MWC 2015 Showcased Array of Smartphones for Diverse Markets, Budgets

1 - MWC 2015 Showcased Array of Smartphones for Diverse Markets, Budgets
2 - Samsung Proudly Shows Off Galaxy S6
3 - Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Pushes Screen Real Estate to the Brink
4 - Lenovo's A7000 Handset Includes Dolby Atmos
5 - BlackBerry Leap Stays on the Corporate Path
6 - LG Gets Into the Mix With Magna
7 - Acer Liquid Jade Z Aims for Budget-Conscious Buyers
8 - HTC One M9 Looks Awfully Familiar
9 - Sony's Xperia M4 Aqua Takes Cue From Xperia Z3
10 - Silent Circle's Blackphone 2 Retains Tight Focus on Security
11 - Microsoft Lumia 640 XL for the Budget Shopper
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MWC 2015 Showcased Array of Smartphones for Diverse Markets, Budgets

by Don Reisinger

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Samsung Proudly Shows Off Galaxy S6

The Samsung Galaxy S6 was arguably the biggest announcement to come out of Mobile World Congress 2015. The device has a 5.1-inch screen and an all-metallic design, and comes with support for Samsung's new mobile-payment solution, Samsung Pay. It's an attractive device that competes nicely with Apple's iPhone 6.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Pushes Screen Real Estate to the Brink

In addition to the standard Galaxy S6, Samsung announced the Galaxy S6 Edge. The smartphone comes with the same features as the standard, bezel-equipped model, but thanks to glass-molding technology, the screen extends off the edge. Not only does that provide a bit more screen real estate, but it also allows for additional software functionality. It's a neat feature.

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Lenovo's A7000 Handset Includes Dolby Atmos

Lenovo, one of the corporate world's favorite PC vendors, is gunning for that space with its A7000 smartphone. The handset has a 5.5-inch HD display and is the first to come with Dolby Atmos, a new technology designed to improve smartphone sound quality. The A7000 comes with Android 5.0 (Lollipop), connects to 4G LTE networks, and is offered in Onyx Black and Pear White. It's an all-around solid product.

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BlackBerry Leap Stays on the Corporate Path

As BlackBerry has said, its smartphone business is focused solely on the corporate world, and the Leap, its latest handset, is following that path. The Leap comes with a 5-inch HD display and a boxy design. The smartphone runs BlackBerry 10 and supports all of the handset maker's solutions, including BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Assistant, among others. The smartphone also supports Android apps, thanks to BlackBerry's partnership with Amazon's Appstore.

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LG Gets Into the Mix With Magna

LG's Magna is designed for the middle of the market. The smartphone has a 5-inch HD screen like BlackBerry's Leap, and includes either a 1.2GHz or 1.3GHz quad-core processor, depending on the market in which it's bought. The smartphone has a standard curved design, but with just 8GB of onboard storage, the Android 5.0 Lollipop handset will not compete with the likes of Samsung's Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6.

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Acer Liquid Jade Z Aims for Budget-Conscious Buyers

The Acer Liquid Jade Z is another smartphone designed for those who want a midlevel product at a midlevel price tag. The device comes with a 5-inch screen and 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. At just 110 grams, the smartphone is one of the lightest in this roundup. There is nothing groundbreaking about the Liquid Jade Z, but that's the point: Acer is going for the midlevel market with a midlevel device.

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HTC One M9 Looks Awfully Familiar

The HTC One M9 isn't much of an upgrade over the One M8 that the company announced last year, but that might not be an issue. The HTC One M9 comes with a nice design, including a gold-plated spine that has mirrorlike finishes. It also boasts a 64-bit octa-core processor, 32GB of onboard storage and a 5-inch screen. Its front-facing speakers are designed to re-create a 5.1-channel surround sound effect.

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Sony's Xperia M4 Aqua Takes Cue From Xperia Z3

The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua looks somewhat similar to the company's high-end Xperia Z3, but it doesn't come with the same level of specs. Like so many other devices in this roundup, the Aqua has a 5-inch screen and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. It also runs Google's Android 5.0 (Lollipop). The Aqua branding comes from its waterproof design. According to Sony, the smartphone can be dunked into water and still work. But actually doing so might not be the best idea.

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Silent Circle's Blackphone 2 Retains Tight Focus on Security

Silent Circle's latest smartphone, the Blackphone 2, is designed for corporate customers. The device, which comes with a standard black design, has a suite of applications that are encrypted to enhance security. In addition, there's a new Spaces feature that separates consumer and business apps to ensure there's no crossover. It seems to be a solid smartphone for security-seekers and enterprise customers.

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Microsoft Lumia 640 XL for the Budget Shopper

When Microsoft announced last year that it had nixed Nokia branding, the company said that it would keep "Lumia" and offer it to budget-conscious shoppers. The Lumia 640 XL comes in a range of colors, including orange, white and black, and has a surprisingly large 5.7-inch screen. There's also a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing lens. It's an all-around solid device for those on a budget.

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