Technology giants released eye-catching new devices at the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona. Besides a slew of sleek, new premier smartphones, the world's biggest smartphone maker Samsung and its rivals unveiled an array of smart watches and bracelets to unlock new revenues. Here are a few hot gadgets from the event.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung unveiled Monday its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor to defend its place as the world's industry leader.
The smartphone boasts a full high definition 5.1-inch screen and, catching up with Apple, the home button doubles up as a fingerprint reader to unlock the device or manage applications.
For people familiar with the desperation of a dying smartphone battery, the phone has an extreme battery-saving mode that turns the display black-and-white and retains just six key applications to keep the device going longer on the last remnants of its charge.
Samsung Galaxy Fit
Taking the limelight on the opening day of the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain, the South Korean giant simultaneously revealed a connected bracelet for health-concerned customers. Mobile manufacturers are showing off a series of new smart devices to try to unlock new revenue streams.
The Samsung Fit bracelet follows that trend, with a curved touch-screen display and a heart-rate sensor to help give users feedback during excercise routines. The previous day, Samsung unveiled an updated smart watch, the Gear 2, which also has sports tracking software and a heart rate monitor, plus a camera.
Nokia's Android phone
Nokia, soon to be acquired by Microsoft, is turning to software created by arch-rival Google for a new line of phones it hopes will make it a late contender in the dynamic low-cost smartphone market. Its first models, Nokia X, X+ and XL, rely upon an open version of the Android mobile software system created by Google that has become the world's most popular software used in smartphones.
The Nokia X family uses the open source version of Android, which runs most apps without the right to customise Google's basic software.
For Nokia, it was a question of making this humiliating reversal in its strategy or facing irrelevance in this category of phones, Wood said.
Huawei's smart watch
Rising Chinese smartphone maker Huawei launched a connected watch to rival Samsung's Gear 2, both unveiled on the eve of the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei, already a major force in building mobile networks and the world number three smartphone maker in 2013, showed off its TalkBand, to be sold for 99 euros ($136).
Connected by Bluetooth to a smartphone, the watch lets you receive calls and messages without removing your mobile from your pocket, as well as measuring the steps you take with a podometer and even following your sleep pattern.
To take a call, the user lifts the face off the watch and puts it to his or her ear, like a hands-free kit, he said. It works only with Huawei smartphones for the moment but is to be made compatible with other brands later.
The Blackphone, which runs on a customised version of Google's Android software and encrypts texts, voice calls and video chats was launched in the Spanish Pavilion at the annual Mobile World Congress industry fair in Barcelona on Monday.
It aims to tap into the market for so-called mobile security management (MSM) products which was estimated to be worth $560 million in 2013 and is expected to nearly double in size to $1 billion a year by 2015, according to ABI Research.
More from the Mobile World Congress 2014:
Read: Smartphone giants want your body
Read: Zuckerberg says $19 billion for WhatsApp deal was cheap; talks about Internet.org
Read: WhatsApp will add voice calling to messaging service
Read: Sony showcases phone with ultra-HD video recording
Read: Microsoft resets Windows Phone to reach lower cost markets
Read: Firefox OS challenges Apple, Google; set to power $25 smartphones