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MWC 2014 Live Blog: Highlights from MWC 2014

If you want to keep track of what’s going on at MWC 2014 so far but don’t have much time, you’ve come to the right place. Our MWC 2014 live blog will bring you just the MWC 2014 highlights, so you don’t have to trawl through dozens of stories to find out what’s going on.

Last update: 25/02/14 at 16:04more to follow

MWC 2014 News: Day Two Highlights

After the excitement of day one of MWC 2014 and the launch of the Galaxy S5, we’re catching on the goings on sharing our thoughts on the latest launches.

First Impressions: Do you nead what the Gear 2 offers?
Andrew Williams

Andrew WilliamsWhat I continue to struggle with is the idea that many people will actually want what the Samsung Gear 2 is offering. Do you really want to check your emails, Twitter messages and texts on a wrist-worn device you need to charge almost as often as your phone?

The convenience issue isn’t just about battery life, either. The more interaction you have to do with something like the Gear 2, the less useful it is – navigating a full interface on a 1.63-inch screen isn’t anywhere near as handy as doing so on a phone. And it does seem there’s a fair bit of screen-flicking involved in its current incarnation.

Read Andrew’s full Samsung Gear 2 first impressions

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Analysis: HTC One 2 M8 Camera sounds neat, but could be a gimmick
Andrew Williams

HTC One 2

Andrew WilliamsCreating out of focus backgrounds is a process or diffraction. The light that forms these blurry background bits is bounced around by the various lens elements so that it appears totally different to the way our own eyes would perceive it.

It’s not just a blur, it’s a form of distortion. Tiny phone camera lenses married to tiny phone camera senses just can’t perform the same optical feats. And nowehere is this clearer than in the best examples of bokeh-ified light sources. The HTC One 2 couldn’t hope to do anything like this. HTC One pic

What the HTC One 2 does offer is a sort of Instagram-generation equivalent. It’s 40 per cent of the effect for two per cent of the effort. And given the sound physics that the UltraPixel idea is based on, we’re disappointed to see HTC invest so much in such a photographic ‘cheat’.

Read: HTC One 2 M8 Camera Explained: Is it just a gimmick?

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Video: Hands-on demo with the Galaxy S5

Also read our Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5S comparison

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First Impressions: The Gear Fit is the wearable we’ve been waiting for
Luke Johnson

Samsung Gear Fit

Luke JohnsonThe Samsung Gear Fit shows that Samsung is capable of making premium mobile products. The wearable is an aesthetically pleasing offering which is attractive enough to be worn for general everyday use.

As a running and fitness accessory, the hypoallergenic rubberised strap felt extremely comfortable while on. The clasp was easy to adjust with one hand for a more tailored fit on the move. Unlike the Galaxy Gear, I did not find the Fit in any way cumbersome. It weighs a minimal 27g and is a reasonable 11.95mm thick.

Read Luke’s full Samsung Gear Fit first impressions

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First Impressions: Galaxy S5 is a solid but new bits don’t add much
Andrew Williams

Andrew WilliamsThe look of the Samsung Galaxy S5 has been much-discussed. Some thought that Samsung would make a metal phone, but the new model is still good old plastic. It’s more conspicuously plastic than the Galaxy S4 too. There’s no fake metal finish on the back this time – just the silvery sides – and the back has a texture of little dimples to give it a bit of extra grip, and a different look from the previous Galaxy S phones. Samsung calls it “modern and refreshing”, and it comes in four shades – blue, gold, white and black. Don’t buy the gold version, it looks horrible.

Read Andrew’s full Galaxy S5 first impressions

MWC 2014 News: Day One Highlights

Day One at MWC 2014 has only just begun and we’ve already had some interesting developments, the biggest of which has come from Nokia and Samsung.

Opinion: The Galaxy S5’s hybrid auto focus system could give it an edge
Andy Vandervell

Andy VGenerally I spend most product launches huffing, puffing, groaning and generally getting irritated by the spin employed to sell really mundane features and ideas. “I want a phone that lets me communicate in my own unique way….” and other similar cringe enducing gurgles make me want to stick pencils in my ears and plead insanity to a court marshall. Samsung makes me huff and puff more than most.

But the section on the S5’s new AF system made me take notice. A combination of contrast and phase detection AF is a new one for smartphones, and any camera buff will tell you that the best cameras employ both to ensure fast and reliable focusing in all lighting conditions. I’m intrigued to see how this system compares to the iPhone 5S

Read More: 7 Conclusions From Samsung Unpacked 5

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Opinion: Microsoft will kill Nokia Android phones | Gordon Kelly

Gordon KellyHaving clearly had a heavy hand in the wording of the release, the response from Microsoft has been ice cold. Speaking before the launch yesterday senior Windows Phone vice president Joe Belfiore said “What they [Nokia] do as a company is what they do… Certainly they’ll do some things that we’re excited about, and some things that we may be less excited about.”

More amusing is Belfiore was speaking after the unveiling of Windows Phone 8.1. The key change of which is its reduced hardware requirements so it can run on lower power chipsets to make cheaper handset prices targeting emerging markets. Whoops.

Read More: Microsoft will kill Nokia X, because it is a waste of time

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Samsung Galaxy S5 official, fingerprint reader confirmed

Samsung Galaxy S5 Most of the rumours, besides the fanciful 2K display, were confirmed. The S5 will come with a fingerprint scanner and is powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz. There’s also a heartrate reader, though not entirely sure why it’s need on the phone itself. We’ll have a full hands-on with the phone soon.

Full Story: Samsung Galaxy S5 officially unveiled with inbuilt fingerprint scanner

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Samsung unveils Gear Fit fitness trackers and smartwatch

Samsung Gear FitIn Brief  The Samsung Gear Fit has a curved 1.84-inch Super AMOLED display with a 432 x 128p resolution. It is powered by a 210mAh battery, which offers around 3-4 days on a single charge or around 5 days with low use. There’s a built-in heartrate monitor and it’s water and dust resistant.

Full Story: Samsung Gear Fit launched with curved AMOLED display

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Video: We speak to Firefox VP Johnathan Nightingale about what to expect from Firefox OS in 2014

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Qualcomm announces 64-bit Snapdragon processors for Q4 2014

Qualcomm SnapdragonIn Brief Qualcomm will have 64-bit processors this year, but not until Q4. The new line-up, named the Snapdragon 600-seires will use ARM Cortex 53 cores in a variety of configurations. The Snapdragon 610 has four cores, while the Snapdragon 615 will have either cores. Both will feature an Adreno 405 graphics chip and be built on a 28nm process.

Full Story: 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 series launched alongside Snapdragon 801

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First Impressions: The Xperia Z2 is just a piecemeal upgrade | Andrew Williams

Andrew WilliamsThe Sony Xperia Z2 is a phone that exists because of a need to compete. Samsung and HTC are going to launch a new phone, so Sony has to as well. As it arrives just six months after the Xperia Z1, upgrades are – predictably – minor. You’d be mad to consider paying to upgrade to this phone from an Xperia Z1. However, its slight spec upgrades make it the slightly better phone.

Read Andrew’s full Sony Xperia Z2 first impressions

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Nokia confirms it’s launching two new Android-based smartphones

Nokia X at MWCIn Brief Nokia confirmed one of its worst kept secrets, that it’s launching Android-based smartphones. The Nokia X and Nokia X Plus both run a heavily customised version of Android stripped of all visible signs of Google. They’ll both have 4-inch screens and will sell for less than 100 Euros, so clearly they’re not aimed at the flagship end of the market.

Full Story: Nokia X and Nokia X unveiled as company’s first Android based phones

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Sony announces details of new flagship Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2In Brief The Sony Xperia Z2 features a 5.2-inch full HD Triluminous display running on a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapragon 801 Krait CPU with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. It can record 4K video and has a 20.7MP resolution camera. It goes on sale in March.

Full Story: Sony Xperia Z2 flagship launched at MWC 2014

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Sony’s new mid-range Xperia M will cost less than £200 and has 4G

The Sony Xperia M2 will also come in white and purpleIn Brief The new phone, which Sony claims will be available for less than 220 Euros (~£180), has 4G built-in and what Sony believes to be the best camera of any phone in its price bracket. It’s screen doesn’t sound all that impressive, though, with a low resolution for its 4.8-inch size. It goes on sale in April.

Full Story: Sony Xperia M2 is Sony’s new sub-£200 4G smartphone

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First Impressions: The new LG G2 mini fails to impress Luke Johnson

LG G2 mini
Luke Johnson“The LG G2 mini could have, and should have wowed. Instead I’ve been left frustrated with yet another leading manufacturer that has failed to make a truly representative ‘mini’ spinoff. After first use I would say that, if you can afford to, don’t wait for the mini to hit stores, splash out on the LG G2 now instead.

Read Luke’s full LG G2 mini first impressions

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First Impressions: Evan Kypreos likes the look of Lenovo’s updated tablet

Evan KypreosLenovo has clearly listened to the criticisms of its first Yoga tablet and seems to have resolved many of the issues holding it back. In particular I am pleasantly surprised by quite how much better the screen is – the small $50 (UK price to be confirmed) price bump is more than worth it. On this evidence the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD Plus could be a real stand-up Android tablet.
Read Evan’s full Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD Plus first impressions

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