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MWC 2015: What announcements impressed you the most?
MWC 2015 is over, and what a week it has been! If you haven’t had the opportunity to check everything out, be sure to hit out up MWC 2015 coverage page. Also, check out the nine devices we deemed worthy of our Android Authority “Top Picks” award. As for the Friday Debate, this week we ask: what do you think of the One M9 and Galaxy S6 (and Edge)? Any other announcements from MWC 2015 that had you impressed?
Generally we showcase at least a few responses from our forum community, but considering there are a number of responses, we instead invite you to check out the forum’s page for yourself. With that out of the way, let’s jump in and let some of the AA team members share their thoughts on MWC 2015.
Let me try to keep this short today. MWC was pretty exciting, the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are pretty slick. I especially like the looks of the Edge, but really, who doesn’t? While you guys all place your opinions on the above two devices, I have my eye on two different devices, strangely enough, both come out of Sony.
Now, we just handed a death warrant to Sony on our Friday Debate Podcast not too long ago. At least my general approach was that Sony is a great device manufacturer, and one of the top electronics vendors around the globe, but maybe, just maybe, they are a little over-hyped and in need of a bit of an overhaul of their phone program. I had talked about their need for a better selection of low-to-mid range devices, and I feel like they’ve got something to that end with the Xperia M4 Aqua.
I am not suggesting that the Xperia M4 Aqua is the phone for you, or me, but I really think it will have an impact on Sony’s Android phone success moving forward. Allow me to call this the Xperia __ Compact that is actually affordable, but I guess that is still to be seen as well. Saving the best for last, this should be no surprise, I think Sony has all but knocked it out of the park with the 10-inch Xperia Z4 Tablet. That is a device I want in my inventory. I don’t even care if it brings Sony any profits, it’s just a good looking tablet.
Not to change the subject, but the Xperia Z4 Tablet still has its faults. I mean, why are manufacturers still creating tablets with 16GB of internal storage? Don’t they know we want to install apps on these things? On the flip side, thank you Sony for downgrading the camera. I like photography, and I can handle people snapping pics with their phones, but tablet photography is still a little unsavory to me. This is not important now, sorry.
Let me sum up with one quick thought: I am in the market for a new phone right now, I went into MWC 2015 (and this flagship season) expecting to find several devices that I would have to decide between. MWC is over, and my comparisons chart is empty – so far, HTC and Samsung have both failed to sell me on their latest and greatest.
My own views on the Galaxy S6 and One M9 have already been reflected by most observers, I think. Samsung did pretty much everything that it needed to do to renew (most people’s) faith in the Galaxy S series: the best specs in the business, streamlining its software, and coming up with a stunning looking design and build quality.
HTC, on the other hand, seems reminiscent of where Samsung was with the Galaxy S5 last year. Minor upgrades to a good handset that has many appealing features, but I can’t say that the One M9 is very exciting.
Now, will I replace my G3 with either one? Probably not. However, as far as market appeal goes, I think Samsung has done a better job at picking out a segment that might actually work for it. The Galaxy S6 is ultra-high end and will have a price to match, but it’s probably worth the money for all the bells and whistles. How much better is the M9 than handsets like the G3, Z3, OPO or M8? Well it’s faster, but in my eyes that doesn’t justify an extra $200. In other words, the Galaxy S6 now stands out against the crowd, while the M9 feels perilously close to disappearing into the sea of more affordable flagships.
As for MWC on a whole, I can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like the look of in one way or another. This year’s event is a testament to just how refined the mobile market has become, and our industry looks to be at the forefront of awesome VR and game streaming technologies too. I hope the rest of the year is as interesting.
When the question got asked, I did something I’d never done before and took to the Twitters to ask what people thought. Of course, I went with the “One M9 vs Galaxy S6/S6 Edge” angle because those are the two devices that stole the show. I received roughly 150 tweets in response total and you know what? It’s a wash. The people can’t decide what they want and they offer up myriad reasons for wanting the one that they want.
Me on the other hand, I think the best-in-show at MWC was HTC. The M9 may not have broken any innovation records, but it’s still going to be a top 3 phone of 2015 just like its predecessors were in their respective years. It was a surprisingly bold move to stick with 1080p in a world quickly reaching for QHD and I think when the battery life tests come out, we’ll see the difference there. Then there’s the octa-core, 64-bit chip. Sure the camera sucks, but so do practically all Nexus phones and people still call the Nexus 5 one of “the best smartphones of all time”. The Valve partnership in VR was a shell shocker that almost no one saw coming. I think they announced a wearable but I was busy hyperventilating about all of their other news.
The thing is that Samsung is not far behind. The S6 Edge is one of the more awesome looking phones that have come out in the last few years. 128GB of storage is a positive trend that I hope continues with other smartphones. Samsung had the wow factor and I would totally buy the S6 Edge, but I don’t feel comfortable on a QHD screen with today’s battery tech.
Overall, it seemed like a good show. To be perfectly honest I’m still catching up on everything that went on but I agree 100% with Feisty on the Z4 Tablet. 16GB of storage?! Lol, nope.
And so, after weeks upon weeks of build up, MWC has finished and we are asked to make sense of an event that was, at best, a prescribed scenario: all the cards were laid out seemingly weeks before, and Samsung in particular was able to showcase the panacea for its financial malady.
Samsung: I’m not sure why, but the S6 and S6 Edge really didn’t excite me. Perhaps they are just too small (I’m a phablet lover sadly) or else the Galaxy S6 Edge is just too “stoopid” without the Note Edge SDK involved. I mean, Samsung spent how much time trying to sell us on the curved display’s unique usability features and now it has basically scrapped them all? It seems like the only reason the S6 Edge exists is to charge a premium price for dibs on extra-ergonomic handling.
The the lack of SD card support and the removable battery…I never complained about plastic before and thus am not one of the “never satisfied” crowd. On the other hand, I loved the Galaxy Alpha and don’t understand why the same approach couldn’t have been used here.
I really wanted to see tablets (heck, Samsung had already sold the world no less than FOUR by this point last year) but admittedly the market for them is nowhere near as large as the phones these days.
HTC: WTF. Seriously. If you haven’t already read my more objective thoughts on the matter, please feel free to by clicking here. To give a decidedly less objective reply: what a letdown. I can not believe this company has the gall to rehash the same design for the third time in the last year. Maybe if the M8 Windows Phone Edition hadn’t released last fall and sought to resell the same product with a different OS, I would be more lenient.
Who knows though. One line of thinking concludes that there was absolutely no way any company could compete with the hype and money Samsung was going to throw at MWC, let alone tiny little HTC. This goes double because Korea Inc. announced not one, but two flagships. Even were they both to have been flops, the media would still have been all over them with videos, editorials, and comparisons. In a very real sense, MWC 2015 – as far as phones go- was all about Samsung; it was all about the Galaxy. So perhaps we will see a real HTC flagship this summer.
The “me too” VR device though? Wow…
LG: Why it is LG decided to announce a “super premium” flagship when its “normal” flagship hasn’t even been announced is beyond me. Talk about shooting yourself in the proverbial foot. I suspect this mystery device that LG hinted at will be a dual edged G4. The company certainly had a prototype at CES in January and now is as good a time as any to release it, perhaps all the more so in that Samsung won best of show with the S6 Edge.
Now it’s your turn
This is obviously a pretty big subject and so listing out every device in a poll would probably prove to be a futile experience. Instead, for this Friday Debate poll we ask, which impressed you more: the Galaxy S6 (and/or Edge) or the HTE One M9? Once you finish the poll, be sure to hit the comments below and let us know what your favorite announcements were during MWC.