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Future Tech: 

MWC 2015: 5 things to get excited about

The curtain hasn’t quite fallen yet at Mobile World Congress, but with the major announcements all being made nice and early we’re able to take stock of the last four days of phones.

Earlier this week we looked at some innovative new smartphones looking to break the mould, offering radical alternatives to the black or silver rectangles we’ve become so used to. In Barcelona, the smartphones on show looked a lot more familiar, but there was still plenty to get excited about as well as a few surprises throw in for good measure. Here’s the best of the bunch;

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

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With Apple traditionally leaving product announcements to it’s own events, Samsung is left in the clear to dominate at MWC. There was no change in 2015, as the company announced not one but two additions to its smartphone fleet.

As expected, this included the Samsung Galaxy S6, but perhaps more intriguing is the S6 Edge, adding a curved display alongside the relatively conservative design of the S6. The biggest news from Samsung, though, is that both of these phones will be able to be charged wirelessly, promising 4 hours of battery life on a super speedy 10 minute charge.

HTC One M9

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HTC was also at MWC 2015 with the latest version of its own flagship smartphone. The HTC One M9 isn’t reinventing the wheel, but instead makes subtle yet positive changes to a phone that was already very, very good. The new phone ditches its UltraPixel camera for a more conventional 20 megapixel snapper, while it also supports 4K video and 5.1-channel Dolby surround sound.

HTC Re Vive

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It’s not all about phones at MWC, and among the other gadgets on display the biggest surprise was this virtual reality headset from HTC. The Oculus rival (which, as Mashable points out, could be called either Vive or Re Vive) uses a couple of 1200 x 1080 displays that are said to refresh at 90 frames per second– that means it could be almost jitter-free.

Aside from photorealistic visuals, HTC also said it will pair its headset with something called a ‘Steam VR base station’, which sounds like a treadmill-like device to help you navigate your virtual surroundings without controllers. We can’t wait to learn more.

Pebble Time Steel

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Pebble has had a great couple of weeks. Back in February the company returned to its crowdfunding roots and became Kickstarter’s most funded project ever – a feat that’s all the more amazing when you consider the campaign still has 22 days left on the clock. With over $16 million in the kitty so far (breaking the previous record of $13.5 million), it looks like it might stay that way for a while yet. Your move, Coolest Cooler.

At MWC 2015, Pebble launched its Time Steel smartwatch which offers a sharper, sleeker and more professional aesthetic. As The Verge pointed out, it looks an awful lot like Apple Watch which is set to be launched officially next week, but it’s also bound to be a fraction of the price. Smart move.

Blackphone 2

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While the original ‘ultra-secure’ Blackphone might have been hacked within 5 minutes, that hasn’t deterred its manufacturers Smart Circle, who returned with a new and improved version of its handset at MWC 2015. Blackphone 2 hasn’t just upped its security, but it’s also a generally much-improved smartphone – sporting a 5.5-inch Gorilla Glass display, 3GB of RAM and a 3,060mAh battery. It won’t be for everyone, but the improved spec puts Blackphone back in  contention, and there’s also a 7″ tablet to follow later in the year.

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