BARCELONA – While this year’s Mobile World Congress is full of news about net neutrality rules, 5G developments, corporate mergers, and mobile payments, announcements about new devices have not been as prolific as in previous years.
Top-tier manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung, who used to make big launches at the show, have presented new smartphones, especially Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S6, but no new wearables.
Other players such as LG, Firefox, HTC, Microsoft, ZTE, and Telefonica have introduced new smartphones and wearables aimed at the consumer market, with different levels of features and prices.
Mozilla is showing a new range of basic smartphones running Firefox OS, including the first models of the $25 smartphone aimed at emerging markets.
Microsoft is present for the first time as a mobile manufacturer after the company finalized the acquisition of Nokia devices last year. While they continue to focus on mid-range, low-cost smartphones for the price-conscious user, they haven’t introduced any new models based on their custom version of the Android OS. The new Microsoft Lumia 640 series smartphones are running Windows OS.
Another theme at the show is presence of virtual-reality headsets by Oculus VR, which, together with Samsung, has introduced a new version of its popular Gear VR system, working with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone.
Some manufacturers have introduced smartwatches based on the Android Gear platform, but most of the top-tier names are waiting for the market reaction to the Apple Watch, expected to debut later this month during a March 9 event in San Francisco.
With all that said, InformationWeek looks at eight different devices that point toward the future of mobile computing.
(All photos by Pablo Valerio who is covering MWC 2015 this week.)