MWC 2016 has wrapped up and we have all the details of what went on. AndroidPIT was on hand to cover all of the big announcements from the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony and Xiaomi, and you can catch up on everything you missed below.
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MWC 2016 awards
To find out who AndroidPIT picked as the winners of MWC 2016, and the thoughts of those who attended the show, hit the links below.
- MWC 2016 awards: here are AndroidPIT’s winners
- Here’s what you loved most at MWC 2016
Xiaomi: the Mi 5 line was unveiled
Xiaomi Global Vice President Hugo Barra took to the stage to introduce the new Mi 5, which will arrive in three versions, the most expensive of which will have a ceramic body and house 4 GB of RAM.
For more details about the Mi 5, check out our hands-on Xiaomi Mi 5 review. If you want to see how it matches up against the competition, check out our comparisons at the links below.
- Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Xiaomi Mi 5 comparison
- Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro comparison
Sony: Xperia X series and new gadgets
X series smartphones
Sony gave us some big news at its MWC event. It revealed three new smartphones that form the Xperia X series. They are called the Xperia X, the Xperia XA and the Xperia X Performance, and all three were unveiled in a short and sweet press event with few theatrics.
For all the latest analysis on the Sony X series smartphones, hit the links below:
- Sony Xperia X hands-on review
- Sony Xperia XA hands-on review
- Sony Xperia X Performance hands-on review
All the Xperia X series smartphones all have 5-inch 1,080p screens. The Xperia X is designed to appeal to smartphone photography enthusiasts, with its 23 MP main camera and a 13 MP front camera, both of which have fast auto-focus and a quick launch feature. The Xperia X could be released at the end of May.
Design is the big draw of the Xperia XA. It looks similar to the Z3+, with its rounded frame, slim profile (7.9 mm) and almost edge-free display. The camera and hardware are not as exciting as the Xperia X’s but, with its price predicted to be as low as US$330, it costs about half as much. It’s suspected that the Xperia XA release date will fall in late March.
The final phone in the new line is the Xperia X Performance, which could be a replacement for theXperia Z6, although the situation is not entirely clear at present.
Sony Country Manager SEM (South Eastern Mediterranean) Augusto Zumbo made a statementduring MWC saying that Sony has decided to carry out a “silent” rebranding, changing the name of the Z line to the X, and that the Sony Xperia X Performance is the new flagship of the brand.
A Sony spokeswoman later contacted AndroidPIT to say that Mr Zumbo’s comment was a mistake and that Sony did not wish to publicly discuss future Xperia product development at this stage.
AndroidPIT then spoke with Sony Mobile US head of marketing Don Mesa, who said that “the Xperia Z series is not going away”. Despite all of this, many online publications maintain that the Xperia Z series finished. The jury’s still out on this one.
Sony unveiled some interesting new gadgets in its press event at MWC. The gadgets are aimed at giving us the freedom to experience the most important parts of our lives while using smartphone technology. The gadgets are called the Xperia Ear, Xperia Eye, Xperia Projector and Xperia Agent, and are designed to be used hands-free and eyes-free.
The Xperia Ear is an earpiece that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It keeps you up to date with relevant information such as weather, news and upcoming appointments. You can also use it to get voice commands for navigation or to dictate messages. Sony will have more information about the Xperia Ear this summer.
The Xperia Eye is a clip-on camera that can be attached to your lapel to take video or pictures from a wide field of vision. It comes equipped with face and image recognition software so you can automatically capture the moments you want without missing the moments that you are capturing.
The Xperia Projector is a home communication and information device that is compact and shows images on any flat surface. You can scroll through pictures on your table by touching the projected images and moving them. It is also responsive to voice commands.
The Xperia Agent is a small device that seems to serve as a hub for home automation. It is a type of personal assistant that communicates through voice command and is also capable of taking pictures and giving useful information and tips for lots of different situations.
For more on the new gadgets take a look at our article on Sony’s futuristic tech and concepts.
Samsung: Galaxy S7 / Galaxy S7 Edge and Gear 360
Samsung launched the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge at MWC 2016. We had a chance to go hands-on with the new handsets and our early impressions were positive. Samsung appears to have refined the formula and delivered improvements in all the right places, including adding microSD card support to both handsets. Hit the links below for the hands-on reviews, as well as some comparisons.
- Samsung Galaxy S7 review [hands on]
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review [hands on]
- Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge comparison
- Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6 comparison
- Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Nexus 6P comparison
The Gear 360, a lightweight camera for taking 360-degree photos and videos, was also unveiled at MWC. You can play the footage back in the Samsung Gear’s VR headset or on the Gear 360 mobile app. The Gear 360 is about the size of a tennis ball and is equipped to be mounted on a selfie stick or put on a Go Pro camera.
Samsung did not release a price for the Gear 360 but claimed it would be available in Q2 of this year in select countries.
- Samsung Gear 360: what you need to know
The LG G5 was made official at MWC 2016. The G5 introduced a number of new and interesting features including the so-called ‘magic slot’ for quickly switching out its removable battery, and the always-on display, which allows you to see notifications (and more) without unlocking the device. Check out our early comparison and preliminary review at the links below.
- Hands on: LG G5 review
- LG G5 vs LG G4 comparison
- Why the LG G5 is the phone to beat in 2016
HTC did not present the latest in its HTC One line, the HTC One M10, at MWC in 2016. Instead, it unveiled two new smartphones from its Desire line, the 825 and 530. The new design of the devices is inspired by urban street fashion and fill the gap between art and clothing accessories. By utilizing a newly developed micro-splash effect on the body, every single smartphone is unique.
The HTC Desire 530 will be available in the classic colors, Graphite Gray and Solid Stratus White. The Desire 825 is available in Stratus White Remix with two-tone or Graphite Gray Remix in a golden Micro Splash design. The new designs can be seen below.
The price of the HTC Desire 530 is around US$240. The HTC Desire 825’s retail price is around US$420.
Alcatel unveiled three new devices in its press event at MWC 2016, the Idol 4, Idol 4S smartphones and the Plus 10 2-in-1 tablet/notebook. These new devices came after the company’s rebranding, from Alcatel OneTouch to simply Alcatel.
The Alcatel Idol 4 and Idol 4S smartphones will both run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and come with VR content. The Idol 4 has a 5.2-inch 1,080p HD display. It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor with 3 GB RAM. It has a 13 MP main and 8 MP front camera system. The unconfirmed price of the smartphone is around US$300.
The Idol 4S is the higher-end version of its smartphone counterpart. It features a 5.5-inch QHD (1,440 x 2,560 pixel) AMOLED display. It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor with 3 GB RAM. The main camera is 16 MP and the front is 8 MP. The Idol 4S also comes with a Google VR headset. The price of the Idol 4S is also unconfirmed but is suspected to be around US$330.
As the name suggests, the Alcatel Plus 10 comes with a 10-inch display. It’s a two-in-one tablet/notebook with a detachable keyboard. It comes equipped with Windows 10 and is powered by a quad-core Intel processor. It has an 8,410 mAh battery which is able to deliver eight working hours.
Huawei’s MWC 2016 ended without the Chinese manufacturer announcing any new smartphones. The Huawei P9 was rumored to appear, but, instead, Huawei introduced the MateBook, a Windows 10 tablet aimed as an alternative to laptop computers.
Like the Microsoft Surface devices, the Huawei MateBook can be used with a stylus and a detachable keyboard. It is set to go on sale later this year for US$699 (undercutting the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 by US$100).