Hands On

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge hands-on: 2015’s hard-hitters

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge hands-on: 2015’s hard-hitters

You might want to sit down for this one: Samsung has, with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, finally built the Android smartphones we’ve been asking it for. Freshly announced at Mobile World Congress 2015 today, the new flagship pair also debut a new design language for the South Korean company, taking what was hinted at with the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4, and finally doing away with Samsung’s old plastic fetish in favor of metal, glass, and - in the case of the Galaxy S6 edge - double-curved AMOLED. Read on past the cut for my first-impressions.

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HTC One M9 hands-on: Android goes luxe

HTC One M9 hands-on: Android goes luxe

The HTC One M9 is here, and it feels mighty familiar. The company’s new flagship, unveiled here at Mobile World Congress 2015, takes the premium metal unibody of its predecessor and slots in a new chip, new camera, and tweaks what has already proved to be a popular design. And, while it might be easy to discount the One M9 at first for being an evolution rather than a revolution compared to the phones that came before it, HTC’s argument is that such an approach is exactly the route it needs to take: refinement rather than replacement for its own sake. Read on for some first impressions.

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Huawei’s TalkBand N1 wants desperately to be fashionable

Huawei’s TalkBand N1 wants desperately to be fashionable

Huawei has a new set of Bluetooth headphones that also serve as a fitness tracker, and it’s hoping you’ll like it so much that you’ll wear it as a necklace even when you’re not working out. The Huawei TalkBand N1 isn’t the first paid of Bluetooth headphones we’ve ever seen, but they’re certainly some of the smallest: just 18g despite including active noise cancelation and a nifty magnetic clasp which holds the earbuds together around your neck when they’re not in your ears.

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Huawei TalkBand B2 hands-on: Double-duty wearable

Huawei TalkBand B2 hands-on: Double-duty wearable

Last year, Huawei tried to convince us that we needed a combination Bluetooth headset and activity tracker; for MWC 2015, it’s the turn of its glamorous sibling, the Huawei TalkBand B2. Hewn from metal and leather rather than the plastic of its B1 predecessor, and targeting wearers who might be looking to replace a traditional watch rather than fitness band, the TalkBand B2 is fronted with a 0.73-inch AMOLED display, while inside there’s a self-learning algorithm that claims to cut down on fake readings.

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LG Watch Urbane hands-on – Android Wear in metal

LG Watch Urbane hands-on – Android Wear in metal

You can’t accuse LG of slacking on Android Wear, with the LG Watch Urbane the third model to run Google’s smartwatch platform. Announced a few weeks back, but making its official debut here at Mobile World Congress 2015, the new smartwatch keeps the circular P-OLED touchscreen of its G Watch R predecessor, but frames it in a brand new, high-quality metal casing for a feel more akin to traditional timepieces.

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HP Spectre x360 hands-on: When PC makers get OCD

HP Spectre x360 hands-on: When PC makers get OCD

The HP Spectre x360 is, if you're brave enough to play Devil’s Advocate, the Windows notebook you create when you channel Apple levels of obsessive-compulsion. Latest in HP’s high-end ultraportable family, the new Spectre isn’t just a capable aluminum laptop but a turning point in involvement between an OEM and Microsoft: a never-before-seen investment in time, energy, and Very Clever People. In fact, you could well argue that the Spectre x360 is the Surface Laptop that Microsoft refuses to make. I caught up with both companies to get my hands on their collaborative aluminum slab, and find out what makes it really special.

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LG Watch Urbane LTE hands-on – Phone freedom

LG Watch Urbane LTE hands-on – Phone freedom

LG has two smartwatches for MWC 2015, but it’s the LG Watch Urbane LTE that’s arguably the most interesting. Packing LTE for standalone connectivity rather than demanding a nearby paired smartphone, and running not Android Wear but a heavily modified version of webOS, it may look like its Watch Urbane sibling, but that’s only skin - or metal - deep. Read on for some first-impressions from here in Barcelona.

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Moto E 2015 Unboxing: inside Motorola’s special package

Moto E 2015 Unboxing: inside Motorola’s special package

Inside the Motorola Mystery Package we were promised last week comes the Moto E. Our review unit, complete with a box that's massive. This box has some clever outer bits - a "Slide to Start" marking to implicate the package opening direction and a "Fragile" stamp that suggests this is BREAKING NEWS. Inside is a wild Motorola presentation center with sliding doors and an array of bumper covers to outfit the Moto E. A wooden USB stick with information on it about the device and a tag to get us in to the special showing.

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Xiaomi Mi Note hands-on: More than just an Apple clone

Xiaomi Mi Note hands-on: More than just an Apple clone

Xiaomi is on a charm offensive, and that means setting the record straight. Outspoken VP of International Hugo Barra returned to San Francisco alongside Xiaomi President Lin Bin to introduce the MIUI flavor of Android, not to mention the latest Mi Note smartphone, to a curious - if a little skeptical - tech press. Wildly popular in China and other countries, but known more for the inspiration it's accused of taking from Apple and others in the West, Xiaomi isn't quite ready for a US launch but thought it was high time we saw just what Chinese users are enjoying.

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Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

The pace of mobile chip development is relentless, something Qualcomm knows better than most with its new Snapdragon 810. Announced nearly a year ago, yet only set to show up in commercial phones and tablets in the coming months, the new Snapdragon arrives at a challenging time in mobile: raw performance simply isn't enough to win customers any more. So, it was with expectations broader than for just another fast chip that I sat down in Qualcomm's San Diego offices, the new Mobile Developer Platform (MDP) tablet and phone in front of me. After the cut, yes, there are benchmarks, but pure potency isn't all that you should care about.

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