Mobile World Congress 2014 jumped to life over the weekend, when some of the industry's biggest players introduced dozens of new products. Tablets, smartphones, wearables, and more were on display in and around Barcelona.
Samsung was first out the gate with two new smartwatches: the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Both devices are more or less the same, save one feature. The most significant detail about the Gear 2 is that it drops Android in favor of Samsung's own Tizen operating system. You wouldn't know it to look at the user interface, which is the same as the original Android-based Galaxy Gear. Samsung was sure to say it wants to feature Tizen more prominently across its product mix. Samsung says a few dozen apps will be available at launch (unlike the 80 that were available for the original Gear). Some of the apps will include CNN, Expedia, eBay, Evernote, Feedly, Path, PayPal, and The Weather Channel.
The hardware features a 1.63-inch touch screen with 320 x 320 pixels, 1-GHz dual-core processor with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, and a 300-mAh battery that's good for several days of use. Unlike the original, Samsung built the Gear 2's camera into the body of the watch itself, rather than the strap. That means the strap can be interchanged, allowing owners to personalize their device a bit. The watch also includes an IR port and a remote control application for home theater equipment. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (which doesn't have a camera) will be available worldwide in April. Pricing wasn't announced.
As promised, LG fully revealed the G Pro 2 and G2 Mini. It had already previewed both devices earlier in the month. The G Pro 2, in particular, is a classy addition to LG's smartphone lineup. The G2 Mini is a smaller, less-thrilling version of LG's G2 flagship smartphone from last year. It is lesser in almost every way (screen, resolution, processor, memory, camera, etc.). Both will reach the US later this year.
Huawei had a ton of gear on deck. The two most significant pieces of hardware were the Ascend G6 smartphone and the TalkBand wearable.
For the full story, see EETimes' sister site InformationWeek.
— Eric Zeman is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.