After phones and tablets, we look at hot accessories and wearables that were announced at Mobile World Congress 2015.
As you’re about to see, there are quite a few of these, and not all of them are available immediately. Quite the contrary, for most products listed here, you’ll have to wait for at least another month if not longer.
Without further ado, here’s what we’ve got…
HTC is joining the VR market soon, having demoed its VR headset at MWC in Barcelona. It was a closed event and no press release was issued, but we did manage to get few details out of it.
First, it won’t be a device in the “Samsung Gear VR killer category” and will have a screen of its own. The Taiwanese company partnered with Valve to make this a truly premium piece of hardware, which wasn’t made for casual users. Rather, it seems catered towards professional and other folks willing to spend a lot of their hard-earned money.
The Vive will connect to a computer rather than smartphone to do its magic, though perhaps at some point, HTC finds a way to make it more attractive to the wider audience (by enabling smartphone connectivity). This in turn implies that modern smartphone hardware isn’t on par with what Valve and HTC want to do. That’s good on one hand, but on the other – it will leave many folks out of the picture.
Among the companies that will work with HTC — to make their content available on the platform — are such big names as Google, HBO, Lionsgate, Owlchemy, Vertigo Games and Dovetail Games.
With the Grip, HTC has officially joined the fast-growing wearables market.
First thing you should know is that this isn’t a smart watch, though it can display current time. Rather it’s a fancy fitness band similar to the Microsoft Fit and Samsung Gear Fit.
It has a built-in GPS, allowing it to work even without a connected smartphone. However, if you want advanced features, such as the ability to sync with the UA Record app and get some on-the-go coaching, you will need to connect the Grip to an iOS or Android smartphone.
According to HTC, the Grip is designed to support even the “most extreme training regimes,” while also keeping track of one’s sleep. The waterproof device has a curved 1.8-inch PMOLED screen used for notifications and displaying current time, distance, steps and so on.
The HTC Grip will be available for $199 in Deep Teal/Lime at select retailers in North America, beginning in Spring 2015.
Huawei TalkBand B2, TalkBand N1; and Huawei Watch
Huawei is going for the wearables market, big time. While in Barcelona, we had a chance to see not one but three new devices made by the aspiring Chinese firm. Let’s quickly look at each one of them.
Huawei TalkBand B2
- Successor to last year’s B1
- Comes with integrated premium Bluetooth headset
- 6-axis sensor
- Available later this year in two variants: sports which will go for €169, and premium model that will sell for €199.
- Headphone-shaped fitness tracker with Hi-Fi stereo
- 4GB of internal memory for storing songs; doubles as a music player
- IP54 certification against dust and water
- It can track steps, distance and calories
- Coming later this year with a price tag of €119
- Android Wear-powered smart watch
- Features circular, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen with 400×400 pixels resolution!
- The case is made out of stainless steel
- Incorporates motions sensors and heart rate monitor
- Available colors include Gold/Brown Leather, Silver and Black.
According to Huawei, the Watch contains 130 components and it takes 260 manufacturing steps, 160 of which are done by hand. The price remains a mystery, though.
Microsoft foldable keyboard
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the ultimate portable keyboard for your phone and/or tablet. It’s made by Microsoft, and it’s by far the best such keyboard I’ve seen. Microsoft’s keyboard is not only light and portable, but it also supports connection with two devices at once with an option to easily switch between the two.
The keyboard neatly folds with the help of magnets while its thin profile makes it more portable than similar products.
According to Microsoft, the foldable keyboard will be released in July with a price tag of $99.95.
Xiaomi Yi Action Camera
Not exactly a news item that came out of MWC, but we caught it while in Barcelona.
As expected, Xiaomi is joining the action camera market, currently dominated by GoPro. The Chinese company’s Yi Action Camera will initially be available in China with other countries in Asia getting it soon afterwards (or so we think).
The unit packs a 16-megapixel Sony Exmor R sensor that can record 1080p videos at 60fps. It’s a water-proof device with a weight of 72 grams, and can be taken to a depth of 40 meters under water. There is no protective casing, though.
Xiaomi will offer two bundles of the Yi camera staring from 399 Yuan ($63) for the camera alone, or 499 Yuan ($79) for the camera with a selfie rod. Yes, that’s an amazing deal. 🙂
ZTE Sports Camera
Xiaomi won’t be the only Chinese firm gunning for the action camera market with ZTE looking for a piece of action as well.
At MWC they’ve been showing their such product, simply called ZTE Sports Camera. The device hasn’t been officially announced so we miss few details.
What we do know is that it packs Sony’s 16-megapixel sensor, large 170-degree lens and space for up to 64GB SD cards. Moreover, there will be an optional LTE dock available for users looking to quickly beam their photos to the cloud.
And that’s all we know at this stage.