“Wireless Wednesday”–The best and worst smartphones of MWC 2014 Part 2

weBoost | March 19, 2014

Happy Wednesday! We hope your week is going great so far. Today we’re looking at some of the most popular phones from this year’s trade show, Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. If you missed part 1 of this series, click here.

Today we’ll be covering the ZTE Open 2, the Sony Xperia Z2, the Ubuntu, and the ZTE Grand Memo II. If you want to read about all of the phones, see the @FierceWireless article.

ZTE Open 2

In other low-cost smartphone news, Mozilla backers including ZTE and Alcatel One Touch announced a range of new devices running the Firefox smartphone operating system and targeted at emerging markets. Further, Mozilla announced a partnership with Shanghai-based Spreadtrum to help drive down the costs of chipsets and make the $25 smartphone a reality. Alcatel One announced the Touch Fire C, Fire E, Fire S and Fire 7 tablet running the Firefox OS while ZTE announced the Open C and the Open II, pictured here. However, the Firefox OS has been criticized as slow and uninteresting in a time when Microsoft, Google and Apple continue to introduce new features and services on their respective platforms. Indeed, at ZTE’s booth the company could only show off the Open II hardware because the phone’s operating system was not finalized and couldn’t be loaded onto the actual demo device. Click here for more.
Sony Xperia Z2

Sony used the MWC show to unveil its latest flagship Android phones and tablets, including the Xperia Z2 smartphone. The Xperia Z2 features a waterproof coating, a 4K resolution, and a 20.7-megapixel camera. “Design refinements, improved screens, and 4K video capture are clearly incremental improvements,” noted Ovum analyst Nick Dillon. “However, this not necessarily a bad thing, given that the smartphone market has matured to such a point where transformational innovations are hard to come by.” Click here for more.


Canonical dropped into MWC with the most recent version of its Ubuntu smartphone operating system, which the company is hoping will catch fire with users when Ubuntu phones reach the market later this year. The company previously announced that Chinese electronics company Meizu and Spanish phone maker bq will the first manufacturers to build Ubuntu later phones this year, and that larger smartphone makers are currently evaluating the OS and could potentially support it. Canonical hopes to eventually release an operating system that can work seamlessly across smartphones, PCs, tablets, TVs and other devices. At MWC attendees could run through the Ubuntu user interface, which features interesting navigation elements including swipes from the left that bring up a list of favorited applications and swipes from the right that travel back to previously used applications. However, the platform is nowhere near as smooth as iOS and other refined offerings as it was somewhat jumpy and suffered from lag. Click here for more.

ZTE Grand Memo II

The Grand Memo II is ZTE’s latest iteration of its successful Grand Memo Android phablet. “ZTE continues to improve on the design, materials and finish of its products to compete with an abundance of sharply priced Android contenders,” wrote CCS Insight analysts. “Nonetheless, differentiation is getting increasingly difficult in a hopelessly crowded market, meaning ZTE is likely to resort to price to find clear air for its LTE phablet.”

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!