Mobile World Congress: Day 2 – More News From Barcelona

Mobile World Congress 2016 is now underway in Barcelona, and there are a lot of announcements coming from the event. Here are the biggest one for the second day of the congress:

Sony presents new smartphones

Given that Samsung and LG have already presented their big weapons for this year, the ball was now in Sony’s court. That’s why today, Sony did not disappoint: the company has announced a new smartphone line, called the Xperia X. This line will feature three smartphones this year: the Xperia X, the Xperia Performance and the Xperia XA, which was described as a “super mid-range” phone. These new devices will be available in “Summer 2016”.

The X and X Performance models feature a new “Predictive Hybrid Autofocus” camera option, and smart battery management technology. The latter will feature a Snapdragon 820 processor, thus making it Sony’s competitor against Samsung’s newest devices.

The company also has plans to release new accessories for its devices, the first one being the Xperia Ear, a wireless earpiece, powered by Sony’s finest voice technology, with which users can even perform Internet searches, which will be available later this year. Other devices are still in the works, but concepts were presented for Xperia Eye, a compact, wearable wide-angle lens camera;Xperia Projector, which would project onto a clear surface and respond to touch, voice and gestures; and Xperia Agent, a digital personal assistant powered by Sony’s voice technology.

Facebook and Samsung to commit to VR

Facebook and Samsung have recently stated that their place in the Virtual Reality market will not be short-lived, as they will be focusing on making further progresses in this market. Given that their recent partnership in order to make the Samsung Gear VR ended up as a success, it is completely understandable why they would want to step into a new market so aggressively. The companies have both, over the past two days of the congress, presented new VR solutions, both hardware and software, which will undoubtedly help this technology.

Facebook has announced that they are now working on improving their newest video concept, the “360 video”, which is apparently more immersive than regular videos (there are a few online, if you wish to try them out), and Samsung has announced the “Gear 360 camera”, which will be one of the first such cameras accessible to usual consumers.

New players in the 5G market

After AT&T and Verizon have announced beta testing in the future for 5G technology, it seems that more and more companies are following in their footsteps. Seeing this, four major network providers have made a joint cooperation alliance, called the “Open Trial Specification Alliance”. The four participating companies are SK Telecom, KT, NTT Docomo and Verizon, and this alliance will allow them to better work on, test and start commercializing 5G technology between 2016 and 2018.

This global initiative is driven by South Korean company SK Telecom, and will hopefully include more companies in the future, although some have already started criticizing the 5G push, as they feel that it is yet too early.

ZTE updates Blade phone line

Today, ZTE has announced two new smartphones in their Blade line, called Blade V7 and Blade V7 Lite. The former is equipped with a 5.2-inch full HD display, an octacore chip, and a sleek design with 2.5D curved edge glass. The latter is slightly smaller, with a 5-inch display, but will feature a fingerprint sensor and an 8MP camera. The Blade V7 Lite will first be available in Russia, and will then expand to Spain, Germany, Mexico and Thailand.

That’s it for today’s report for Mobile World Congress 2016, but join us again tomorrow for a roundup of the third day!