Happy Wednesday! This week we’re talking about some of the most popular phones from this year’s trade show, Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. See this article pasted below from @FierceWireless—
There was a surprising number of new phones announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show here, including the flagship Galaxy S5 from the world’s largest handset maker and the Nokia X Android phone from a company about to be acquired by Windows Phone vendor Microsoft. Further, a handful of upstart operating system vendors–including Tizen, Firefox and Ubuntu–used MWC to attempt to generate some momentum against market leaders Android and iOS.
Not surprisingly, response to the products ranged from impressed to highly skeptical.
Phone news at this year’s MWC also was notable because there was so much of it, it was so diverse, and it was so much different than the previous handful of years, when handset makers opted to forgo major smartphone announcements at MWC in favor of using their own media events to announce their new gadgets. Moreover, previous MWC shows have been dominated by other devices such as tablets.
But this year’s MWC was the site of a wide range of high-end smartphone announcements, led by Samsung’s unveiling of its Galaxy S5 Android flagship.
Today we’ll be covering the Samsung Galaxy S5,Tizen, and the Nokia X.
The Samsung Galaxy S5
As expected, Samsung used this year’s MWC to announce the latest iteration of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. Also as expected, the phone carried a wide range of enhancements, including a 16-megapixel camera, health monitoring systems, a sharper screen, a fingerprint scanner and a faster processor. The phone also can connect to Samsung’s growing array of wearable accessories like the newly announced Galaxy Gear 2 watch. However, Samsung didn’t announce pricing for the gadget, which will be a key factor in determining the device’s success as global markets–including the United States–continue to favor cheaper smartphones as they begin to reach parity with some of the market’s more expensive models. Click here for more, and click here for U.S. wireless carrier plans for the Galaxy S5.
While Samsung’s sleek and powerful Galaxy S5 garnered plenty of praise and excitement (indeed, T-Mobile US said that it has received 100,000 pre-orders for the device), the opposite was true of Tizen, a Linux smartphone platform created through the combination of LiMo and MeeGo that has been primarily supported by Samsung. In the run-up to MWC, reports noted dwindling carrier support for Tizen–and indeed, no smartphone maker announced plans to actually build a Tizen phone. That’s the reverse of last year, when Samsung promised to release a Tizen phone. Instead, Samsung said it would use Tizen in its new Galaxy Gear smart watch. During a media event at MWC, the Tizen Association showed off a number of Galaxy S4s running Tizen to highlight some of the apps that have been built for the platform. But the actual Tizen user interface is extremely similar to a scaled down version of Android and features none of the polish and innovations one would expect from a brand new smartphone operating system hoping to compete with market leaders like iOS and Android. Click here for more.
Weeks before it is scheduled to be sold to Windows Phone vendor Microsoft, Nokia used the MWC show to unveil a phone, the Nokia X, running the Android operating system that is the direct rival of Microsoft’s Windows Phone. The Nokia X sports an interface similar to that of Windows Phone but it can access some Android apps. The goal, explained Nokia executives, is to build a cheap smartphone (it will go for around $122) targeted at emerging markets like Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle-East and Africa (it won’t be sold in the United States). When questioned about Nokia’s strategy, Microsoft executives largely shrugged their shoulders and explained that Nokia could do what it wants to in the few weeks before Microsoft is expected to close its acquisition of Nokia’s handset business. “The decision to use Android sits uncomfortably ahead of the purchase of Nokia’s handset unit by Microsoft,” wrote CCS Insight analysts in a review of Nokia’s X announcement. “It acknowledges Asha’s challenges in competing with low-cost Android, and probably signals the end of the platform.”
What do you think of these smartphones? Is there one you are particularly interested in? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook/Twitter. If you want to read about all of the phones featured in the article, click here. Otherwise, make sure and visit our blog often and learn about all the others soon!