Despite its odd name, Mobile World Congress manage to still be one of the most important industry conventions each year, especially when it comes to smartphones and tablets. This year, the tech world was surprised to see the return of the convention hosting a couple very large smartphone announcements, most notably the Samsung Galaxy S5.
However, it wasn’t only Samsung’s show. There was a number of fantastic devices, mostly of the Android variety, shown off at show’s many press meetings. Here are the 5 best devices from Mobile World Congress 2014:
LG has never been known for its understandable naming conventions, but the G Pro 2 seems almost intentionally confusing. The G Pro 2 is the follow up to last year’s Optimus G Pro, the company’s Galaxy Note 3 competitor. The G Pro 2 feels like a solid update to the G2’s way of doing things: Buttons in the back, plastic on the back, and software features up the wazoo. Though it still lacks the Note 3’s S Pen stylus, the G Pro 2 has some really nice ways to fully utilize the extra screen real estate.
Not only has Samsug done away with the slippery plastic backs of its flagship line, it’s even reskinned a lot of the software too. Everything here looks “flattened” and thoroughly KitKat 4.4. The Galaxy S5 now includes a grippy plastic feel. It’s a big step forward from the model’s line in the past for a brand that has never been known for cutting edge design, both in terms of software and hardware.
This newest flagship smartphone from Sony comes hot on the heels of last fall’s Xperia Z1. Although the Z2 doesn’t feature a different design, the phone now comes with a brand new display that has some of the truest color reproduction you’ll find out. The Z2’s display also has fantastic viewing angles, is waterproof, and is full HD. In other words, an already great phone just got a lot better.
The Galaxy Gear smartwatches are just the kind of devices I would never put on my body. Even with the announcement of the new Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear Neo, they still feel like odd, niche devices to most of the world. The Galaxy Gear Fit, which was announced at Samsung’s meeting at Mobile World Congress this year, feels like the perfect halfway point between a Fuelband and the Galaxy Gear. Featuring a sleek AMOLED curved display that actually makes its shape useful (unlike devices like the LG G Flex), the Gear Fit removes all the clutter that holds back the Gear and gives you just what you need: phone notifications and some biometric data.
After announcing the discontinuation of their Vaio laptop brand, Sony seems more determined than ever before to focus in on their mobile markets and take it by storm. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is Sony’s newest iPad competitor—the only difference is that this time, it actually does compete. This 10.1” tablet is even thinner than the iPad Air—and the display looks fantastic as well. Thanks to the G Pad and Nexus 7, an Android tablet resurgence is finally building and the Xperia Z2 Tablet just might be one of the movement’s frontrunner in 2014.