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Barcelona hosts mobile industry extravaganza

Barcelona hosts mobile industry extravaganza
By Euronews
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The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the mobile industry’s main trade show, attracting some 90,000 people over four days, including some 1,800 exhibitors and 3,500 journalists. From smartphones, to tablets or the latest wearable technology: it’s all at the Barcelona fair.

One of the most important events at the fair was the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S6.

In a bid to compete with the iPhone 6 and the increasingly aggressive Chinese manufacturers, Samsung says it has created a phone with a metal body 50 percent more resistant than those used in other smartphones. Fast wireless charging is also one of the device’s new features. The S6 will set you back between 700 and 900 euros.

Riccardo de Franchis is Head of Smartphones Marketing at Samsumg Italia: “The back and the display are made of very resistant glass, the most resistant on the market. In terms of technology and hardware, this product has an ultra-powerful processor, the most powerful on the market, it’s equipped with an ultra-intelligent camera, which allows to take photos in a few tenths of a second, so you don’t miss the moment,” he told euronews reporter Claudio Rocco.

In the tough competition between Operating Systems, Android is the world leader with a market share of more than 80 percent.

With about one billion people expected to upgrade to smartphones this year alone, Microsoft is continuing along its strategy of creating low-cost devices, which are attractive to emerging phone markets.

Claudio Rocco, euronews:
“Windows Phones only represent 3 percent of the market for smartphones, do you think these new products will help change this trend?”

Olivier Lagreou, Head of Marketing, Microsoft France:
“In many European countries, our market share is above ten percent, so things are different on the European market. With a Lumia 640 ou 640 XL, which have wider screens, measuring 5 or 5.7 inches, we are responding to a certain demand. So yes, we hope to boost our market share.”

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, a growing force to be reckoned with, presented its new Ascend Mate 7, whose excellent battery life and large screen should make it a favourite among gamers and those who like to watch videos on the way to work. Another added feature is its fingerprint scanner described by reviews as one of the best on the market

Its price stands at between 500 and 600 euros.

Sony announced the world’s lightest 10-inch tablet in Barcelona with its Xperia Z4. The waterproof device sports a 2k display, is 6.1mm thick and has done away with the rubbery USB port covers. It also ships with Android Lollipop and has been designed to slot into a Bluetooth keyboard to act as a laptop. Its makers claim it will be twice as fast as the previous model. The Z4 will set you back between 500 and 600 euros.

LG launched four new curved, mid-range Lollipop-based smartphones – the LG Magna, LG Spirit, LG Leon and the LG Joy. All have removable batteries, plastic back covers, and all but the low-end Joy have LG’s signature rear-control buttons. The devices are good value at around 200 euros a piece and have some interesting functions, that will allow you, for example, to take a picture without touching the phone.

“So, all we have to do is raise the hand up, we use the hand there. It’s going to be a trigger. So when you squeeze your hand you have 3 seconds, and the camera will take a picture for you straight away,” said Jack Edwards of LG UK.

And we round up with Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-CM1, as close as you’ll get to a professional camera, which also happens to double up as an Android phone. It sports a 20-megapixel sensor Leica lens and comes with a mechanical shutter and a manual control ring. It also supports 4K video recording, a feature lately seen in many high-end smartphones.

But it’s a dream device that comes at a price – as it will cost you some 900 euros!