- Screen: 5-inch AMOLED 1920 x 1080 Full HD
- Camera: ZEISS 20-MP PureView
- Chipset: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 @ 2.2 GHz
- Memory: 2 GB
- Storage: 32 GB (no expansion)
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1
- Connectivity: LTE, HSPA+, GSM, WCDMA; NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
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Quite clearly very passionate about the technology, chief Huawei device designer Joonsuh Kim told me that the main aim for him was to make people fall in love with Huawei devices. Kim hopes to provide consumers with something other than just technology.
He said: "Literally we are touching the consumer's heart. That means you can feel that you are emotionally engaged with a Huawei device."
To Kim, the device is all about user preference, and he believes that once consumers start adapting to their devices, they will want to use them for everything.
He states that even though the Huawei brand may not be big yet, it's starting to get through to consumers. Its aim it to deliver users with a "pleasant surprise" through usability, comfort, and a perfect combination of hardware and software.
When building the concept for a phone, Kim considers several user scenarios to make sure there is always a device that caters to what consumers want - including the ability to have multiple SIMs, a more professional device which is lighter for increased portability, low-cost devices, or a personal-only device.
The design team make sure that the hardware appeals to the user they are targeting, providing particular features to appeal to different types of audience such as business professionals, young users and entry-level users.
Kim also believes that using Huawei's knowledge and connectivity in networking, it can be a leader in 5G when the time comes.
During a presentation on device innovation, Kim used Angelina Jolie as an example of a perfect human being (following up by commenting that although she might have been considered the most attractive woman in the world, that was several years ago... ouch) and that aesthetics are very important when targeting the appropriate market.
It just goes to show that even the smallest tweaks in design can make the biggest difference to consumer behaviour.
This week the first smartphone designed by online retail giant Amazon was revealed, and its Dynamic Perspective feature allows the screen to present images in 3D to the user based upon the position of their heads. The question is whether or not this is what people actually want or need.
The Dynamic Perspective feature, which uses four front-facing cameras and infra-red LEDs all built into the screen of the phone, allows the device to perform functions such as automatic scrolling to prevent users from having to touch the screen, and screen tilt depending on the user's head position.
Although these things may improve user experience, my main concern would be the feeling that you're being watched, as the phone monitors you to ensure that you are fully immersed in any activities you are taking part in, such as watching videos or playing games.
Perhaps more worrying, then, is the never-before-seen Firefly feature, which uses data that Amazon has collected on physical items, text, audio and text and audio recognition in order to allow users to scan products barcodes or QR codes in order to search on Amazon to allow purchases from its online store.
This also works for TV programs or songs; Firefly will recognise things in the environment around you and allow you to buy it right then and there through the Amazon store. All through the touch of the built in Firefly button.
Specs at a glance:
• Processor: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.2 GHz
• Memory: 2GB RAM
• Display: 4.7-inch HD
• Camera: 13MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera.
Whether consumers will see this as a genius invention or a ploy to make them spend more hard earned cash where it counts has yet to be seen, but its other feature - the Mayday button - is similar to that on the Kindle Fire and allows the user to video chat with a helpline whenever they need assistance with the device, which contributes to a good consumer experience.
The device will be available in the US by the end of July, exclusively on AT&T, at a starting price of $199.
At this week's WWDC 2014 - the conference that tells developers everything they need to know about what Apple has planned for the future - Apple introduced its next mobile operating system iOS 8.
The new OS brings with it over 4000 new APIs in order to allow developers more opportunity to make applications for Apple's flagship iPad and iPhone devices.
There was a focus on the new HealthKit API, which will allow developers to build apps directed towards fitness and health services. With speculation of an Apple wearable on the horizon, enabling applications such as this could be a step in the smartwatch direction.
Apple also took a leap towards the internet-of-things trend with its new HomeKit API, designed to allow developers to make apps that will allow communication with other devices around the home.
Finally, Apple lightened the restrictions on its touch ID technology, meaning that users will now not only be allowed to access their iPhone lockscreens with the touchpad, but also log into apps. This is of course only on the 5S at the moment, but may also be used with future iPhones.
Although this announcement isn't quite as exciting as the eagerly speculated iWatch, it still encourages the use of smartbands/watches with Apple devices in the future, and brings us one step closer to using our phones to control all things household.
Developers have access to iOS 8 now, but the rest of us will just have to wait.
I picked this nifty gadget up during Showstoppers at the MWC conference in Barcelona. This phone case/band uses a substance called D30 to reduce impact to your phone when you drop it.
The band of D30 implanted around the case disperses the force of the impact so that the rest of your band feels the force as opposed to your phone. This video shows a demonstration of the D30 material:
The case did feel a little loose on my phone, but not loose enough that it would slip or fall off. As well as the band, the case comes with a plastic back cover to protect the other side of your phone, but this part doesn't seem necessary. When you're constantly travelling or multitasking, making sure you invest in a good case for those breath-stopping moments when your phone slips from your hand is vitally important.
I did take the plunge and drop the phone with the case on, and the device survived intact with no damage, so it seems that Tech21 is on to a winner. The official price for this is around £18, but can be found elsewhere online for less, and as well as providing protection for your phone, it also looks pretty funky and comes in a range of colours.
With Sony recently bowing out of the PC market in favour of pushing its smartphone arm, we expected big things from any new devices announced at MWC.
It seemed that the new Xperia Z2 is really an upgrade of Sony's previous phone. However, i's full little changes that make all the difference. For example, the Z2 uses a wider colour spectrum on its 5.2 inch screen than on previous devices. It uses TRILUMINOUS display technology to better show reds and greens, so images look really clear, and when next to an older smartphone, you can clearly see the difference in colour when looking at the same picture.
It also has a capability called X-Reality which cleans up low resolution video by analysing a clip and filling in gaps and pixilation.
From a business perspective, the Z2 supports a new feature called Small Apps, which essentially allows the user to multitask by running an app in a small floating window, which could come in quite useful if you needed to look at two things at once in a meeting or presentation.
Obviously any Android business apps that take your fancy are available, as well as the Xperia calendar, Email and Contacts apps to keep everything in order. Plus, any data held on the internal SD card is secured by 256-bit AES encryption.
It's still water and dust proof, it's light and thin, and it hits the spot for those in the market for a premium Android device. And the best bit? It also comes in deep purple. Perhaps Sony has made the right decision.
You can also use the new Sony SmartBand alongside the Xperia Z2, a life-tracking band that has an advantage over other health monitors.
The band monitors pretty much everything you do in life and on your phone. It knows when you're walking, running, sleeping, cycling, gaming, driving, chatting. It has a small unit that sits in a rubber band which you strap to your wrist. The core unit can tell by your movement what action you're currently partaking in, and it monitors the applications used on your phone for data such as when you're talking or playing Angry Birds.
The strap was slightly uncomfortable and a bit loose on my wrist, with two little prongs that press through holes in the wrist band to loosen and tighten the strap. The texture of the band was comfortable though, and it comes in a number of different colours.
The core has to be taken out and charged once a week. The band is water proof, and the idea is to wear it 24/7 - even in the shower. As everyone in the world keeps getting busier, these devices that can tell us where we're going right or wrong are becoming increasingly more popular, and this band goes the extra mile in giving you more information about your day beyond how you slept, the steps you've taken and the calories you've burnt.
We're hoping to get these devices in for a full review soon, so make sure to check back.
Samsung has been very busy this year, having already launched a new range of products in January at CES in Vegas.
They definitely saved the best until last though, as the new Samsung Galaxy S5, announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is an ultra-stylish and easy to use smartphone.
As I approached the stands I had my usual sinking feeling when I noticed its size; it's another quite big smartphone, and I often complain that I find larger phones hard to use. Expecting the size to make it heavy, I used a considerable amount of force when picking it up, and then almost dropped it because it was actually extremely light.
This, in turn, makes it easy to use, as it fits nicely in your hand, but gives you the opportunity to move your hand around a bit to cover the larger screen without fear of dropping it.
The interface is easy to figure out, and the buttons that you will need most, including the icon that switches the phone between home screen and app screen, are situated near the thumb so that they can be easily reached and pressed.
There are obviously the usual improvements on previous models, including a much faster and clearer camera and faster usage speeds. A few nifty features of the phone, though, include the ability to be totally emerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, which is a nice step beyond basic splash-proofing.
It also has a power saving mode for sticky situations, allowing you to shut off almost all functions of the phone, including the colour, and receive only calls and text messages. It may seem like a drastic step, but it will conserve the battery life for 5-8 days, which could be really helpful if you're stranded somewhere without a charger.
I received a practical demonstration of a new feature that allows the phone to use a combination of Wi-Fi and 4G in order to increase internet speeds. Considering the thousands of people using the Wi-Fi and data connection at the event, the web really did zoom.
It also has a new built-in heart rate monitor for use with sporting or whatever it is you'd want to use a heart rate monitor for. You simply hold your finger over the sensor for a few seconds and stand perfectly still until it tells you what your heart rate is. I have to admit though, and I'm not a doctor so I don't know how accurate it was, but when I tested it, my heart rate seemed a little lower than normal. Let's chalk it up to the noise level in the room interfering with the sensor.
Finally I also got to take a little look at the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, which has a new home button, which does what it says on the tin, a repositioned microphone so that the angle of the arm is more comfortable during calls, and the ability to be used as a remote control. It was easier to use than I expected. I had previously thought that smartwatches were not worth having, but this changed my mind.
In summary, these devices are easy to use, and after a while using them I found myself happily browsing the apps and features without trouble. We're hoping to get these devices in for a full review soon, so please check back for more detailed specs!
Huddle has launched a new app for enterprises to use as an alternative to Microsoft Office.
We've talked about Huddle before, and how it allow teams all over the world to work collaboratively on projects by sharing files and comments in the cloud.
The new Huddle Note application now allows teams to create, edit and store any content in the cloud, making sharing and cross-platform use easier. As explained by Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell, it's a way for employees to share ideas wherever they are in the easiest way possible, without having to use other application or software.
He said: "People don't want to waste time skipping between apps, battling with legacy word processors, and then uploading documents to the cloud to share them with co-workers - especially when they're quick notes such as brainstorm ideas and meeting minutes.
"With Huddle Note, we're adding an easy-to-use and intuitive way to capture content in Huddle, giving people a simpler, faster, mobile alternative to Microsoft Office and other bloated legacy offerings."
New features in the app include: creating and editing documentation in the cloud, sharing any content instantly with others and commenting and feedback. The app also has Huddle security features and an audit trail of activity so you can see when your documents have been read by others.
This move away from "Jurassic systems" (Mitchell's words, not mine) will give workers everywhere a chance to share their ideas and be more productive in an environment where there's proper support available.
With the workforce slowly becoming more and more dispersed, with people working from home, abroad or even on public transport, it's exactly what people need.
The new Huddle iOS application is also free to download from the appstore, so why not give it a go yourself?