Smartphones

The First LG Smartphone With DAB+

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LG takes to Radiodays Europe 2016 to launch the Stylus 2-- the first smartphone from the company with support for DAB+, the de facto standard for digital radio broadcasting.

LG Stylus 2Developed in combination with the International DMB Advancement Group (IDAG), the Stylus 2 gets digital radio support through a DAB+ chipset and an exclusive app allowing customers to enjoy digital radio broadcasts out of the box. Meanwhile broadcasters get a technical interface for the development of apps combining online services with radio broadcasts.

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HP Presents Elite x3 Windows Phone

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HP launches what it describes as "one device that's every device" at MWC 2015-- the Elite x3, a business-focused Windows 10-powered smartphone able to turn into either a PC or laptop via appropriate accessories.

HP Elite x3As one might (rightly) assume the Elite x3 makes heavy use of Continuum, the Windows 10 feature providing users with a PC-style experience on a smartphone through connection of a larger display, keyboard and mouse. Thus HP provides a pair of optional accessories for such purposes, the Desk Dock and the Mobile Extender.

The Desk Dock is simple enough, being a dock providing all the necessary ports (x2 USB, x1 USB-C, x1 DisplayPort, x1 ethernet) to transform the Elite x3 into a desktop PC. Meanwhile the confusingly named Mobile Extender actually is a notebook of sorts complete with 48Wh battery, 12.5-inch display, full-size keyboard and trackpad one can wirelessly pair with the smartphone.

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LG Goes Modular With G5 Flagship

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LG presents a something a bit different from the typical Android flagship at MWC 2016-- the G5 smartphones features a modular design, a slide-out battery and a variety of "Friend" accessories.

LG G5Mind, at first glance the G5 fails to differ from any other high-end smartphone. It has a 5.3-inch 2560x1440 resolution display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU, an Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable via microSD slot), 16MP rear-/8MP front-faceing cameras, a power button/fingerprint reader combo, USB-C port and a 2800mAh battery inside an anodised body. However, users can also pop out the bottom edge with the press of a button, and that is when the G5 becomes a special.

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Samsung Intros Next-Gen Galaxy S7, S7 Edge

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MWC 2016 sees Samsung refine on last year's Galaxy S6 smartphones with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge-- a pair of incremental upgrades featuring the latest Android OS and IP68-rated water-/dust-resistant glass and metal bodies.

Galaxy S7The Galaxy S7 is a regular 5.1-inch handset, while the 5.5-inch S7 Edge features a display curving at the vertical edges (thus the name). Both carry an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU, 2560x1440 resolution AMOLED displays, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage (expandable to 200GB via microSD slot) and, in some countries, a dual-SIM option.

The S7 Edge beats the regular S7 in one detail-- battery. The larger handset gets a 3600mAh battery while the smaller option gets a 3000mAh number. Both smartphones offer fast charging capability on both wired and wireless, and are compatible with WPC and PMA wireless chargers.

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Gartner: What to Expect in 2016

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Gartner Research Director, Roberta Cozza, attends this year’s Mobile World Congress, and she shareaher views on the new developments in the smartphone market-- and the rise of lower-priced Chinese vendors.

Gartner Roberta Cozza

In 2016, what advanced features in smartphones are you expecting vendors to release?

The smartphone is becoming an integral part of a bigger continuum of devices and smart objects as users increasingly live their lives in a "device mesh" environment, where they own multiple devices and use a combination of them that better fits the situation they are in.

In 2016, we expect vendors to offer more, and new, bundles of sensors and enhanced connectivity standards to support the role of the smartphone as the central hub for Internet of Things scenarios such as the connected home and smart workspaces.

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