Mobile World Congress 2014: Presenting the Latest in Mobile Technology

By conxa.roda (Flickr: Mobile World Congress) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By conxa.roda (Flickr: Mobile World Congress) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

February is nearing its end and it’s that time of the year again for the Mobile World Congress (MWC). This annual trade show for mobile technology is one of the most anticipated by tech enthusiasts. It features a wide variety of products many consumers will likely find interesting.

We can’t do a full coverage of the event on this page but we can at least present the highlights. Is this year’s MWC exciting or is it just an assortment of refreshed mobile consumer electronics? Will we see devices with breakthrough new features or are we in for just some incremental changes?

Here are the some of the highlights:

Huawei Introduces the MediaPad X1

Interestingly, many sites write about the MediaPad X1 as the world’s thinnest tablet. At 7.18-inch thin, it certainly isn’t. However, this 7-inch tablet can probably be considered as the tablet with the narrowest side bezels. It’s like an oversized good-looking smartphone. Well, it may actually be considered a smartphone because it actually has call capabilities.

What makes this device interesting is its high capacity power supply. It packs a 5000 mAh battery, which is significantly larger than the typical 3000-4000 mAh batteries used in most 7-inch tablets. Despite this bigger battery, it’s still very light. In fact, it is even touted by Huawei as the world’s lightest 7-inch tablet.

Image Courtesy of kanate /

Image Courtesy of kanate /

Sony Unveils the Xperia Z2

The successor to the solid Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z2 from Sony can be described as a slight upgrade from the previous handset. However, the slight differences actually mean a lot as it finally marks the Japanese smartphone manufacturer’s positive response to many of what customers complained about in the previous smartphones in the Xperia Z range.

The Xperia Z2 now boasts a perfect display with excellent viewing angles. Contrary to the rumored 2K display, it has actually retained the 1080p resolution (thankfully) but offered improvements in terms of viewing angles and color gamut. Sony says that they are using what they refer to as Live Colour LED technology for their slightly larger 5.2” panel.

The smartphone also comes with two stereo front facing speakers similar to HTC One’s. The waterproof and dust-proof body has been retained as well as the 20.7 MP camera, the largest camera sensor for an Android smartphone. Additionally, the device now comes with a larger 3200 mAh battery but the body has actually been thinned down to 8.2 millimeters.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet was also announced alongside the Xperia Z2. It features the same waterproof body as its predecessor and comes with the Snapdragon 801 processor, similar to the one powering the Xperia Z2.

Various Manufacturers Debut New Mobile Processors

MWC 2014 has served as the launching platform for a number of mobile processors. Notably, chipset manufacturers have followed Apple’s lead in introducing 64-bit processors.

Qualcomm debuted its Snapdragon 801 processor while Samsung introduced its Exynos Infinity. Intel, on the other hand, showed its “super-powered” mobile CPU called Silvermont, which promises 3x better performance and around 5x lower power consumption. MediaTek also joined the fray by introducing their quad core 64-bit chipset with LTE connectivity.

Image Courtesy of suphakit73 /

Image Courtesy of suphakit73 /

Samsung Announces the Galaxy S5

Fans have been hoping that the leaked photos and specs of the Galaxy S5 are not real. Alas, the leaks turn out to be correct. The newest Galaxy S smartphone does not look exciting. It maintains the same Galaxy S  design that many critics assailed. Well, critics—not the millions who have decided to buy the South Korean manufacturer’s flagship. The latest Samsung smartphone flagship is now waterproof (IP67), similar to the Xperia Z2, but it looks bulkier than the Galaxy S4.

Overall, it has the Galaxy S3 appeal with its slightly thicker-than-S4 bezels. Samsung says they are using a new design paradigm called the “modern glam look.” It comes with a patterned back, still plastic, but is said to be more comfortable to hold. The Galaxy S5 will be available in four colors – copper gold, charcoal black, shimmery white, and electric blue.

The S5 processor is a Snapdragon 801, similar to the Xperia Z2’s, but is clocked higher at 2.5 GHz. However, it only has 2GB RAM as opposed to the 3GB in the Z2. It also comes with swipe finger scanner embedded in the home key. The 1080p or FHD display is slightly larger than the Galaxy S4’s at 5.1 inches but is slightly smaller than the LG G2 and Xperia Z2’s 5.2 inches. It also comes with a heart rate sensor and other health monitoring features. The battery is a 2800 mAh cell, which is slightly larger than the S4’s but smaller than the ones found in the G2 and Z2.

The Debut of Tizen

Tizen, the mobile operating system Samsung wishes to promote, made its presence felt at MWC 2014 as Samsung introduced two new iterations of their Gear (smartwatch). Curiously, the company dropped the Galaxy branding from their Gear. Could this signal the start of Samsung’s attempt to break free from Google’s Android operating system?

Image Courtesy of twobee /

Image Courtesy of twobee /

Overall, the first day of MWC looks like a presentation of how technologies from the past year have been made better, slightly augmented, or polished. There have been no breakthrough products or technologies introduced yet. The best that may merit some praise would be the bigger batteries in the thinner devices. The 5000 mAh in the Huawei tablet and the 3200 mAh power source for the Xperia Z2 are definitely welcome developments.

Mobile World Congress 2014 is still on its first day so the devices introduced are not yet the entirety of what to expect from the event. There are more to come. The event appears to be off for a good start although there aren’t really anything worth writing home about. Some manufacturers are indeed listening to what consumers want. Let’s just hope the newer battery technology  developments revealed recently in the news can already be integrated in the electronic devices to be released in the later part of the year or in the next year.