The annual Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona on Monday. But its Sunday press conference has already created some buzz, especially about Chinese tech firms. Here is what we know from MWC 2016.
Huawei launches its first laptop-tablet device
The world’s third-largest smartphone maker, according to research firm IDC, is expanding to the laptop business, aiming at enterprise users. The debut of the MateBook is Huawei’s answer to the trend of thin, lightweight convertible devices, taking cues from Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Apple’s iPad Pro. Running on Windows 10, the device will cost at USD 699 and up.
ZTE debuts portable projector
This Chinese smartphone manufacturer is introducing a mini projector that is an Android-powered tablet. The 8.4-inch SPro Plus, with a 2K display, can support mobile hotspot and USB charging. It has a 12,100mAh battery which ZTE claims can project four hours of video streaming on the wall, according to The Verge. The tablet contains two JBL speakers. ZTE has not released the price yet.
Three announcements from Lenovo: new smartphone, tablets, and wireless roaming service
Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus
The consumer tech giant’s latest smartphone comes with a 5-inch screen and is processed by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. It has 16GB of built-in memory, a 2,750mAh user-replaceable battery, a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, as well as a 5-megapixel fixed-focus camera. It supports dual SIMs. Lenovo said it will begin to sell in select countries for USD 149 starting in March.
Lenovo unveils a trio of new Tab3 tablets
The Lenovo tablet named the Tab3 10 Business targets enterprise users and its other two tablets, the Tab3 7 and Tab3 8, are aimed at families. All are powered by Android 6.0. The business tablet comes pre-loaded with Android for Work and Google Play for Work apps. The kid-friendly versions have safe web-browsing options and the ability to restrict access to the tablet at chosen times or days of the week.
Lenovo’s new global roaming service: Lenovo Connect
This service allows users in China, Europe, the Middle East and Africa to connect across devices, networks, and borders. The idea is to leverage Lenovo’s big data and cloud services to benefit from local pricing for internet access and secure data connectivity. It will eliminate the hassle of switching to a local SIM. Lenovo Connect will be available in China starting in February for the LeMeng X3 smartphone and the MIIX 700 tablet. Lenovo will launch the service during the first quarter of 2016 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on select ThinkPad laptops.