Tagged With mobile world congress 2014

Opinion: Mobile World Congress is coming to a finish over in Barcelona. Phone makers are closing up their stands, pulling down company banners and sliding fingerprint-smudged handsets back into their packing crates. By all accounts, everything went off without a hitch. If you were following the events, though, there's a solid chance you were left unimpressed.

Ford has been riding high on its SYNC infotainment system for years now. But now, the platform it developed in partnership with Microsoft is starting to show its age. It's a good thing that SYNC2 is ready for launch: the new, practically buttonless infotainment system that relies almost entirely on your voice.

"This is a bit disappointing," the comment started. "The rumours were Exynos octa 64 bit, no bezel screen, 2K resolution, multiple SKUs with a premium metallic casing, 32 or 64GB internal storage, (not 16GB or 32GB)," it added, summarising the new Galaxy S5 by finishing, "we got none of this. It's a very incremental update, similar to Apple". What you've just read is a real comment about the Galaxy S5, and there are hundreds of less civil ones like it. I'm here to tell you it's time to reassess what we expect from a smartphone.

We love fitness trackers. I wear a couple myself both in my iPhone and Android devices, as well as devices from Jawbone and Fitbit on my wrist. But they don't do anything. I'm still an overweight, sedentary guy who doesn't work out enough, and I'm finding that between my Pebble and my Jawbone and my Fitbit, I have run out of wrist real estate. I would trade all of them, however, for the Samsung Gear Fit: this weirdly beautiful curved screen floats above your wrist.

Right on schedule: the Galaxy S5 is here, and we've got everything you need to know about the new waterproof, dustproof, fingerprint sensor-packing, HD screen flashing and rad software-toting flagship. In short? It's awesome, and we have details for Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.

The Yotaphone first caught our attention last year, with its seemingly crazy combination of 4.3-inch front-mounted LCD and 4.3-inch E Ink display around the back. At Mobile World Congress 2014, the Russian team from Yota Devices is back, with a redesigned and reinvigorated Yotaphone boasting larger displays and some seriously powerful hardware.

ZTE has a long history of working away steadily in the background, producing an extensive line-up of entry-level and mid-range mobile devices that are often rebranded by carriers like Telstra and Optus. At MWC 2014, though, it's showing off a line-up of new smartphones to get the ZTE brand into the hands of the budget-conscious and buyers in emerging markets.

Life trackers are all the rage right now, but why do they all have to look the same? Giant band, tiny screen (if any) and an obnoxious interface. What about designs direct from the future? Thankfully, there's the new Samsung Gear Fit to the rescue: a curved OLED touchscreen for your wrist.

Back in January at CES, we got a very brief look at Sony's first activity tracker, dubbed The Core. It's a tiny little pod that can be worn on your wrist in its SmartBand, or tucked discreetly into your pocket. The CES announcement was really just a tease, but finally a few more details have been unloosed, including its rapidly-approaching availability.

Huawei has just announced a new Mobile WiFi hotspot with LTE-Advanced support, able to download data at speeds up to 300Mbps -- that's twice as fast as current top speeds. The new Huawei E5786 conforms to the latest and greatest Category 6 LTE standard, also known as LTE-Advanced; no Australian network uses Cat 6 just yet, but future-proofing is always a good thing.

Samsung made every effort to give you power over your virtual life from the comfort of your wrist with the Galaxy Gear smart watch. It sadly didn’t work out as well as could be expected. Improvements were made and hardware was polished, and today it pays off: meet the new Tizen-powered, refined Gear 2 and its new younger brother, the Gear 2 Neo.