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MWC 2015 roundup: Microsoft, Samsung, HTC and Firefox

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Here’s a brief look at the major announcements made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on Day Zero and Day one.

Microsoft introduced its new 5-inch Lumia 640 and 5.7 inch Lumia 640XL devices, reports AnandTech. Both devices will be available in 3G and LTE versions, with both single and dual SIM options depending on the market. Both devices will ship with Windows 8.1 but will be upgradeable to Windows 10. The devices will also come with one year of Office 365 which can be installed on one PC and one other device as a part of the deal.

Samsung officially announced its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, reports the Verge. Both flasgship devices sport  5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED displays, 3GB of RAM, 32, 64, or 128GB of internal storage, 16-megapixel cameras with optical image stabilization, a fingerprint sensor, an infrared heart-rate monitor, both Qi and PMA wireless charging and integrated support for Samsung Pay, which uses either NFC or MFT (LoopPay) technology for transactions.

Samsung Pay, which was also announced today, will allow users to make payments in-store using their smartphones instead of using payment cards. The company has partnered with Mastercard and Visa for the same, and claims it has to potential to be accepted in 30 million stores today. In order to use it, users need to add a payment card to the app, and then swipe up from the bezel to choose the saved card when paying.

HTC announced its first wearable device, which will let users track their workouts and other activity reports thenextweb. Dubbed the Grip, the device features GPS tracking and a 100 mAh battery that will last a couple of days, although only for 5 hours with the GPS on. HTC also launched its flagship phone the HTC One M9 at the conference.

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– Mobile company Huawei also unveiled the 2nd generation of its wearable platform the TalkBand B2. The updated version will has better motion tracking and a touch screen. Users can now swipe the screen to show the time as well as stopwatch, pedometer, sleeptracker and calorie monitor. Note that the congress will also feature a conference session on wearables in Hall 4 on Tuesday 3 March at 14:00 – 15:30 CET.

Firefox has announced that it will launch a new batch of flip and slider phones running its Firefox OS to consumers in third world countries. The devices are yet to be created, and with Android smartphones getting cheaper by the day, it will be interesting to see if Firefox can get them out it time to be a viable alternative. The browser maker also had its OS preinstalled on Panasonic’s 4k UHD Viera TVs, which are to ship later this year.

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