Ten years ago CES was the biggest baddest electronics show in the world. It is still huge but Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) has in recent years matched and possibly ecliped it. Today on the first official day of the show we had a number of big announcements but most readers will be interested only in the new devices from HTC and Samsung.
HTC went first of the two giants. There were a number of leaks before hand and we got exactly what we expected – an update to the HTC One M8 – the new M9. The M9 looks a lot like the M8 but instead features two tone metals and is slightly wider. The front facing double camera has been removed and replaced with a far more powerful 20 megapixel camera with a sapphire lens and the rear facing selfie camera has been given much improved low light performance. Internally it has a very fast SnapDragon A10 CPU. From a software point of view it runs Lollipop with the Sense 7 overlay and a number of phone and camera specific apps. The phone will be available in March across most of the world.
After the M9 HTC announced a wearable – the Grip fitness band. It has 5 sensors including GPS, a gyro and compass and is is designed to track all movements and activities including walking, running, cycling and gym work. The Grip can sync with Android and iOS device and also shows and allows basic responses to notifications.
Next HTC announced a shock – a partnership with Valve to create a virtual reality system – the Vive. The wireless system is 3d capable – in other words you can move around the room and the virtual room moves as well. A pair of hand controllers allow hand interaction. The developer edition will be available in the spring and the consumer product will be available this year.