Best of Mobile World Congress 2014: The hottest new devices

Mobile World Congress is one of the largest mobile trade shows of the year, where most device manufacturers show off their latest and greatest devices.

MWC 2014 was no exception, with the likes of Samsung and Sony both announcing a wide range of new devices to see you through 2014.

But which were the most impressive devices? Which left the biggest impact on us and why? These were our best smartphones and tablets of MWC 2014.

Sony Xperia Z2

The Xperia Z2's design belies some of the changes within. It might look almost the same as the Xperia Z1, but it's lighter, not quite as wide, and sees a number of improvements.

The display has grown to 5.2-inches giving plenty of space to play, while the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset and 3GB of RAM promises to make this phone fly.

It's waterproof, you get storage expansion and a 3200mAh battery, as well as the latest version of Android 4.4 KitKat. Front-facing speakers and in-built noise cancellation improve the audio offering.

There's a 20.7-megapixel camera with an impressive array of functions on offer, including 4K video capture and SteadyShot stabilisation, but also background defocus and live AR effects.

It might just be a little too big, still.

READ: Sony Xperia Z2 first impressions

Samsung Galaxy S5

The big rival to the Sony Xperia Z2 is the SGS5. We knew it was coming, but we didn't know as much about it. There's a 5.1-inch display and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2GB of RAM.

The design is similar to previous Galaxy handsets from the front, with a dimpled effect on the rear, but there's now a fingerprint scanner on the front and a heart rate monitor on the back.

The 2800mAh battery is accessible so you can switch it out, it comes with Android 4.4 KitKat and is also water resistant.

There's a new 16-megapixel camera on the rear, with Samsung boasting speedy focusing thanks to its hybrid AF system.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S5 first impressions

Huawei MediaPad X1

Something of a surprise hit for us, the Huawei MediaPad X1 is a great 7-inch tablet. It's fully phone enabled, so you could use it as a phablet, or just let it snaffle data through the 4G LTE connection.

There's a 1920 x 1200 resolution display which is very good quality and under the skin is a 1.6GHz quad-core chipset and 2GB of RAM.

It's lightweight and compact, one of the smallest 7-inch Android tablets around, but unfortunately there's no sign for Android 4.4 and the Emotion UI changes a fair amount.

READ: Huawei MediaPad X1 first impressions

Nokia X

We knew Nokia had something Android-flavoured planned for MWC and the Nokia X family was it. The "family" took us by surprise with a range of devices rather than just the one.

The premise is simple: offering you a device that's well built, well connected, but offers good value for money. We're impressed with the design, and the services it offers from Microsoft and Nokia are welcomed.

It's not your typical Android device and that might pose a problem - why not just get a cheap Android phone? - but there's potential here for Nokia.

READ: Nokia X first impressions

YotaPhone 2

Battery life is a problem for modern smartphones. The solution is often to disable features or make everything bigger so you can have a bigger battery inside.

The thing we like about YotaPhone is the use of a technology we're fans of - e-paper - and integrating it into your device. That means when reading you can flip it onto a low power display, rather than the huge LCD on the front.

You might never see a YotaPhone in the flesh, or want to buy one, but we like the concept and the execution in the YotaPhone 2 is much advanced over previous iterations.

READ: YotaPhone 2 first impressions

HTC Desire 816

HTC attached the label "flagship mid-range" to the Desire 816. Sure, it's not the HTC One, but it is nicely designed and there was a lot we liked about it once we got our hands on it.

There's a caveat here, of course. We couldn't turn the device on, or play with the interface, so we don't know as much about this mid-ranger as we do the Sony or Samsung phones, but we believe that's because this is a precursor to the new HTC One. Note that lack of capacitive buttons, one of the hottest rumours for HTC's next flagship.

Still, as it is, we're impressed with HTC's attention to design on this level of device.

READ: HTC Desire 816 first impressions



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