MWC

Alcatel Idol 4S hands-on: aiming even higher

Alcatel Idol 4S hands-on: aiming even higher

This week we're taking a look at the successor to one of the finest (and most surprisingly fine) budget smartphones of last year. This is the Alcatel Idol 4S. This device keeps its 5.5-inches screen from last year with the Idol 3, but this time (with the 4S) we're working with a full 2K resolution instead of just 1080p. This device employs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 and 3GB of RAM as well as 32GB of internal storage - there's a microSD card slot here as well, of course.

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Of course you look dumb in VR: That’s how you know it’s working

Of course you look dumb in VR: That’s how you know it’s working

Gear VR is everywhere at Mobile World Congress, but the picture you've probably seen - and maybe laughed at - is the sea of Samsung-visor'd journalists blissfully unaware Mark Zuckerberg is strolling past. After all, it's easy to scorn those deep in the virtual reality experience, or point out that wearing a head-mounted display can leave you looking silly.

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LG Rolling Bot hands-on: for talking to your cats

LG Rolling Bot hands-on: for talking to your cats

LG Rolling Bot provides what may be the most enticing cat-person device yet made. We've had the opportunity to go hands-on with the LG Rolling Bot this week at MWC 2016 using the new LG G5 smartphone as a remote, and let me tell you: it's not just strange. It's inspirational. This isn't just what the BB-8 by Sphero could have been in a different dimension, it's what you, cat person, can experience here in this dimension. Soonish!

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This is the HTC Vive consumer edition

This is the HTC Vive consumer edition

Today we've had our first look - up close, that is - at the HTC Vive consumer edition. It's not all that different from the headset that's already been out and visible before now, that being the developer version, but it does have its tiny tweaks. The developer version also went by the name "VIVE PRE" - now we're seeing the version consumers like yourself will be purchasing not too long from now for a cool $800 USD.

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How Samsung plans to take over your car (and maybe save you money)

How Samsung plans to take over your car (and maybe save you money)

Samsung isn't the first company to embrace the smart car concept, but it's certainly among those with the deepest pockets. The new Samsung Connect Auto platform starts out with a nondescript dongle that plugs in underneath your dashboard, but the implications - both for your everyday use of the car, and potentially for how much you're paying in insurance - are much further reaching.

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Galaxy S7 to hit 60 countries on March 11

Galaxy S7 to hit 60 countries on March 11

Samsung smartphone fans are glad to know the details on the long leaked and anticipated Galaxy S7 smartphone. We know about the hardware inside the device, what it will cost on major networks in the US, and now we know when the smartphone will go on sale in 60 countries around the world. That on sale date is March 11 and Samsung is expecting big things from the Galaxy S7 when it launches.

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FlexEnable’s sci-fi wearable previews a flexible display future

FlexEnable’s sci-fi wearable previews a flexible display future

Flexible displays may be a mainstay of science-fiction, but it's only recently that they've started to filter through into production. FlexEnable hopes to overshadow Samsung's curved OLED with its own technology, relying on cheaper LCD panels that use plastic substrates rather than glass so as to be both more imaginatively-shaped and more resilient to impacts and other damage.

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Google gets GSMA, operator backing for RCS messaging push

Google gets GSMA, operator backing for RCS messaging push

Despite the prevalence of Internet-based instant messaging, like that used by Facebook, LINE, and iMessage, SMS remains the most basic way people communicate with their smartphones. Some tech pundits believe that it's time for it to give way to the next generation. One of those is Google, who has heavily invested on RCS or Rich Communication Services. Now, however, it isn't alone anymore. The GSM Association or GSMA, along with more than a dozen operators, have agreed to help push RCS. And adopt Google's RCS Android app as well.

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Sony Xperia XA might skip US, no X Performance for UK, Germany

Sony Xperia XA might skip US, no X Performance for UK, Germany

At MWC 2016, Sony made a surprise announcement, revealing not one, not even two, but three new smartphones under a new Xperia X series. Naturally, there is no small amount of guessing, sometimes even wishing, which markets will get all three or at least even just one of the new devices. Sony's numerous Twitter accounts for different markets, as well as certain retailers and carriers, have been quick to shout out t. But equally important are what these tweets are actually not saying.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 puts the pedal to the metal on gaming, Vulkan

Samsung Galaxy S7 puts the pedal to the metal on gaming, Vulkan

Smartphones these days, especially high-end ones, are so powerful that they can be used for more than just productivity and social chit chat. Gaming usually brings out the best and worst of devices, pushing hardware and user patience to their limits. With the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, perhaps the most powerful Android smartphones in the market today, you might not have to lose your hair in frustration. From hardware to software to accessories, Samsung almost seems to have designed its latest flagships to make mobile gaming a walk in the park.

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Panasonic’s new Toughpad FZ tablets are practically phones

Panasonic’s new Toughpad FZ tablets are practically phones

Those familiar with Panasonic's mobile devices might be aware of the existence of its Toughpad line of rugged tablets. Strangely enough, not all of those tablets are actually tablets, at least as far as size and functionality are concerned. Take for example the new Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1. These two "tablets", running Windows 10 Mobile and Android 5.1.1, respectively, actually come in 4.7-inch sizes, some even with voice capabilities. In short, these tablets are pretty much tough and rugged smartphones built for industrial use cases.

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Elliptic Labs shows first Ultrasound UI for smart devices

Elliptic Labs shows first Ultrasound UI for smart devices

Fortunately the folks at Elliptic Labs are not making smart wearable devices for fetuses. What they're introducing instead is the world's first "EASY IoT software" that works with Ultrasound presence detection and gestures to command smart devices of all sorts. This is an Internet of Things-centric technology, detecting your body or just your hand, setting itself into waiting or active mode, ready to be used at your command. It's sort of like a remote start for your car - you're not in the car yet, but the car is already running.

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