MWC has wrapped up, and Android Community is leaving Barcelona. Over the time spent in Spain, quite a bit was seen. In wrapping up our coverage of the event, we wanted to reflect on the highlights — and lowlights — of the event.
Why not start there, right? Samsung’s Galaxy S5 was easily the biggest announcement at MWC 2014, commanding a bulk of the coverage on launch day. While it was everything we expected it would be, there were a few neat features we didn’t expect. A pulse monitor on the back was unexpected, and really kind of cool. We’re not sure we’d use it much, but it’s there for those who would.
The three Gear wearables were also interesting, as was the inclusion of Tizen — on two of them, at least. Save for the Gear fit, which apparently has no real OS to speak of, the other two Gear devices are Tizen, Samsung’s proprietary OS. Likely to be their wearable OS moving forward, Tizen seems capable of simple tasks, but likely won’t be a powerhouse. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are a nice upgrade from the bulky Galaxy Gear, but also a step back with Tizen. Time will tell how that move will work for Samsung.
We’ve come to expect top-end devices from Sony, and they didn’t disappoint this year. The Xperia Z2 smartphone was a nice upgrade from the Z1. Aesthetically, we were a bit let down there were no changes, but why mess with success, right? If they’re confident people will find that design attractive enough for another year, then we’re happy to have it. Inside, a slew of minor tweaks to the software only increase its value. With regard to specs, the Z2 is just not going to be beaten.
The Z2 tablet was a nice addition, and was shockingly thin. Essentially, it’s a Z2 smartphone with a 10.1-inch screen. Same specs, same everything except for the camera hardware and software. Their M2, however, promises to be the cream of the mid-range crop. Taking Sony’s dedication to quality and bringing it to the notoriously spotty mid-range market will be an interesting move, and one we’ll keep an eye on.
We covered Lenovo’s stuff in-depth earlier in the day, but it’s worth saying that what they’re bringing to the world of mobile tech is really interesting. Aside from their purchase of Motorola, Lenovo has a slew of devices that are really nice. At just about every price point, Lenovo has something we liked at MWC — and that’s saying something. We look for them to make a big splash in 2014.
The Nokia X devices were a bit more than we expected, but we’re still not sure that’s a good thing. They’re low cost, and the hardware choices bely that distinction. Though we got what we expected wight he hardware, the software choice surprised us.
Not quite Android, but also not a forked version, we don’t know what to make of the X’s software. Nokia’s take on apps is almost theft, as they promise Android apps can be ported over without change, by and large. It’s almost a parallel version of Android, aimed at emerging markets. We’re going to give this time before calling it a failure or success, but for now — it’s strange.
MWC is tough -- always is, probably always will be. Running around, covering devices, and weaving our way through traffic is always a chore. This year's MWC was made a lot easier with our Scottevest gear. The ability to shove all our tech in a coat, shirt, or vest made a huge difference. We were also a bit shocked not to be weighed down with all that tech, but our Scottevest stuff kept us moving.
There was a ton of stuff on display at MWC this year, and we suggest you take a look at our MWC 2014 tag for more in-depth coverage of all the fun we had. Blackphone, Acer, Huawei — there was just a lot going on we couldn't get to in this post. We had a lot of fun covering it, too, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.