The Gadgets from MWC 2015 We Actually Want

By Gizmodo UK on at

Another Mobile World Congress has been and gone; another whirlwind of phones, tablets, smartwatches and other portable gadgets has blown through Barcelona, leaving in its wake a slew of headlines, headaches and journo hangovers.

Now that the dust has settled, we take a look at what piqued our collective interest here at Gizmodo UK.

GERALD LYNCH, News Editor

HTC Vive VR Headset

There's been quite a lot of stuff I've liked at MWC this year – Sony's Xperia Z4 tablet, the HTC One M9, LG's webOS smartwatch, but none of them really surprised me. The HTC headset on the other hand is straight out of left-field – in a good way. I think. A dedicated Steam VR headset is only going to get the VR gaming ball rolling quicker, and gives Oculus some proper competition in the PC virtual reality space.

What's weird though is the decision to partner with HTC; they've got no prior in the space, even if they do design lovely kit. But with Samsung out of the equation with Gear VR, Sony busy with Morpheus and Apple only ever going to work within its own walled garden, where else does Valve turn? Huawei? Lenovo? BLACKBERRY? Unlikely. Perhaps LG. Either way, it's an exciting announcement: with HTC cosying up to Dolby in its smartphones, I'm hoping that it may eventually lead to a Dolby Atmos-enabled VR headset, which would be fucking unreal. Or, actually, very real, even.

BoydSense

This one is cheating a bit – BoydSense's smell sensors for smartphones don't really exist yet (they're aiming to be in a "mobile" device by 2016), but even as a concept it sounds interesting. Imagine a sensor that could rival the Netatmo environmental sensor's capabilities, in a package small enough to fit in a phone. There are lots of interesting possible uses, from aiding food hygiene and sensing gas leaks through to silly stuff like dating apps that tell you if your breath smells. The company even claims the sensors will be able to detect some diseases based on your smell alone. All you'll need is a smartphone case with built-in aftershave to go with it.

JACK TOMLIN, Production Assistant

Avegant Glyph

While the HTC Vive took up most of the VR headlines coming out of MWC, I was more impressed with the quietly-sitting-in-the-corner Avegant Glyph. As it appears now, the Glyph is ridiculous-looking: like a pair of cans that have fallen down over the wearer’s face. But the headset cleverly combines VR and audio, which helps further involve the user in the experience. It’s a prototype-y hint at the things to come as VR keeps evolving, and it has my interest.

BlackBerry Slider

After a couple of terrible phone releases in the Passport and the Classic, BlackBerry has hit on a winner: The Slider. Slide phones were the future when they first arrived in the early to mid-2000s, and that future is literally now: it’s the perfect time for a comeback.

What’s not to love? You can get all the dirt and grime you like caught up in the sliding-exposed back panel. You can rapidly slide open and closed the keyboard to really annoy everyone around you. You can watch in glee as the slide mechanism gunks up and stops working smoothly after a few months. While your friends show off how slim their smartphones are now, you can whip out your Slider and show everyone how girthy it is because of that completely necessary keyboard. Bliss.

TOM PRITCHARD, Evenings and Weekends Production Assistant

HTC Re Dinosaur

I don't own an HTC Re Camera, nor have I ever really felt the need to. But the Dino Charger is making me wish I had an excuse own one because it would make a fine addition to my desk. There are a bunch of different justifications for having one, like the fact that it can be used for panoramas, or for shooting time lapses, but that's not why people are going to buy it. When you get down to it, the only reason anyone is buying a Dino Charger is because it's shaped like a dinosaur.

Microsoft Foldable Keyboard

You have to hand it to Microsoft. It could be very easy for them to make their gadgets exclusive to Windows devices, but they haven't. It's rather convenient to be honest, and that seems to be the whole point of the keyboard. Not only is it incredibly portable thanks to the fold, I love the fact that it can be connected via Bluetooth and microUSB. No worrying about running out of battery with this! As long as it's not a ridiculous price I will seriously consider buying one.

SPENCER HART, Features Writer

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

We can't pretend the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a perfect device; it's going to be expensive, it's missing some features and, it runs TouchWiz, but none of that takes away from the fact that it's a stunning little smartphone. The curved edge display is a beautiful design feature (even if it's usefulness is debatable), the processing power is blow-your-mind-amazing and Samsung's quick-charge feature should be useful. Oh, and that screen is awesome.

Ford Smart eBike

Ford aren't selling a bike (no, really, they're not selling it). They're in fact selling a vision of future transportation, and as someone who spends three hours a day commuting – I wholeheartedly welcome Ford's innovation. These smart eBikes bring good-old pedal power into the 21st century, with sensors to help you avoid cars, intelligent routing and variable power-assisted pedalling – so I wouldn't arrive at work battered, bruised and sweaty. Sign me up.

JAMES LAIRD, Associate Editor (Lifehacker UK)

Pebble Time Steel 

I've scorned smartwatches since the day some cracked out product engineer decided people were too damn lazy to reach for their smartphone. Not much has changed, but I can appreciate that the market has come of age and MWC 2015 saw some stunning devices.

Pebble's Time Steel is the best of the bunch for me: stylish, affordable, and – thanks to the 'smart strap' initiative – open to some serious hacking. I also don't want to charge my watch every sodding day, so were I to take back the last three years of ill-tempered, anti-smartwatch rants, it would have to be for a device that lasts longer than a post-curry poo, making Pebble's 10-day-strong Time Steel ideal on pretty much every front.

Ikea Wireless Charging Furniture

'Ikea' and 'MWC' don't seem like natural bedfellows, but the world's favourite cheap furniture maker caused a stir at this year's show when it announced that its latest range of home furnishings would come with integrated Qi wireless charging pads. It's a hugely significant move, and one that immediately takes wireless charging out of the purely niche geek realm and into the mainstream. Coupled with the fact that Samsung's Galaxy S6 now supports the Qi standard, wireless charging has finally arrived.