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MWC 2015 Round-up

New Xperia Z4, HTC Vive VR Headset & new Lumia 640 range announced

by Mark Hodgkinson Mar 2, 2015 at 1:12 PM


  • Tech News

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    MWC 2015 Round-up
    Of course it’s not just Samsung who are trotting out new gear at MWC 2015, so we take a look at some of the other notable announcements from the event.

    Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet


    Sony may not have brought a Xperia Z4 phone but they did have the very sexy looking Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, the successor of the Xperia Z2. It comes with a 10.1" IPS display with a 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution, producing a pixel density of 300ppi. The display is enhanced by Sony's Triluminos tech and X-Reality Mobile engine.

    The Z4 is powered by the Qualcomm's (best) Snapdragon 810 chip, which packs an octa-core 64-bit processor with four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2.0GHz, plus there’s four Cortex-A53 working at 1.5GHz. The GPU as an Adreno 430 and there is 3GB of RAM to support all that processing grunt. There’s 32GB memory on-board but that’s expandable and there’s also a rear-facing Sony ExmorRS camera with 8MP resolution and 5MP wide-angle front ‘selfie’ one to the front. Battery-wise, there is a 6,000 mAh unit built-in that Sony claims will last up to 17 hours on continuous video playback - impressive.


    Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet will come running Android 5.0 Lollipop OS with the latest tablet-optimized Xperia launcher. It will also offer access to Xperia Lounge Gold service, which includes content such as movies, TV series, music and apps. The slate supports Hi-Res audio playback and digital noise cancelling.
    The LTE and Wi-Fi models of Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet are due in June 2015 with pricing yet unconfirmed.

    Sony BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard


    Sony has showed off a few Z4 accessories, including the BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard - an all-in-one detachable accessory with adjustable tilt angle (0-130 degrees), complete with a docking station and a fully-fledged hardware keyboard with a touchpad. The keyboard dock also comes with projector and printer ports.

    Sony Xperia M4 Aqua smartphone


    Sony also showed off the mid-range Xperia M4 Aqua, which comes with a 5.2-inch screen with a 720p resolution. As the name would suggest, it has the same remarkable waterproof powers as much of the rest of the Xperia, including an all-new microUSB port that doesn't need special protection to keep the. water out. Processing is done by a respectable octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 and the Aqua has a 5MP front-facing camera and a 13MP one at the back.

    HTC One M9


    HTC’s new flagship phone is the One M9, which looks an awful lot like the outgoing M8. The screen remains at 5-inches, with a 1920x1080 resolution but HRC but internals, at least, have been totally upgraded.

    Like Sony’s Xperia Z4 tablet, the One M9 is powered by a Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor backed up by 3GB of RAM. The battery is rated at 2840mAh and there's 32GB of storage built but that is also expandable via microSD. The M9 has HTC's Sense Seven skin running on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. The biggest change comes with the cameras. The M9 has a new 20-megapixel camera at the back, whilst the font mounted snapper uses HTC’s UltraPixels tech to improve low-light selfies.

    HTC Vive VR Headset


    The biggest surprise HTC had up their sleeves was with the Vive - a virtual reality headset created with the help of Valve. Thee Vive plugs straight into a PC and can support whole room environments, meaning you can walk fully, 360 degrees around virtual objects in unrestricted 360 degrees 3D. It also is capable of hand tracking and it looks to be a genuinely credible alternative to Oculus, although there’s very little on the way of detail yet. Excitingly, the Vive is said to be released some time in 2015, suggesting the development process is at least somewhat mature.

    Microsoft announces 5-inch Lumia 640 and 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL


    Microsoft lifted the lid on a couple of new mid-range Windows Phones with the 5-inch Lumia 640 and 5.7-inch Lumia 640 XL. Both phones will run Windows Phone 8.1, at launch, but Microsoft's intends to upgrade them to Windows 10, down the line.

    Microsoft Lumia 640


    The Microsoft Lumia 640 has a 5" IPS display with 720p resolution at 294ppi and features Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Processing is supplied by a Snapdragon 400 chipset (quad-core Cortex-A7 at 1.2GHz) with 1GB of RAM. There's also 8GB of storage, expandable with up to 128GB microSD cards.

    The camera department has been up-specced to 8MP, at the rear, whilst selfies are taken care of with a and a 1MP shooter on the front. The rear camera is capable of 1080p video at 30fps, while the front camera manages 720p. The camera also gained an LED flash, unlike previous models.

    The Microsoft Lumia 640 will be available in April and will come in a variety of colours, including Cyan, Orange, Black and White. The 3G version will cost €140, while the LTE version will be €160.

    The Microsoft Lumia 640 will be available in April and will come in a variety of colours, including Cyan, Orange, Black and White. The 3G version will cost €140, while the LTE version will be €160.

    Microsoft Lumia 640 XL


    The Microsoft Lumia 640 XL improves on the base model with a 5.7" screen but it also only has a resolution of 720p (259ppi). The camera is more of an upgrade thanks to the inclusion of a Zeiss f/2.0 lens in front of a 13MP 1/3" sensor. It is also powered by a Snapdragon 400 chipset with a quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. You get 8GB storage out of the box, which is expandable.

    Microsoft is offering a free subscription to Office 365 with both new phones, which lasts for a year. You’ll also get 60 Skype minutes per month too.

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