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Mobiles go low-cost at Barcelona congress

Mobiles go low-cost at Barcelona congress
By Euronews
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Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress is one of the largest mobile trade shows of the year – an opportunity for manufacturers to show off their latest and greatest devices.

Spain’s Prince Felipe was there to launch the event, which drew tens of thousands of visitors.

With low-cost Android phones dominating sales nowadays and the likes of Samsung and Sony both launching a wide range of new devices, Nokia, too, signalled a change of strategy with its new Nokia X.

Paola Cavallero, General Manager at Nokia Italy, told euronews: “It’s a change that comes in response to consumer demand. There is a whole world of consumers, especially young people, who are looking for an eye-catching hardware device, but at a very competitive price, and that will give access to Android applications.”

The Nokia X range will not be available in the US, Canada, South Korea, or Japan, as it is targeting emerging markets first, and will cost between 89 and 109 Euros.

We move from low-cost phones to top of the range devices and one of the stars of the Barcelona show was the new Samsung Galaxy S5, whose launch drew a large crowd.

Standout features include a water-resistant casing, a 16 mega-pixel camera and a heart monitor. Just like the iPhone, it also has an integrated fingerprint scanner. The Samsung Galaxy S5 will set you back 700 Euros.

Another major event was the attendance of Mark Zuckerberg.

The founder and CEO of Facebook was in Barcelona to promote – an ambitious initiative by Facebook and partners to bring internet access to everyone on the planet.

“Reaching one billion people ourselves was really this moment for us where we took a step back as a company and were, like, ‘Alright, what are we really here to do? If we can help connect a billion people, are we going to spend the next few years getting to 1.1 (billion), and then 1.2 and 1.3? Yeah we’ll do that!’,” said Mark Zuckerberg.

South Korean electronics giant LG displayed its new LG G Flex, a curved smartphone. The device is equipped with a so-called ‘self-healing’ case made from an elastic coating capable of absorbing “minor scratches and nicks” according to the manufacturer. The future comes at a cost however – around 800 euros.

“On the one hand, the device adapts to the natural shape of your face, which improves sound quality by three decibels. And the other big advantage is the quality of the screen, that offers panoramic vision when you’re looking at multimedia content,” said Elias Fullana Verdera, Marketing Director at LG.

Chinese manufacturer Huawei unveiled what it claims is the world’s thinnest tablet. Α minuscule 7.18 milimetres thick, it weighs in at just over 200 grams, and features a seven-inch display with a 13 mega-pixel camera. Expected to hit the shops in August, it should retail at around 400 euros.