Архив метки: MWC

What to expect from Mobile World Congress 2019

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: 2019 just might be the year that smartphones get fun again. After years of similar form factors and slight upgrades, the mobile industry’s back is against the wall.
For the first time ever, sales are down, owning to economic factors and slower upgrade cycles. Most people who want good phones have had access to them for a while, and smartphone makers are providing fewer compelling reasons to buy new ones.
With their backs against the wall, handset makers are getting creative. We’ve already seen some early fruits from companies late last year and last month at CES. But MWC is really going to be their time to shine. It’s a much larger mobile show, and all parties know that everyone’s bringing the big guns.
Here’s what we expect to see in Barcelona February 24-28.

Huawei: The company looks to have a lot on tap for the event — in part because the North America-based CES is kind of a non-starter. CEO Richard Yu has hinted at a foldable and a 5G handset — which could well be the same phone. More mainstream are the P30 and P30 Pro. The company’s done a good job keeping it under wraps, but rumors about three or four rear-lenses have made the rounds.

LG: As is its move, LG has already announced the G8 ThinQ. We know that the new flagship will feature a front-facing camera with Time of Flight sensor that brings potential tricks like face unlock, along with AR applications. The V50 is also reportedly on tap, potentially bringing 5G along for the ride.

Microsoft: A surprise addition to this year’s show, Microsoft’s already announced an event for February 24, where we expect the company will show off the HoloLens 2. The next-gen version of the headset will arrive as the rest of the hardware and software world is finally ready to embrace augmented reality in earnest.

Motorola: The recent launch of the G7 may have taken the wind out of MWC’s sails, but rumors of a foldable Razr reboot are making the rounds.

OnePlus: We know that a 5G handset and the OnePlus 7 are both in the pipeline — and, perhaps, one and the same? There’s also tell of a closed-door event at the show, but most aren’t expecting any big unveils from the company.

Samsung: Don’t expect a ton out of Samsung this year. The company (inconveniently) is holding its big event a mere days before. Expect the S10 and all its iterations to get a big unveil that week in San Francisco, along with a preview of the company’s upcoming foldable. That doesn’t leave a heck of a lot for MWC, but perhaps we’ll get a peek into the world of wearables or PCs.
Sony: While Xperia phones have long felt like a bit of a loss leader, the electronics giant has always made a big show of launching flagship devices. Those, in turn, have long been a launchpad for some exciting camera tricks. This year, the Xperia XZ4 appears to be on tap for the event. The handset looks to be an interesting one, with a reported 21:9 aspect ratio display and a beefy 4,400 mAh battery.

What to expect from Mobile World Congress 2019

Jack to the future for Huawei? P30 leak hints at the return of the headphone port

Huawei, currently the world’s second-largest smartphone company by sales, has won over users partly by loading its devices with a ton of new features, from wireless charging to top-class cameras and catchy cosmetic features like the colorful gradients on their shiny backsides. Now, a leaked image of its next flagship Android phone appears to reveal a surprising reverse course. According to Indian blog 91phones (and via Engadget) its next premium device, dubbed the P30, will feature a HEADPHONE JACK.
What’s that, you say? Aren’t headphone jacks so yesterday?
Well, it turns out that sometimes progress isn’t universally loved. (Pour one out for the futurists here.)
Over the past couple of years, Apple and others have gradually removed the jack from their devices.
Yes, it’s been done in the name of thinner handsets and more features like waterproofing. But — let’s be honest — also most likely also to up-sell people to those very pricey, sometimes pretentious-looking wireless earphones.
But you know what? People — say, those who have a favorite set of corded headphones, or who hate the idea of losing the ability to charge using said headphones — are still missing those inky black holes.
Huawei has been no different, removing its jack in the P30’s P20 predecessor.
But the leaked image reveals that it seems to be making a return in the familiar lower edge of the handset, to the left of the USB-C charging port.
Other features revealed in this and previous leaks of the phone include a six-inch screen, more of that gradient backing, a 24MP selfie camera in a streamlined notch on the front, with a Sony triple camera at 38MP with 5x optical zoom on the back, and no fingerprint sensor port, with the device likely to be shipping in 128GB and 256GB versions.
Huawei overtook Apple as the world’s second largest smartphone vendor in Q2 of 2018, and the last two quarters have only cemented that position. In Q3, only Samsung (the leader) and Huawei saw shipment growth among all the top players; and as for Q4, well, Apple’s given us a little preview of what we will expect there.
Interestingly, Apple specifically has singled out China as a disappointing market when it comes to iPhone sales: Huawei happens to be the market leader there.
So — if this leak is accurate — it’s interesting to think that as Huawei grows often by aggressively following the playbook of other brands, it may be making a bold move by bringing something back that appeared to have gotten discarded in the tech march forward.
If its pace of handset sales continues to stay strong, this could be coming at a key time for Huawei. The company remains in hot water with governments in Europe, the US and elsewhere over questionable and potentially illegal business practices, and that appears to be potentially impacting its massive telecoms equipment business and its lucrative deals with carriers.
As for when this supposed phone might launch, we’re just about to kick off CES in Vegas, but it’s unlikely to appear here. The P20 launched in March last year, a few weeks after the big MWC mobile event in Barcelona, and that could potentially be the same timescale the company follows again.
We’re contacting Huawei for comment and will update this post as we learn more.

Jack to the future for Huawei? P30 leak hints at the return of the headphone port

T-Mobile Announces The HTC One S: $199 On-Contract On April 25 (Hands-On)


It’s only been a few short hours since AT&T announced the availability of HTC’s mamma-jamma One X smartphone, but there may be a few more tricks coming out of HTC’s sleeve before the day is done. For example, T-Mobile just sent over a bit of news regarding the One S, namely that it will launch on April 25 for $199.99 on-contract after a $50 mail-in-rebate.

We first spotted the One S back at MWC in Barcelona, and generally speaking we found it to be a pretty sweet device.

This time around, I walk away feeling the same sentiments. I’m all about the design, specs are adequate, and Sense is an entirely tolerable custom overlay.

Let’s delve deeper, yes?

It’s an HSPA+ device, meaning it will take advantage of T-Mo’s 42Mbps speeds. Past that, we’re looking at 1.5GHz dual-core chip, an 8-megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p video capture, and a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display.

HTC’s been building out its ecosystem a little differently than other phone makers, signing deals with companies who already have this or that service nailed rather than trying to build something from the ground up. That said, Beats Audio integration will come packed within the One S, as will 25GB of free storage with Dropbox.

Ice Cream Sandwich is certainly present and accounted for here, but you may not recognize it. HTC laid its Sense UI on top of the OS, which is good news considering that Sense is actually a pretty worthwhile skin, but bad news for those of us who prefer a vanilla experience.

I got the chance to go hands-on and came away feeling great about this handset’s future. 4.3-inch displays is where I draw the line, which works out well for the One S, and HTC did an excellent job of walking that fine line between feeling light and feeling cheap.

We’ll be hitting you guys with a full review before the week’s over, so you can be sure to know where you stand before sauntering into a T-Mo store come April 25.

In the meantime, check out this hands-on video we grabbed at MWC this year:

Hands-On Gallery:

T-Mobile Announces The HTC One S: $199 On-Contract On April 25 (Hands-On)

Change Is Good: HTC Axes HTCSense.com Cloud Service, But Its Successor Could Be Huge


Good night, sweet prince. Whether you knew about it or not (my money being on the latter), HTC’s HTCSense.com has provided users with online backup and device location services since October 2010. In an effort to “improve” their customers’ experience though, HTC has recently announced that they will officially shutter the HTCSense.com backup service so they can focus on revamping their cloud offerings.

Worry not, you HTC loyalists, you’ll be able to download all of your digital effluvia (contacts, messages, and the like) in a handy .zip file before April 30. But this whole thing raises a hefty question — what is HTC planning to do next?

Quite a bit, if the company’s string of parnterships are any indication. HTC realizes it’s time to go big, and key deals with cloud-loving companies like Dropbox (file storage), Dashwire (mobile data backup) and Intertrust/SyncTV (streaming video service) all point to the possibility of a much more robust HTCSense cloud service coming down the pipeline.

Representatives for the Taiwanese company were as tight-lipped as ever, and I’m not privy enough to internal chatter to make any bold claims, but the company certainly seems intent on gathering up an impressive roster of teammates. It’s not unthinkable that HTC would seek to tie all of them together under the HTC Sense brand, which itself got a boost when the UI bearing the same name got its own revamp at this year’s MWC.

I suspect that, in light of all of HTC’s other big partnerships, we’ll also be seeing a considerable bump in their new cloud service’s reach and visibility. Honestly, before this news started making the rounds, how many of you had heard of the HTCSense backup service, let alone used it? It launched in late 2010 with support for only two devices, and while HTC made minor improvements in the intervening years, it never really seemed like the success that HTC was hoping for. The company has already rolled out commercials playing up additions like Beats Audio, so if something as substantial as a multifaceted HTC Sense cloud service appears, you’ll probably be hearing a lot about it.

As Digital Trends points out though, HTC could have some issues when playing up their new services. To offer a cloud backup service, abruptly, and expect users to jump in the pool once again is indeed a bit of a leap. The big difference is that HTC’s new pool has the potential to be far more compelling than the original one-off backup service. Once they’ve got that in place, they’ll have a potentially tremendous selling point for all of their hardware releases — access to a formidable HTC Cloud. Sure, the abruptness of the transition may have ruffled a few feathers, but it could all be worth it if HTC delivers what I’m hoping they will.

Change Is Good: HTC Axes HTCSense.com Cloud Service, But Its Successor Could Be Huge