MWC 2014: all the latest phones, tablets and smartwatches
2nd Mar 2014 | 12:18
Mobile World Congress 2014 is winding down
MWC 2014: all the latest news
MWC 2014 is the show where the mobile magic happens.
It's the show where most of the hottest mobile devices of the year are seen first. And it's the show that TechRadar loves over all others!
The show is well under way now, with most of the major launches having taken place. We're currently scurrying around in Barcelona tracking down all the hot new products that we haven't played with yet.
So while we do that, take a browse through our brand-by-brand guide to everything that's happened and everything we've seen in Barcelona so far...
Samsung launches Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone
The S5 is finally here...
Samsung's latest flagship is official: the Samsung Galaxy S5 is here and it comes with a host of quite familiar-sounding features. While there's no real headline feature to push, the device comes rocking a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen and, taking a leaf out of Sony's book, it's water- and dust-resistant. As expected, there's an iPhone 5S-esque fingerprint scanner on the home key. Rather than just placing your thumb on it, you slide a finger down the key to unlock the screen. Read: Samsung announces Galaxy S5 smartphone
Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S5 review
The one you've all been waiting for...
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the latest challenger from the South Korean brand to launch into an ever more crowded market, but at least this time the phone has focused on what users might actually want rather than useless gimmicks. The Galaxy S4 was a strong phone in spite of the insistence that being able to wave your hands over a phone or scroll with your eyes was a good thing. The Galaxy S5 takes the DNA of that handset and improves on it in most areas. It's a quiet improvement though, which may disappoint a lot of people looking to see the world's highest-res display and an all new metal chassis, but it's one that at least delivers where consumers need it. Read:Samsung Galaxy S5 review
Galaxy S5 release date set for April 11
That is, in 150 countries. No specifics have been relayed by Samsung, but 150 nations is sizable enough chunk to get the new flagship rolling.
US carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have announced they plan to carry the Galaxy S5. All major Australian telcos have also announced that they'll carry the handset when it's released Down Under.
Look for Samsung's other new tech, including the Gear 2, to land April 11 as well.
Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5S
It's time for the Galaxy S5 hype to die down and for us to take a hard look at how the new Samsung flagship stacks up to the previous generation and the competition.
J Rogerson has done just that in pitting the Galaxy S5 vs the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S5 vs the iPhone 5S. How does the new handset stack up on specs such as camera, screen, CPU and OS? You'll just have to read to find out.
It's about substance over gimmicks
Seemingly learning lessons from the feature-packed Galaxy S4, Samsung has decided to turn its attention to the features customers (supposedly) really want; a great camera, durable design and performance, fitness features and fast connectivity.
That was the message delivered by Co-CEO JK Shin in introducing the phone, but we'll see how it plays out when the phone goes on sales April 11.
Samsung has sold 200 million Galaxy S phones so far
Stats revealed at MWC keynote
Samsung revealed during its Samsung Unpacked keynote at MWC 2014 that it's sold 200 million Galaxy devices around the world so far. The figure came from the mouth of Samsung's Head of Mobile Communications, President and CEO JK Shin, just before he unveiled the Galaxy S5. "I truly appreciate the 200 million customers around the world who have chosen our Galaxy devices," Shin said. Read the rest of the story here
Samsung updates original Galaxy Gear
Tizen tis comin'
The original Galaxy Gear is going to get a new lease of life as Samsung brings it in line with new smartwatches. Bought the old Galaxy Gear and currently regretting your decision? Worry not – Samsung is going to bring you right up to date. The new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo both are using Samsung's new Tizen-based platform for its smartwatches, and as such a greater wave of developers have been signed up to create wrist-based apps. There was a worry that there would be no love for the older model, but a Samsung spokesperson confirmed to TechRadar that the Android would be stripped out and replaced with the new OS. Read:Galaxy Gear gets Tizen update
Released SDK means more Gear 2 apps
Want people to use your smartwatch? Then give them some apps to take tinker with on their wrists. Thanks to Samsung's decision to release the Gear 2 SDK, we should see plenty of third parties take full advantage.
Look for apps focusing on health and fitness, lifestyle, social, commerce and entertainment.
Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo revealed
Gearing up for another rack at smartwatches
Samsung has decided that even though the first Galaxy Gear launched just a few months ago, it's time for a new version - and on top of that, a cut down option as well. Surprisingly, Samsung has actually removed the 'Galaxy' part of the new smartwatches' moniker, presumably as it's running Tizen rather than Android. At least it's made our headlines look a little cleaner. They've arrived in the shape of the Samsung Gear 2 and the Samsung Gear 2 Neo - and come with some nifty technology that actually looks like it might give them a chance of being more impressive at launch.
Read:Samsung's wrist reboot: Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo unveiled
Hands on: Samsung Gear 2 review
The smartwatch to beat in 2014?
The new Samsung Gear 2 is the watch that we were all expecting to happen at MWC, but it came with a few surprises along the way. The biggest one is the fact it's running Tizen; or, as Samsung tells us, a Tizen-based OS for smartwatches. The distinction is largely irrelevant, as the upshot is a faster, more efficient and longer-lasting watch. The new Gear 2, shorn as it is of the Galaxy name thanks to not coming with Android, is a much better device compared to the original thanks to some key upgrades. Read:Hands on: Samsung Gear 2 review
Hands on: Samsung Gear Fit review
The new wristband/watch from Samsung
Samsung is betting big on fitness in wearables being a big deal in the next few years, and as such is releasing a number of products to appeal to a number of market segments. Those not enamoured with the Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo can opt for something altogether more understated: the Gear Fit. This band is much simpler than Samsung's range of smartwatches, with its primary function being to let you track when you walk, run, cycle or hike – the latter of which Samsung seems a little obsessed with. It's surely just walking. Read:Hands on: Samsung Gear Fit review
Samsung Gear 2 vs Gear 2 Neo vs Galaxy Gear
Key features and differences between the three smart watches
Samsung's had another stab at owning the wrist – but what's the difference between the two? We all expected Samsung to launch a new Galaxy Gear at MWC 2014, but to have two come along at the same time is a little odd. If there was a vast difference between the spec sheets, we'd understand the logic, but there are many similarities between the two watches, which will make it hard for the prospective buyer.
Read:Samsung Gear 2 vs Gear 2 Neo vs Galaxy Gear
Samsung Gear 2 release date, news and features
Everything to know about the second wave of Samsung smartwatches
If you just want to get the latest on all things Samsung smartwatches, this is the page for you. The Samsung Gear 2 is a surprising addition to the MWC 2014 party, not just because it's predecessor has been on sale for such a short amount of time but because it's been joined by a little brother: the Gear 2 Neo. The Gear 2's got the same 512MB of RAM as the first iteration, but with a dual-core 1GHz processor, which is much needed over the original.
Read:Samsung Gear 2 release date, news and features
Motorola says it's working on a new smartwacth
Samsung had its time in the wearable sun, not it's Motorola's turn. Moto revealed during a MWC sit-down that it has a new smartwatch in the works, one it plans to unveil "within months." Not much is known about the new wearable, except that it will run Android, keep the Motorola brand, NOT use Tizen and that it has the full support of Lenovo. Isn't that sweet?
New Moto X release teased for late summer
Not to ignore its mobile phones during a mobile trade show, Motorola also dropped a hint on Twitter that the new Moto X is coming soon. Even more specifically, late summer. We expect to see customization carry over as well as some of the X's nifty sensors, but what else could Motorola be cooking for its next flagship? Read:Moto X release is right around the corner
HTC Desire 816 revealed
1080p recording and built-in amplifiers as standard
Among the glut of phones at MWC 2014, HTC revealed what it is calling its 'flagship mid-range' device, the HTC Desire 816. We knew that HTC wouldn't be offering up information on its successor to the HTC One - you have to wait until 25 March for that - but what we did get from HTC was a decent mid-range device that comes equipped with some rather impressive specs.
Read:HTC Desire 816 hoeps to tempt you before the One 2 is released
- The All New HTC One: what you need to know
Hands on: HTC Desire 816 review
HTC gets awfully glossy
After getting our eyes up close to the HTC Desire 816, we couldn't wait to go one step further and actually touch the damn thing. So that's exactly what we did, and there was nothing you could have done to stop us. In case you missed it, HTC announced its mid-range phablet at MWC, and aside from the naff name, the phone brought made pretty agreeable promises along with its 5.5-inch screen. Read:HTC Desire 816 review
HTC smartwatch ambitions live on
Though we didn't see a new smartwatch from HTC on MWC Day 1, we did learn that the company's plans to release one by December are still a go. HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang said in a show interview that the company's smartwatch will focus on better battery life, use Bluetooth to connect to a phone and will have aesthetics to please any fashionista. What's more, HTC is apparently keen on tablets, so stay tuned for more on both fronts.
Nokia X and Nokia X+ Android phones revealed
Nokia has revealed at MWC 2014 that it is no longer a pure Windows Phone handset manufacturer but an Android one too, with the launch of the Nokia X and the Nokia X+. In a move that will surprise no one – there has been leak after leak about Nokia jumping into bed with Android – Nokia revealed the Nokia X on stage, with CEO Stephen Elop saying that: "The Nokia X is built on Android open source software. We have differentiated and added our own experience."
Read:Nokia reveals Nokia and Nokia X+ Android handsets
Nokia goes big on Android with 5-inch Nokia XL
Goes big, then goes home
If you thought Nokia was going to stop at two Android phones, you were wrong: enter the Nokia XL, a 5-inch Android-based almost-phablet. Specs are a bit sparse at the moment, but we do know there's a 5MP camera with flash and auto-focus, and a 2MP front-facing camera. That 5-inch screen is a WVGA affair, too. Like all the Android-based Nokia X range, the XL comes without Google's Cloud services - instead, it focuses on Nokia and Microsoft's services like Skype (as you'd expect from a company in the process of being bought by the Windows-maker).
Read:Nokia goes big on Android with 5-inch Nokia XL
Android on Nokia: what you need to know
Why it's happened and what it means for you
This week's launch of Nokia's new X handsets has generated more headlines than you'd expect for a family of fairly low-end devices. That's because the Windows Phone-supporting, soon-to-be-part-of-Microsoft phone firm has embraced Android. Here's what you need to know: tech first, and then what it means for Nokia, Windows Phone and Microsoft.
Read:Android on Nokia: what you need to know
Hands on: Nokia X review
Nokia's first Android phone under the microscope
The Nokia X is a hard phone to work out – on the one hand, it's a super cheap handset and as such has the budget specs you'd expect. On the other, it seems to be not much better than the Lumia 520, which is a Windows Phone handset and supposed to sit above it in the product line – on current prices, it's also cheaper. There are some worries here even for the developing nations: that 4GB of storage could get eaten up quickly, and while Nokia is touting the ability to add third party apps through other stores, new phones can live and die by app availability and that could kill the Nokia Android project. The Nokia X is constructed well enough, has a interesting new UI and is breaking new ground – but as a new phone, it seems a bit expensive for what's on offer.
Read: Hands on: Nokia X review
Hands on: Nokia X+ review
The middle child...
In isolation, the X+ is a perfectly palatable hunk of plastic boasting a surprisingly nice screen a perfectly acceptable performance level for the price point - and an interesting Android experience. It's not perfect, performance is not the speediest and the non-Google app experience is not an ideal solution, but despite its bulk it's not an unpleasant device to hold or use, especially at its low price. And that means that the X-range has the potential to be a very big deal for Nokia in the markets it is targeting. Read:Nokia X+ review
Hands on: Nokia XL review
The super-sized Nokia Android handset
The Nokia XL is aimed at a narrow area of the market and it's a smartphone which will likely have big appeal in emerging markets, but less of a presence in more developed areas. A look at the price point and the spec sheet confirms this, but the fact Nokia has done a big screen device which has its roots in Android could be a sign of things to come from the Finnish firm.
Read:Hands on: Nokia XL review
Sony launches Xperia Z2
It's the flagship 4K handset we've been waiting for
The Sony Xperia Z2 just got official as the company unveiled the new 5.2-inch flagship smartphone over at MWC 2014. The phone's headline feature is Sony's 20.7MP camera - it's an Exmor RS for mobile image sensor featuring the award-winning G Lens - basically, it's pretty good and your photos should look sweet. Videos shot on the Z2 shouldn't be too shabby either, as the handset can capture in 4K resolution. Those photography smarts are backed up by Android KitKat, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor - a 2.3GHz quad-core Krait CPU - as well as 4G LTE connectivity, NFC, 3GB of RAM and a 3200mAh battery.
Read:Sony Xperia Z2 is the waterproof 4K handset we were hoping it would be
Hands on: Sony Xperia Z2 review
Sony's super-powered phone is in our hands
The Sony Xperia Z2 is a phone that can be viewed in two ways. On the one hand, it's an excellent upgrade over the Xperia Z, and features all the top end technology you could want in a very premium-feeling chassis. On the other, it's too much like the Xperia Z1, which is only a few months old – albeit a much better version. I'm still not a fan of all that bezel above and below the screen, nor am I confident the camera will be excellent in low light. But for a flagship phone, Sony has made a very well thought out device that ticks nearly every box you can think of, and then some.
Read:Hands on: Sony Xperia Z2 review
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is the world's lightest and slimmest
Powerful and waterproof - much like David Hasselhoff
Sony is pushing out its waterproof technology once more with the arrival of the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet. Announced at, surprise surprise, MWC 2014 the Sony Xperia Z2 is a slim and lightweight tablet that is also waterproof. But just how light and thin is it we hear you cry? Well, it measures 6.4mm and weighs in at 426g. If you want a bit of LTE and 3G functionality then the weight is upped to 439g. Sony is also saying that its tablet is the world's most powerful too. This is because it is packing a Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3GHz quad-core Krait CPU and to round it off an Adreno 330GPU.
Read:Sony announces the Xperia Z2 tablet
Hands on: Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review
Great power and a lovely screen promise a high asking price
Apple didn't need to add much to the iPad Air, and proved the case with a slightly improved processor and an overhaul on the design front. Sony had already overachieved on that front in 2013, so the sequel was never going to scale the same heights. However, it's still a really great tablet, shaving weight off to make it feel nicer in the hand and giving the upgraded CPU that will keep the spec-heads happy. Is it worth the higher price that it will command when the prequel is going to be much cheaper? It's hard to say yes from a purely fiscal standpoint - but there's enough in terms of design, technology and power here to say it will probably be the most impressive tablet on show at MWC 2014.
Read:Hands on: Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review
Affordable Sony Xperia M2 lands with 4.8-inch qHD screen
The "slimmest and lightest" handset in its class
Sony's new Xperia M2 comes boasting hardcore processing power in a slim, impressive-looking package. It's not up there with its twin, the Xperia Z2, but the M2 comes with a 4.8-inch qHD screen and 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor under the hood, at a price point that Sony describes as 'mid-range'. Not to be sniffed at either is the 8MP camera - not exactly the 20.7MP sensor of its bigger brother, but it does come with Sony's Exmor RS for mobile and bespoke Xperia camera apps so you should still be able to eke some pretty decent shots out of it.
Read:Sony launches Xperia M2 budget handset
Hands on: Sony Xperia M2 review
A first look at Sony's mid-range handset
It's very difficult to rate mid-range handsets, because on one hand they seem very poorly-built compared to their high-end brethren, and it's really tricky to work out if the money you'll save is worth the drop in build quality. On the other hand, the likes of the M2 still have a quad-core processor, some nifty technology on board and have more than a modicum of thought gone into the design, so it's hard to lambast them too hard either. In summary: the Sony Xperia M2 is a solid, if unspectacular, phone that ticks the boxes and brings enough of the Japanese brand's tech to make it feel wanted. However, it's unlikely to be number one on any prospective buyer's wishlist.
Read:Hands on: Sony Xperia M2 review
Hands on: LG G2 Mini review
The LG G2 Mini is a decent smartphone, but it may have arrived a bit too late to really make the same sort of impact as the S4 Mini or One Mini. If the G2 Mini does rock a similar price tag to its rivals then perhaps its larger screen and big battery will help it get some grounding in the market - but we're just going to have to wait and see.
Hands on: LG G Pro 2 review
LG's new phablet to take on the Galaxy Note
The LG G Pro 2 is a decent supersized smartphone and if it does manage to make it out of Asia then it will give the current crop of phablets a real run for their money. The various camera enhancements will attract a certain crowd, while we could see the innovative Mini View crop up on rival devices as manufacturers look to squeeze every last bit of usability from their smartphones. The LG G Pro 2 is definitely one to watch, and one to hope for.
Read:Hands on: LG G Pro 2 review
Hands on: LG L40 review
Low-cost handset unbreaks the bank
The LG L40 rocks up as at the bottom of the Korean firm's mobile totem pole, taking over from 2013's rather disappointing LG Optimus L3 2. Previous L series handsets have been rather underwhelming, especially the entry level devices, but the third generation on show at MWC 2014 have more about them than their predecessors. The L40 still isn't going to blow you away in terms of specs, but it is at least a setup and the 3.5-inch screen now boasts a 320 x 480 resolution. Nothing special sure, but at least it's not a pixelated mess.
Read: Hands on: LG L40 review
Hands on: LG L70 review
The mobile in no-mans land...
With the low-end L40 and the slightly larger L90 the LG L70 finds itself in no mans land, filling a gap which probably could have been left unfilled. It's likely to be priced at a similar level to the Moto G, which is a far superior handset, and I fear the L70 may get lost in the bustle of the budget market.
Read:LG L70 review
Hands on: LG L90 review
A bigscreen budget handset
The LG L90 is the flagship handset for the Korean firm's third generation L-series range of budget focussed devices, bringing with it the latest version of Android and a decently sized screen. Rocking up with a 4.7-inch display the L90 gives you enough real estate to play with, although at a resolution of just 960 x 540 it's certainly isn't the sharpest screen you'll lay eyes on. Read:LG L90 review
Huawei makes 4G affordable with new tablets and smartphone
Huawei is back in the tablet game after an absence of over a year, and it's bringing CAT 4 4G connectivity to the masses with its two news slates. The 8-inch MediPad M1 sports a 1280 x 800 display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 768MB of RAM, 8/16GB of internal storage, 4800mAh battery and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean - and of course 4G connectivity. The more interesting of the two tablets is the MediaPad X1, which sports the same resolution, full HD display as theNexus 7, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, 4G support and a huge 5000mAh battery.
Read: Huawei's superfast new devices
Huawei TalkBand is a smartwatch with a Bluetooth headset built-in
It's a wristy business
Huawei has unveiled the TalkBand B1 over at MWC 2014 - a wristband with a 1.4-inch flexible OLED display. Its main focus is fitness, and it promises to track sleep patterns as well as steps taken, calories burned and so on. As well as the wrist-based business, the TalkBand B1 comes with a detachable Bluetooth earpiece that you can use for taking calls.
Read:Huawei's new TalkBand smartwatch
Huawei TalkBand B1 review
Wristbands for everyone!
The Huawei Talkband B1 is an interesting proposition and shows once again manufacturers are still unsure what features should go into a smartwatch. I feel Huawei may have got the balance almost right with the Talkband B1, although it may want to have a word with its designers as it isn't the most attractive piece of kit on the market. Read:Hands on: Huawei TalkBand B1 review
Hands on: Huawei Ascend G6 review
The affordable alternative to the P6
Last year Huawei launched its flagship Ascend P6 smartphone, and now at MWC 2014 the Chinese firm has added to the range with the Huawei Ascend G6. As you may have guessed the G6 isn't a replacement to the P6, rather it's a more affordable option which shares the same design ethos as its bigger brother. The key facts about the Ascend G6 are its price and connectivity. While Huawei was unable to give me a firm price, I was told that it will come in at under £200. Not bad for a handset which is sporting the latest version of 4G technology - CAT 4 - giving you a super speedy internet connection.
Read:Hands on: Huawei Ascend G6 review
Hands on: Huawei Media Pad X1 review
This is the Huawei tablet to watch
If Huawei can sort out the lag in the interface and improve the image quality from the camera the MediaPad X1 is set up to be a serious contender in the 7-inch tablet market. Its Achilles heel however could be its time to market, as by the time it's managed to get into stores the competition may have introduced their next-generation tablets - putting the Media Pad X1 out of contention before it's even started.
Read:Hands on: Huawei MediaPad X1 review
Hands on: Huawei MediaPad M1 review
The slightly less exciting Chinese tablet
The Huawei MediaPad M1 is a solid 8-inch tablet, but it doesn't exactly excel at anything - if you want a cheap tablet the feature packed Nexus 7 would be a better option, although it does sport a smaller screen. Of course if you fancy a bit more screen real estate check out the G Pad 8.3, iPad Mini 2 and Galaxy Note 8.0. If those are out of your price range the Huawei MediaPad M1 is shaping up to be a decent affordable alternative - plus the option of 4G is a nice one to have.
Read:Hands on: Huawei MediaPad M1 review
ZTE Grand Memo II is another 6-inch Android beast
On show at this week's MWC 2014 in Barcelona is the 'ultra-slim' 6-inch Grand Memo II LTE handset, a successor to the original device launched at the event in 2013. The phone features a new version of the MiFavor UI it uses to paint over Android, with KitKat being the flavour of the day. It also comes with a Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. There's LTE nous, as well as a 13MP rear-mounted camera and a 5MP front-facing one. The 6-inch HD display comes in a 7.2mm frame, backed up with a 3200mAh battery that ZTE reckons should last you for 16 hours playing HD video. The Grand Memo II should hit China in April before setting out for Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. No word on pricing yet though.
Read:ZTE Grand Memo II is an Android beast
Hands on: ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE review
ZTE's bigscreen wonder
A big phone needs big power and ZTE has equipped the Grand Memo 2 relatively well, but the 1.2GHz quad-core processor is a little disappointing. If you're in the market for a top of the range phablet the ZTE Grand Memo 2 LTE is not for you. Its cheap build, average screen and childish UI pigeon hole it as an affordable phablet, but even then you might want to consider a standard size smartphone over this ZTE offering. Read:ZTE Grand Memo II LTE review
Hands on: ZTE Open C review
A cheap, but not especially cheerful phone
You have to make allowances for phones that are aiming at a particular price point, and to compare this device with the Samsung Galaxy S4 or even its higher-ranged ZTE Android brethren would be folly. But there's no excusing some of the issues that proliferate on the Open C - a poor screen, woolly multi-touch and build issues that don't sit well alongside the other lowly specs. So, in summary, it's cheap and it runs an OS that none of your friends are likely to have; but given its myriad issues even the bargain bin is looking aspirational at this point.
Read:Hands on: ZTE Open C review
Lenovo launches three new Android smartphones
Just because Lenovo recently acquired Motorola, doesn't mean it plans to stop pushing its in-house smartphones, something evidenced by the launch of three new handsets at MWC 2014. The company has unveiled the S860, the S850 and S660 Android handsets, promising a little bit of something for all sectors of the market. The S860 is the flagship device, with a 5.3-inch, as-yet-unspecified 'HD' screen, 2GB RAM and a MediaTek quad-core processor, but the real kicker is the promise of all true all day battery life.
Read:Lenovo launches smartphones for everyone
Lenovo announces Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ Android tablet
No KitKat just yet, though
Lenovo's latest tablet continues its flexible approach with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ bringing a Full HD screen to the repositionable slate. Landing today at MWC 2014, the tablet comes with a 10.1-inch display that rocks Full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution, and the cylindrical battery means you'll be able to use it in the same 'hold', 'tilt' and 'stand' modes as its predecessor, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10. Under the hood we're looking at a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor backed up by 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage.
Read:Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ bends and twists but doesn't come with KitKat
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ review
We really love the screen on this new Lenovo Yoga, but the fact is the resolution still lags behind some other larger-screened tablets such as the iPad Air. The difference is price - this tablet is significantly cheaper than many competitors and is still quite powerful. Whether you plump for it could come down to the physical design. Do you want the built-in stand? If the answer is yes, then this makes for a great Android alternative to Microsoft's Surface. Read:Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ review
The best of the rest at MWC 2014:
Hands on: Acer Liquid E3 review
The Liquid E3 is a nice handset that doesn't rely too much on its rear-button feature (or "gimmick" as some people will call it). With its 720p screen, decent front-facing camera flash and Android 4.4 on the horizon, there's a lot of the good stuff going on. And (sigh) yes, it's a good one for the selfie lovers. Read:Acer Liquid E3 review
Hands on: Acer Liquid Z4 review
Low-end phone with a low-end screen
The Acer Liquid Z4 is all about being compact, affordable and as friendly to as many user demographics as possible. It wants to offer total one-handed control at a decent price, and for the most part it succeeds. It's not going to win any spec battles, but the Z4 could prove to be pretty popular with its low price point. And with screen sizes getting bigger and bigger, it's interesting to see Acer putting out something that goes against the tide.
Read:Hands on: Acer Liquid Z4 review
Pop goes the Alcatel with new tablets and phones
Now you can wear your phone if you want to...
Alcatel has announced a slew of new phones and tablets, with the hope that its Pop range is colourful enough to rise above the rest of phones released at this year's MWC. First up is the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Fit, which is a phone that you can wear. And by wearing it, Alcatel means you can strap it to your wrist. Like a watch but it's a phone. Crazy. Read more
Hands on: Alcatel OneTouch Pop Fit review
Alcatel can not be described as lacking either a sense of adventure or the desire to shout about their new things from the rooftop. Whether the devices in question make sense is an entirely different kettle of fish. The Alcatel OneTouch Pop Fit is, almost beyond question, an interesting device - designed to be a wearable phone and music device for those that like exercise and music. So far so good. Read:Alcatel OneTouch Pop Fit review
64-bit Android coming this year
A 64-bit version of Google's Android operating system is only months away from an official launch, according to Jeffrey Ju, vice president, Smartphone Business Unit at Mediatek, during an impromptu briefing yesterday. He said that Q3 will be when that elusive beast will be announced, one that is likely to carry the moniker Android 5.0. Q3 is also when, traditionally, Google is expected to announce the followup of the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7 2013 edition. Read the full 64-bit story
WhatsApp to offer free phone call feature
WhatsApp is adding voice calling to its popular instant messaging app, with iOS and Android the first two OSes to get the new features. At WhatsApp's MWC press conference, CEO Jan Koum said that some BlackBerry and Nokia phones will be next in line for the voice messaging update.
Read:Soon you'll be able to call people using WhatsApp
"WhatsApp is worth more than $19 billion"
Undervalued at $19 billion? That's what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg said of WhatsApp at MWC. The massive social network paid big time for the messaging app's global reach, and even boxed out Google, which was seeking an acquisition as well. Facebook must have big plans for Whatsapp if it place its value so high. Read the full story
RealPlayer Cloud takes private video-sharing global
Taking a leaf from Dropbox's book
RealPlayer Cloud just went global, with the software for moving, watching and sharing videos now available around the world. With apps on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows 8, Kindle Fire, Roku and Chromecast, RealPlayer Cloud describes itself as the "Dropbox for video" while ignoring the fact that Dropbox is already pretty much Dropbox for video. Read:More about RealPlayer Cloud
HP launches Pavilion x360 convertible PC
Slate VoiceTab is making its way to Europe
HP has announced a new convertible laptop PC at MWC 2014, and it's been taking a few style cues from Lenovo's Yoga range by the looks of things. Called the HP Pavilion x360, it takes the form of a touchscreen-equipped convertible that totes a 360-degree hinge, allowing you to use it as a laptop or a tablet. It features an 11.6-inch HD display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch and also includes built-in Beats Audio with dual speakers and HP Connected Music. Read:HP Pavilion x360 is a Yoga-inspired convertible PC
Emporia handsets aim to push the right buttons
Aimed at older generations
Emporia Telecom has announced four new mobile handsets at MWC 2014 that get physical by bringing tactile buttons back from the wilderness. The company, which services and sells phones for the 60-plus generation, aims for orientation and simplicity over features with its new emporiaEUPHORIA, emporiaGLAM and emporiaPURE handsets. The news may be also welcome to those in business fed up with fumbling to call contacts and type out longer messages and emails, as an accompanying survey found. Read:Emporia handsets launch for older people
SanDisk Ultra microSDXC 128GB proves less is more
Memory card's bark is as big as its bytes
SanDisk has built the world's smallest 128GB microSDXC card using proprietary technology, making the stress of mobile back-up a thing of the past. Being shown off at MWC 2014, the SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I is being billed as the world's smallest microSDXC card with the largest capacity. Read:SanDisk's new microSDXC cards
MWC 2014: what was expected pre-show
Think the world can't possibly accommodate any more smartphones? You think wrongly.
Despite the fact that our planet currently contains more unique designs of mobile phone than there are visually identifiable snowflake forms, we're about to be hit by a deluge of new mobiles.
On February 24, 2014 the plastic-formers and die-casters of the world will unleash their next-generation models at Mobile World Congress 2014.
This year non other than Mark Zuckerberg will grace the stage a MWC 2014, highlighting the show's importance even further - possibly pushing it above CES.
MWC is the annual mobile tech event where pretty much every major phone hardware company shows off its new flagship models for the following spring/summer contract renewal market.
Samsung at MWC 2014
So - it's very different to how we expected things to be for Samsung at MWC 2014. Far from having a separate event, the South Korean brand is 99.9% certain to be launching the Galaxy S5 at the event.
- Samsung Galaxy S5: what you need to know
The invites for the event were sent out a couple of weeks before the start of MWC and it's covered in little number 5s, which means you don't need to be a brain rocket scientist surgeon to work out what may appear at 8pm in Barcelona.
Here's something you might not know: the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly appear in two variants, encompassing a metal frame with high-res screen and a polycarbonate version that sticks with the traditional 1080p display.
There's a chance those two could be switched as the metal version is reportedly hard to make on a grand scale, so we're intrigued to see how Samsung plays this.
The brand is also widely tipped to bring the Galaxy Gear sequel to the masses at MWC, a strong sidekick to the Galaxy S5 that will help it in the battle against the iWatch, which will come later in the year.
Samsung already jumped the MWC 2014 gun by announcing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite ahead of show, although Barcelona will probably be the first time we're able to get hands on with the slate - we've also heard a lot of rumours of a Galaxy Tab 4 range too.
The Korean firm has also confirmed the existence of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo (rumored as the Galaxy Note 3 Lite) - and we expect to see this for the first time at MWC as well.
We saw several Samsung tablets arrive at CES 2014, but there's still talk of a 13.3-inch monster slate with Android and Windows dual-boot abilities like the Ativ Q, as well as a range of Android only devices.
Samsung looks set to go big on its in-house mobile platform Tizen - finally - at MWC 2014, with reports revealing invites have been sent out for a Tizen-only event at the show.
Nokia at MWC 2014
Windows Phone has had a pretty triumphant few months, with Microsoft's partnership with Nokia finally bearing fruit and WP's market share slowly increasing. IDC's recent numbers put it at 3.6% (Q3 2013), compared to 2% in Q3 2012 - a healthy 156% increase.
People seem to be remembering that they used to like Nokia, and although the company has released the likes of the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520 tablet in recent weeks, there may be more to come. Recently, the Lumia 1820 and Lumia 2020 have been rumored, with the latter likely to be a new flagship 8-inch tablet.
The big news however is the mystery around the Nokia X handset - a smartphone apparently running a heavily skinned version of Android which would see the Finnish firm stepping away from its Windows Phone-or-bust rule.
Nokia is making a big deal about trees and monkeys for its MWC activities, which we literally cannot decipher. Does the monkey mean Android, and the tree stand for Microsoft? Where does the DNA pattern come in? Either way, Nokia is up to something.
On top of that we're expecting to see something that pushes the envelope in the Windows Phone game, in the shape of the Lumia 930. This will bring the same specs as the powerful Lumia 1520 but in a smaller form factor - possibly even as tiny as a 4.5-inch screen, while still offering a 1080p screen and quad-core processor.
We should also see the first hardware set to launch with the Windows Phone 8.1 Blue software pre-loaded at MWC 2014, an OS update that's expected to massively overhaul WP's notification system, boost the multitasking options and incorporate a voice-based personal assistant feature. Because everyone's got to have a Siri function, even if no one ever uses it.
HTC at MWC 2014
HTC used to be Mobile World Congress banker, using the event to launch its newest models. In 2012 it gave us the HTC One X and One S, but in 2013 even HTC turned its back on the Barcelona show, launching its flagship HTC One ahead of time.
In 2014 we expect HTC to launch a new flagship, thought to be currently going under the development name of HTC M8, which rumors suggest will be a device with a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and Android 4.4 as its launch OS beneath an updated HTC Sense 6.0 user interface.
- The All New HTC One: what you need to know
This sounds rather like... most phones nowadays. Still, if HTC can whack in the same sort of top-drawer speakers and camera as the HTC One, we'll be buying it and eBaying last year's model, as ever.
Sad news though for Barcelona fans: HTC won't be chucking it out at the annual phone trade show, preferring a simulcast event between London and New York on March 25.
But it's not forgetting about its yearly sojourn to the Spanish city: there will still be the Desire 8 on show, which is set to be a larger-screened phablet dubbed the Desire 8 with some pretty decent specs for a mid-range model.
This was promoted in China by HTC already, which means it could be a device with a more Asian slant, but it should still get a decent Western push.
LG at MWC 2014
LG is back on the smartphone A-list thanks to its successes with the excellent Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, both of which have encouraged people to consider its own-brand efforts like the LG G2 more than they perhaps might have done before Google salvaged its reputation.
Last year LG revealed the Optimus G Pro and the updated affordable L series range at MWC 2013, and true to form its announced successors to both of these.
The LG G Pro 2 (just to confuse us with the naming game) packs a larger 5.9-inch full HD display (1920 x 1080), the same 2.26GHz quad-core processor you'll find in the LG G2, 3GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of storage and the addition of a microSD slot, and will be on show at the... well, show.
On top of that we've also been told that the third-generation L Series phones will land with KitKat at MWC 2014 as the other South Korean player tries to make a splash at the low- to mid-range of the smartphone game - predictably these all run Android and come in a range of sizes.
And if that wasn't enough, the Korean firm has also launched the LG G2 Mini ahead of the Barcelona show, although with a 4.7-inch display it isn't exactly small.
There are a few key LG rumors that may be resolved at MWC 2014 too. LG is said to be Google's hardware partner for an updated Nexus 10 tablet, plus it's also recently registered the trademark "Glasstic" -- which may be some sort of Google Glass competitor.
Sony at MWC 2014
With the Xperia Z1 only just launched, we wouldn't forgive Sony for taking it easy and just bringing along a couple of those for people to play on and some t-shirts to give away. Surely it can't be preparing to release another flagship smartphone already.
Wrong. It seems the Japanese firm is going big, and going hard at MWC this year despite its Vegas-based exploits.
First up it seems almost certain that we're going to see a new flagship from the firm, which is going to irk Z1 owners who just shelled out loads for what was supposedly 'the best of Sony in a smartphone'.
Well, it looks like it will be outshone by the handset most are (understandably) dubbing the Xperia Z2, which will run Android KitKat according to the leaked video of the 'Sirius D6503' - which seems to be a better Z1.
- Sony Xperia Z2: what you need to know
A new UI, 4K recording and Background defocus which will "take photos with beautiful background blur like a DSLR camera" according to leaker Rimas Flyil.
A comparison photo of it and the Z1 show that it's a little taller than the Z1, which means it's probably got a larger display too - we're really hoping that we get something in a higher res too.
What else? Seems a refresh of the tablet as well, which means the Tablet Z will be getting a refresh - according to @evleaks, this will be the Sony XperiaTablet Z2, which means we're apparently looking at a powerful tablet wrapped up in a tiny 6.4mm frame.
Sat inside that impossibly thin frame is said to be a fairly standard 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor as well as 3GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Thankfully microSD support is also thrown in - making it very similar to what we've seen before but with some good spec bumps.
None of this is confirmed as yet, but if it does happen, Sony is in for a bumper time at this year's premium mobile phone-a-thon.
ZTE at MWC 2014
This time around it's confirmed it will be bringing the Grand Memo 2 and Firefox OS sporting ZTE Open C smartphones to the show, as well as its own smartwatch - the ZTE Grand Watch.
Samsung isn't the only manufacturer linked to a Tizen device either, with the ZTE Geek device appearing on the Tizen website listing for its presence at MWC.
Huawei at MWC 2014
The Chinese phone maker is rumored to be preparing an update to the decent Huawei Ascend P6 and is, rather unsurprisingly, sticking the fashionable number "7" on the end to signify that it's newer and better.
- Read the latest business technology coverage from the likes of Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and Huawei on TechRadar Pro
The Ascend P7 is said to arrive running a full HD display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, 2GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage.
There's also word of a new 7-inch tablet under the name of "Media Pad X1" and a lower end smartphone going by Ascend G6.
Panasonic at MWC 2014
We last saw Panasonic at MWC back in 2012, where it was flaunting the Eluga and Eluga Power. Unfortunately neither handset really made a splash and led to Panasonic pulling out of the mobile game in 2013.
It may not be gone for long though, as there's new reports suggesting it's working on a new rugged smartphone. Watch this space.