch model offer offers dual USB Type-C ports (the 10.6 model only offers 1, just as the TabPro S did), The one downside is that the design didn't feel lap-ready during our hands-on time. Pricing and availability is to be announced.
Samsung Galaxy Book Hands-on: Surface Killer?
Sony XZ Premium Is First Smartphone With Super Slow Motion Camera
At MWC, Sony announced its XZ Premium smartphone, which packs a Motion Eye camera system for jaw-dropping slow motion. Motion Eye combines predictive autofocus, laser autofocus and RGBIR, and Sony's pairing it with a 19-megapixel rear camera for image captures that are five times faster than other smartphone. This handset can capture action at 960 frames per minute, which blows away everything else. The XZ Premium's screen is also noteworthy, as the phone is the first to sport a 4K HDR panel. You'll want to see it for yourself, during our time with it we were impressed by its amazingly vivid color and sharp detail. The XZ premium will be available late spring 2017, and pricing is TBA.
The Next Next Top Budget Smartphone?
We love the Motorola G4, our favorite budget smartphone, and the $229 G5 Plus looks to be the latest handset that offers amazing bang for your buck. Due out this spring, the G5 Plus stands out with a camera that can take great shots, even in low-light situations. That's because it packs a 12-megapixel camera with dual autofocus pixels, similar to the one in the Galaxy S7. The G5 Plus also features a fingerprint reading sensor, a Snapdragon 625 processor and Google Assistant.
Samsung Adding a Controller to the Gear VR Headset
Near the end of Samsung's MWC press conference, the company announced a new controller for its Gear VR headset. It will be a welcome addition for the Gear VR, which currently requires you touch the buttons on the headset itself or purchase a third-party controller. Not only will this controller be included in the box with an upcoming version of the Gear VR, it will also be compatible with existing headsets. More than 70 controller-based titles are said to already be in the works for Gear VR. Pricing and availability are to be announced.
Lenovo Tab 4 Tablets Give Options For Everyone
Lenovo wants everyone in your household to have their own tablet, announcing its new Tab 4 family of slates at this year's MWC. The most affordable options being the Tab 4 8 ($109) and Tab 4 10 ($149), which sport 1200 x 800 screens, quad-core Mediatek processors, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and strong Dolby stereo speakers. To make them more kid-friendly, Lenovo's optional Kids Pack ($20 or $25, depending on tablet size) adds a shock-resistant bumper, two scratch-resistant 3M backs, a screen protector with a blue light filter, and easy access to Lenovo's built-in Kids Account. For those who need more power and luxury, the Tab 4 8 Plus ($199) and Tab 4 10 Plus ($249) pack speedier Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPUs, fingerprint sensors, more memory and storage, and a premium glass and metal construction. For $50 more, these Plus tablets can come with a folding keyboard cover that connects over Bluetooth. These slates should be available this May.
Sony Xperia Touch Turns Surfaces Into Touchscreens
Sony's Xperia Touch (available summer 2017) looks to be the projector of the future. About the side of a large coffee tin, it can turn any flat surface into an interactive touchscreen. While it can project non-interactive pictures of up to 80 inches at 1280 x 720, its limit for interactive displays is 23 inches. Pricing is TBA.
HP Pro X2 is One Rugged Convertible PC
HP just announced the Pro X2 612 G2, a new 2-in-1 that starts at $979. It looks far more rugged than the typical convertible (even Microsoft's Surface Pro 4) thanks to a MIL-STD810G-tested design that's ready to survive drops, dust and shocks.HP says the Pro X2 should last up to 11 hours of a single charge, a claim we look forward to testing. Also, the Pro X2 will sport a peel-off back that makes it easy to switch hard drives and access other components. Availability is TBA.
Huawei P10 is a Glimpse into Your Next Flagship Phone
The Huawei P10 may not be coming out in the U.S., but it's still worth taking a look at for a glimpse into the future of smartphones. Its predecessor was the first to use dual rear cameras, and Huawei's continuing that trend here with a 20-MP monochrome camera that grabs amazing black-and-white shots and works with its 13-MP camera to simulate various depths of field, just like in a real camera.
3D facial recognition allows for up to 190 tracking points and detection of lighting changes, for studio-quality portraits. Further, its screen features a built-in fingerprint reader for a more seamless look.
Lenovo Reveals Three Yoga 2-in-1s
Lenovo's bend-back Yoga convertibles are slimming down this year and offering more support for Windows 10 features. So not only is the 13-inch Yoga 720 (starting at $869) now a mere 0.56 inches thin, both its 13 and 15 inch versions pack full support for Windows 10 gestures and can be customized with a built-in fingerprint reader for Windows Hello sign on. Lenovo's also selling a new active stylus for the full Windows Ink experience, but it costs an extra $50. The third member of the new additions to the Yoga family is the 14-inch Flex 5 (starting at $799). The notebook offers a Full-HD display and can be customized up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 128GB/1TB hybrid SSD/HDD combo. Both versions of the Yoga 720 are due out in April, with the Flex 5 following shortly after in May.
Lenovo Preps for Spring with Three New Yoga 2-in-1s