News

BlackBerry CEO confirms Foxconn-made Q20 and Z3 phones

BARCELONA, Spain--BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed two new phones were on their way this year.

The first, codenamed "Jakarta," but known as the BlackBerry Z3 will launch first in Indonesia in April before moving to other markets. It will retail for less than $200.

The second phone, the BlackBerry Q20 (which Chen dubbed "BlackBerry Classic" because of its keyboard) is designed for big business and government clients and will launch by the end of the year. It was also designed by Foxconn.

"We are definitely here to compete and make up some lost ground," … Read more

What mattered at Mobile World Congress day 1: Samsung's hero phone, Nokia goes Android, Blackphone flouts the NSA

BARCELONA, Spain -- On the first full official day of Mobile World Congress, some of the industry's biggest names brought out their largest guns.

While today marked CNET's second day of coverage, it feels like the fifth -- that's just how much news this venue has generated in 48 hours. We wrapped up yesterday's wave of news already, and it's a good thing because the flood continued today. Here's some of what we saw.

Samsung Galaxy S5 debuts, along with a trio of new Gear wearables

The Galaxy S4 -- and Samsung's flotilla … Read more

New TextSecure delivers smoother encryption

TextSecure is a far cry from driving a multibillion-dollar buyout. But for people who care about having their SMS and instant messages protected from prying eyes, it's an app that just got easier to use and more secure.

The new Android version of TextSecure, announced Monday, still uses the TextSecure v2 protocol that debuted with its CyanogenMod integration last year. Open WhisperSystems' founder, a security researcher and developer who goes by the pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, said that the partnership has helped his company.

"It's been great," he said. "Their userbase is enormous, and it's … Read more

Samsung reveals Galaxy S5 with new wearables

CNET Update checks for a pulse:

In this episode of Update, get a quick summary of Samsung's new smartphone and wearable accessories. The Samsung Galaxy S5 includes a fingerprint scanner on the home button, similar to its nemesis, the iPhone 5S. But it also is water-resistant with a heart-rate monitor and improved camera.

Those looking for a hybrid between a fitness-tracker and a smartwatch will be intrigued by the Gear Fit. It does more than count steps: the curved screen shows the time and it can measure pulse with a heart-rate sensor on the inside.

Samsung also revealed the … Read more

With Galaxy S5, Samsung hopes substance wins over sizzle

BARCELONA, Spain -- Gone was the glitz and glamour of last year's Samsung Galaxy S4 launch.

Gone was the showy venue of Radio City Music Hall; in its place was Barcelona's International Convention Center, more in the vein of a typical product launch, if a little larger.

Gone were the musical numbers and over-the-top acting.

Gone were the whiz-bang features that didn't really work.

Gone was the bloat.

To which I say, good riddance.

Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, arrived Monday in a streamlined presentation. The focus was on a few core specs and … Read more

Samsung refreshes wearables with Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Fit

Samsung released its Galaxy Gear smartwatch just five months ago, and now it's intent on shelving that unit for not one, but two new models: the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Alongside the refreshed smartwatch lineup is the Gear Fit, a fitness band with a 1.84-inch full-color screen that rounds out Samsung's continually aggressive and fast-moving push into wearables. All three devices will go on sale April 11, the company announced Monday.

The Gear 2 was announced over the weekend, but to refresh, Samsung is ditching Android in favor of its custom Tizen OS, previously only … Read more

Facebook's Zuckerberg sounds off again about NSA scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on a crusade to connect another billion people to the Internet. But the US government's spy scandal last year won't likely make those efforts any easier for the company, Zuckerberg said Monday during an interview at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

"It's not awesome for us," Zuckerberg admitted when asked a question by interviewer David Kirkpatrick, a technology journalist and author of the 2010 book "The Facebook Effect." Kirkpatrick, who was interviewing Zuckerberg as part of the afternoon keynote at MWC, asked him how … Read more

HTC chairwoman: Our smartwatch will be ready by Christmas

BARCELONA, Spain -- HTC's smartwatch is indeed real, and it'll be here in time for the Christmas shopping season.

That's according to HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang, who confirmed to CNET that the company is working on a smartwatch and that it will be ready for the holiday season.

"It's natural for us to have wearables because we're a design company," Wang said.

Wang agreed with this reporter's assessment that many of the current smartwatches in the market lack aesthetic appeal, and promised that HTC's offering will be fashionable.

"People think … Read more

EU looks to ditch roaming fees in 2015, report says

The European Union could soon put an end to roaming charges, Reuters reported on Monday, citing official documents it has obtained.

According to those documents, which come from the European Parliament's industry committee, it would be illegal for telecommunications companies to charge customers roaming fees if they're traveling in member countries. The policy, if approved, would go into effect on December 15. The nixing of roaming charges would also extend to text messaging and data fees.

Roaming charges were once the bane of the average mobile customer's life. Whenever they were outside a designated area, they'd … Read more

Lumus smartglasses to get EyeSight gesture recognition

BARCELONA, Spain -- One of the difficulties with wearable computing is that it can be hard to control devices that don't have a handy keyboard or touch screen attached. And that's how gesture control company EyeSight Mobile won a place in Lumus' smartglasses.

With the technology a person can hold out a finger to tap on icons or swipe away notifications in the virtual view Lumus glasses present. Later, EyeSight plans to add the ability to drag items around the display, too.

"You can actually touch the icons in the air with your fingers," EyeSight Chief Executive Gideon Shmuel told CNET. … Read more