Mar, 18 2014


#MWC2014 has come and gone, leaving behind it a trail of highly anticipated mobile releases. With big announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and more, we’re running down our favorites. If you missed any of our coverage throughout the week, these are the smartphones (and smartwatches) you need to know about.

1. Samsung Gear Fit


Samsung’s smallest new offering perhaps made the biggest splash. Winning “Best Mobile Device” honors at the show’s close, the Gear Fit takes Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatch platform and couples it with fitness tracking sensors to measure heart rate, add up daily activity, and track sleeping habits. Particularly impressive is the Fit’s build, which features a curved Super AMOLED display as part of a compact watch design. [HANDS ON]

2. Nokia X


The Android phone that everyone wished Nokia would make turned out to be anything but. Still, despite the device’s mediocre spec sheet, the Nokia X should not be dismissed entirely. The announcement of the phone, along with the concurrently announced X+ and XL, is a bold move by the company. Their primary focus, however, remains Windows Phone with Android relegated to budget models. [HANDS ON]

3. New YotaPhone


Our surprise favorite of Mobile World Congress 2013 got a sequel this year, and the result was no less impressive. The second-generation YotaPhone takes the dual-screen concept introduced by the original and ratchets it up a notch. While its specs won’t blow anybody away, an improved design supporting the YotaPhones signature eInk secondary display make the device another strong contender for best of MWC 2014. [HANDS ON]

4. Samsung Galaxy S5


The Samsung Galaxy S5 might not have been the phone many wanted and expected, but it was one of Mobile World Congress’ most major announcements. A little under a year since Samsung unveiled the successful Galaxy S4, an upgraded model debuted in Barcelona with a bigger display, faster processor, and “glam” design. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Samsung even included a fingerprint sensor in the new device. Actually unexpected: a heart rate sensor with readings only a fingertip away. [HANDS ON]

5. LG G Pro 2


While we await LG’s followup to their G2 announced last year, a device introduced at last year’s Mobile World Congress saw a refresh. The LG G Pr0 2 enters as the company’s primary contender in the phablet category. A massive 6-inch display is paired with some of the most powerful hardware you will find in a smartphone. While the sheer size might be a turnoff for some, the device lays the groundwork for a truly impressive LG G3 unveiling later this year. [HANDS ON]

6. Samsung Gear 2 & Gear 2 Neo


Samsung manages to get a third spot on our list with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. These updates to the company’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch seek to improve upon Samsung’s first attempt at wearable tech while further refining the experience. This includes a switch to Tizen, an operating system developed in part by Samsung, dropping the Galaxy brand in the process. The original Galaxy Gear wasn’t a great performer for Samsung but the company would appear dedicated to turning those fortunes around. [HANDS ON]

7. Sony Xperia Z2 & Xperia Z2 Tablet


Sony had some updates to their Xperia Z line of flagship devices on hand, including the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet. The Xperia Z2 smartphone is particularly impressive with a list of specs that would please any power user and a sleek design featuring waterproof construction. Sony wasn’t shy about showing the handset’s ability to take a swim and suffer no major damage, as has been a running theme for the company’s smartphone lineup. Sony has yet to make a real splash with consumers (pun intended). Perhaps the Z2 could change this. [HANDS ON (Xperia Z2), HANDS ON (Xperia Z2 Tablet)]

8. HTC Desire 816


HTC makes our list more as an honorable mention. The Desire 816 isn’t the followup to the HTC One that fans have been craving, but it’s yet another example of HTC’s commitment to quality design. The new Desire 816 (as well as 610) won’t do much to challenge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G Pro 2, but the announcement should tide us over until HTC is ready to roll out the big guns. [HANDS ON]

Disagree with our list? Think we left something off? Let us know your favorite finds of Mobile World Congress 2014 and sound off in the poll below.

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