Mobile World Congress is coming to an end, and what a week full of news it was. We were introduced to new smartphones, new wearables, new virtual reality headsets, accessories and so much more. It seemed like one of the busiest years we’ve ever had covering the show, and we still have plenty of videos to bring you over the coming days as we work through editing.
We scoured the show floor as much as possible and met with as many companies as we could in search of the best products at Mobile World Congress. While there are far too many to even name on this list, these are some of the biggest products we saw during the show, and the ones that deserve accolades.
Without further ado, here’s the final list of TechnoBuffalo’s MWC 2015 awards. Drum roll please.
Accessory: Microsoft’s universal foldable keyboard
Microsoft unveiled two new smartphones during Mobile World Congress 2015, including the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL, which we really like. We’re still waiting to see the firm’s latest Windows Phone flagship, however, and are most impressed by the new universal foldable keyboard. It easily folds up into a 5.8-inch x 0.45-inch package and works with iOS, Android and Windows using a Bluetooth connection. That means you can easily sync it up to your tablet or phone – it supports two connections at once – and fire off a few quick emails when needed, and then stow it away and get on with your life. We can’t wait to try it out for on-the-go blogging when it launches later this year for $99.95.
Smartwatch: LG Watch Urbane LTE
The LG Watch Urbane LTE is one of the most premium smartwatches we’ve ever seen, and we’re compelled by not only its design but its functionality. LG powers it with a home-built webOS solution that allows you to text, place phone calls, receive alerts and so much more. It features a first-class stainless steel design, a large 700mAh battery, a plastic OLED display, a heart rate monitor and more, and it wasn’t too bulky or heavy on our wrists. We can’t wait to see it hit the market sometime in the coming months, though we still need to see what this gadget is going to cost.
Tablet: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Sony’s Xperia Z4 Tablet blew us away during the show. It features a stunning 2k 10.1-inch display, a brand new Snapdragon 810 processor, Android 5.0 Lollipop, an 8.1 megapixel camera with auto-focus and more. It’s super thin and light too, and felt more like a featherlight notepad than a tablet. That’s pretty incredible for a device that can stream PlayStation 4 games over your Wi-Fi network, and considering its beefy 6,000mAh battery under the hood that promises up to 17 hours of video playback. Better yet, it’s dust and water resistant, so you don’t need to worry about spills. The Xperia Z4 Tablet should be at the top of your list when it launches in June.
Phone: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
There were plenty of amazing smartphones at Mobile World Congress including the HTC One M9, Galaxy S6 and more, but we were most impressed with the Galaxy S6 Edge. The edges of the phone serve a true purpose, allowing you to quickly access your favorite contacts, see who’s calling while the phone is face-down, read news alerts and more. Samsung finally used real premium materials, too. The Galaxy S6 Edge has Gorilla Glass 4 panels on the front and back and an aluminum frame. The 5.1-inch Quad HD display is a beauty, too, and we applaud Samsung for taking 40 percent of the bloatware out of TouchWiz. Toss in the promise of an excellent camera, support for a new Gear VR unit and more, and you have a recipe for one of the best smartphones of the year.
Fitness band: HTC Grip
HTC unveiled the Grip during Mobile World Congress, its first wearable that was built in partnership with Under Armour. It features a curved OLED touchscreen display, built-in GPS, support for both iOS and Android smartphones, notification alerts from your smartphone – including third party alerts – and more. It’s nice and light on the wrist, though arguably a bit bulkier than some other fitness bands, but it already shows a lot of early promise. This is one wearable you’ll want to keep your eye out for in the coming months as it approaches its U.S. launch.
Service: Samsung Pay
One of the most compelling services we learned about during Mobile World Congress was Samsung Pay. Yes, it sounds a lot like Apple Pay, but it’s different, too. Samsung used technology from its LoopPay acquisition to build-in support for both NFC-based payments and payments that use magnetic stripe readers. That means the potential for the number of retailers that will support Samsung Pay already numbers in the tens of millions of stores, which is impressive for any new service launch. Samsung said the service will go live sometime this summer, and support is already built into the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
Wearable: HTC Vive
When you’re at a trade show, it’s pretty frequent to hear the question: “What’s the best thing you’ve seen so far?” We had an easy answer this year: the HTC Vive. It’s an amazing new virtual reality headset that’s going to give Oculus a run for its money. HTC promises the Vive, built in a partnership with Valve, will launch to consumers by the end of 2015. We had a chance to check out a demo of the product in action and walked away speechless. The graphics aren’t quite where Oculus’ are just yet, but you get free roam inside of a virtual world, support for interacting with that world through controllers and more. It’s one of those products that you truly need to see to believe.
Entertainment device: Lenovo Pocket Projector
Lenovo came to the show with plenty of new products, and we really liked its new pocket projector. It measures just 4-inches by 4-inches but has the ability to connect to your Android device and project a 110-inch image on your wall thanks to its 50-lumen optical engine. It also has built-in speakers, 32GB of microSD card storage, support for DLNA and Miracast, up to 2 hours of battery life and more. It looks like it’s going to be an amazing travel accessory when it launches in May starting at $249, and we can’t wait to pick one up.
Reader’s Choice: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
As with CES 2015, we gave you, the readers, a chance to vote on your favorite product of the show. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge walked away with the top award, and it’s no surprise. Samsung really brought its A-game to MWC 2015. The Galaxy S6 Edge packs some of the most impressive hardware on the market today, and even has a few bonus features like built-in support for two of the most popular wireless charging standards, a Quad HD display, a new fingerprint reader, a first-class camera and the best design of any Galaxy smartphone Samsung has ever built.