Alcatel’s A5 brings Moto Mod-like replaceable covers to budget smartphones

Why it matters to you

Alcatel’s latest phone brings some form of modularity to budget devices, and if the company introduces more

Alcatel’s retiring its Pop and Pixi lineup of smartphones for a new moniker — the A and U series. The company announced three new smartphones and a 2-in-1 Windows device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and they’re all unsurprisingly aimed at the budget market.

Of the three smartphones, the A5 is the most unique because it comes with a myriad of accessories that enhance the user experience. The A3 and the U5 don’t really bring anything new to the table, and the Plus 12 Windows 2-in-1 is a larger variant of last year’s Plus 10.

More: BlackBerry KeyOne: Our first take

Alcatel A5

Alcatel’s 5.2-inch A5 essentially brings Motorola’s Moto Mods to budget devices, though perhaps in not the simplest fashion. The A5 offers sub-$50 replaceable backs, some of which are purely cosmetic, but others offer more uses. For example, there’s a speaker with a kickstand you can attach to the back of the A5, as well as a battery pack that doubles the phone’s battery life.

It’s almost exactly similar to Motorola’s Moto Mod launch, which offered a JBL speaker mod as well as a battery pack mod, and more. But Motorola’s mods were separate accessories that magnetically snapped to the phone.

The plastic backs for the A5 are literally the back of the smartphone — you can’t just take one off as you’ll have to replace it with something. Taking them off is like taking off the back of a phone with a removeable battery.

The highlight Alcatel is touting is the LED, an accessory that covers the back of the A5 with colorful LEDs. Using various apps, you can light up the back of the A5 with different patterns and colors to match your mood. Or you can even use the camera to automatically pick three colors of your outfit or whatever you point at to change the phone’s wallpaper and app icon colors to match.

More: Did you click ‘Always’ and wish you could take it back? Here’s how to reset default apps in Android

The LED back also lights up with the icon and matching color of select apps when you get a notification from them, like Facebook or Twitter. If you’re playing music, you can have the lights dance to your tunes.

The phone itself only has a 720-pixel resilution, and it’s powered by MediaTek’s 6753 with 2GB of RAM. It has a 2,800mAh battery that charges via the MicroUSB port, and you’ll only find 16GB of internal storage, though there’s support for a MicroSD card. The rear camera only has 8 megapixels with electronic image stabilization, and the front is packed with 5, though it uses a wide-angle lens.

Unfortunately, the A5 only runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It’s the only smartphone in this list that’s likely coming to the U.S. We don’t have any pricing or availability details yet.

Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium is the world’s first phone with a 4K HDR screen

The word overkill doesn’t seem to be in Sony’s vocabulary.

A year and a half after introducing the Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first and only smartphone with a 4K display, Sony’s now one-upped itself with the Xperia XZ Premium, the world’s first phone with a 4K HDR screen. 

The display’s not the only thing that’s bonkers on the Xperia XZ Premium. The phone’s camera is also the world’s first to be capable of recording slow motion video at a ridiculous 960 frames per second.

By “normal” standards, the Xperia XZ Premium’s 5.5-inch 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR screen is totally unnecessary, but I guess when you’re Sony and you have so little of the mobile pie, you’ve got to aim for the stratosphere or throw in the towel.

A 4K screen on a phone would make sense for VR, but Sony doesn’t even have a mobile VR headset so it’s kind of a moot point.

Still, the screen looks great. Most people won’t be able to see the difference between a 4K screen and a Quad HD screen (2,560 x 1,440) unless they squint really hard and press their face up against the XZ Premium, though. And even then, it might be impossible to appreciate the extra resolution.

With HDR content, however, you should be able to see some immediate differences, namely higher contrast and a wider range of colors. Of course, you’ll still need to have HDR content to watch on it in the first place — something that’s still not common these days.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

That said, the Xperia XZ Premium is still a worthy contender in the premium phone space. Besides the tack sharp screen, the phone’s got the latest and greatest specs, including Android 7.1 Nougat, Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card up to 256GB), and a 3,230 mAh battery.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

The water and dust-proof IP68-rated metal body’s as sleek as Sony’s previous phones, but it’s also as prone to greasy fingerprints as well.

Sony’s also given the camera its biggest upgrade in ages. The 19-megapixel “Motion Eye” camera on the back has a “Predictive Capture” mode that starts snapping pictures before you’ve even hit the shutter, improvements to its “Predictive Autofocus” which anticipates where to focus on next, lens distortion corrections, and the aforementioned 960 fps super slow motion video capture (below). The front camera remains at 13 megapixels — same as on the Xperia XZ.

[embedded content]

Now for some sorta bad news. The Xperia XZ Premium has a fingerprint sensor embedded in its power button on the side, but it’s only activated on the international version. For reasons Sony didn’t want to elaborate on, the U.S. version’s fingerprint sensor is disabled once again. It’s really unbelievable.

I’ve been saying the same thing for the last two years and I’ll say it again: It’s not acceptable for a premium phone to not have a working fingerprint sensor when even budget phones like the Moto G4 and G4 Plus have one. In 2017, a fingerprint sensor is a must-have, not a nice option.

Sony hasn’t announced pricing for the XZ Premium, but since it’s a premium phone, you can probably expect it to cost a pretty penny.

SAD: The fingerprint sensor isn't activated on the U.S. model.

SAD: The fingerprint sensor isn’t activated on the U.S. model.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

At least the phone's got a headphone jack.

At least the phone’s got a headphone jack.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Man, this phone gets greased up with fingerprints fast.

Man, this phone gets greased up with fingerprints fast.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Sony also announced the Xperia XZs ($700), Xperia XA 1 ($300) and Xperia XA Ultra (pricing TBA). The phones aren’t as powerful as the XZ Premium, but all three also run Android Nougat and their lower price points should appeal to consumers who don’t want to pay top dollar.

Notable specs for the XZs include a 5.2-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage (expandable via microSD card up to 256GB), 2900 mAh battery and the the XZ Premium’s 19-megapixel camera with 960 fps slow motion capture.

Xperia XA 1

Xperia XA 1

Image: raymond wong/mashable

As for the XA 1, you’re looking at a 5-inch HD screen, MediaTek helio P20 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (expandable via microSD card up to 256GB), 2300 mAh battery, 23-megapixel back camera, and 8-megapixel selfie camera.

The XA 1 Ultra has a, you’re looking at a 6-inch full HD screen, MediaTek helio P20 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage (expandable via microSD card up to 256GB), 2700 mAh battery, 23-megapixel back camera, and 16-megapixel front-facing camera.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 Ultra, XA1: Our first take

Why it matters to you

If you’re a Sony fan, it’s possible that you’re about to get a couple more smartphone options to choose from.

Sony is back with its Xperia lineup, and if you were expecting an all-new design, you may be disappointed. The differences from last year’s lineup are largely internal, though the four smartphones have some unique features that make them stand out.

There are two lines within the main Xperia line that Sony is debuting at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. On the lower end of the spectrum are the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra, and on the opposite end are the Xperia XZ Premium and the Xperia XZs.

Xperia XZ Premium and XZs

The 5.5-inch XZ Premium is the cream of the crop with its 4K HDR display and Snapdragon 835 processor.

As far as design goes, there’s not much of a difference from last year’s XZ — save for the camera flash placement on the rear. It comes in chrome and and black, and despite its large bezels, the chrome variant makes the smartphone stand out and look gorgeous. It’s wrapped in Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, and it’s quite the fingerprint magnet.

More: Sony’s Smooth Trans Focus creates beautiful bokeh — but requires a sacrifice

The Snapdragon 835 is a powerful chip, and it’s likely necessary to keep the 4K HDR display running smoothly. Sony’s Z5 Premium from 2015 only utilized the 4K display for 4K content and the device normally ran at a 1,080-pixel resolution.  It’s likely what’s happening here with the XZ Premium, but Sony did not confirm it. Sony took HDR technology from its TVs and brought them into the XZ Premium — meaning you’ll get brighter whites, darker blacks, and more vivid colors.

The XZ Premium comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, though a MicroSD card slot lets you upgrade that up to 265GB. It uses a USB Type-C charging port to power the 3,230mAh battery, and the device supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium (left) Sony Xperia XZs (right)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The front selfie camera has 13 megapixels and a 22mm wide-angle lens, but there are two features that make the XZ Premium unique — the first is the 4K HDR screen, which we mentioned, but the second is its rear camera.

The rear camera is packed with 19 megapixels and features 5-axis image stabilization. Sony’s Motion Eye technology allows the device to capture slow-motion video at 960 frames-per-second. It’s incredibly slow, and the effect is stunning.  It certainly doesn’t do this at 1,080p, but at a lower resolution.  For comparison, the iPhone’s highest slow-motion video recording capability is at 240 frames-per-second at 720p.

More: HMD’s Nokia 6, 5, and 3 are budget phones with great build quality: Our first take

Predictive Capture is another neat feature that starts capturing any motion as soon as you open the camera app. When you actually press the shutter button, the camera will save the last four photos from two seconds prior. That way, there’s a higher chance you may have captured a special moment.

Overall, the camera seemed to produce solid photographs in our limited time with the phone, though there was some slight shutter lag. We’ll test it out more when we get a review unit. Regular performance seemed fast, as we didn’t experience any lag or stutter.

There is no fingerprint sensor on the side of the U.S. model of the device, which Sony says is a “business decision.”

The Xperia XZs carries a lot of the same features of the XZ Premium, including the camera. What’s different is the screen — it’s Full HD with a smaller 5.2-inch display. It also features the Snapdragon 820 processor.  The XZs isn’t as pretty as the XZ Premium. The bezels are huge on the front display, and the back isn’t as interesting as the chrome-colored premium variant.

Pricing and availability

The Xperia XZ Premium will launch in the spring, and its price hasn’t been released yet. We do know, however, that the XZS will cost $700 and it will launch on April 5. The Snapdragon 820 processor is a year old, and there are devices with better processors that cost less, so it may be a tough sell.

There’s nothing exciting about these devices, as there’s not much of a visible difference from last year. It also doesn’t seem as though the improvements are features consumers would really be interested in, though some of the camera tricks like Predictive Capture seem interesting. We’ll have to see if the Xperia line can take on the intense competition when the phones arrive later this year.

Highs

  • Chrome-colored XZ Premium is gorgeous
  • Display looks great
  • Snappy performance
  • 960 fps capability and Predictive Capture is useful and unique

Lows

  • Uninspired design
  • XZs is too expensive, meaning XZ Premium will be overkill
  • Low battery capacity is worrying

HP embraces ‘lapability’ with new Pro x2 detachable PC

It’s been four years since Microsoft introduced its first Surface tablet and at least two since they coined the term “lapability,” which is another way of saying, “This device is really comfortable on your lap.”

In that time, Windows system manufacturers have slowly but surely adopted Microsoft’s strategy of stuffing full-blown Windows PCs into tablets that can marry with keyboards and turn into lap-friendly ultra-portable devices. In general, Microsoft’s designs for the Surface Pro 3 and 4 have been the range’s apex, and most partners have offered only pale imitations.

There are, increasingly, exceptions.

From the front, this looks just like a Windows 10 laptop.

From the front, this looks just like a Windows 10 laptop.

The new HP Pro x2 612 G2, which HP unveiled on Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, takes that Surface Pro design language and deftly adjusts it for the millennial business set. 

“There’s a new idea of life where you intermingle personal and professional together,” said HP Vice President of Product Management for Mobility, Carol Hess. Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2021, Hess said, and they demand the kind of flexibility provided by “detachable” products like the G2.

The last edition of the HP Pro x2 also featured a detachable screen, but lacked elegance and, yes, “lapability.”

For this new device, HP trimmed the weight and thickness by 25 percent (it weighs 1.87 lbs. with keyboard), and added a kickstand that can fold back to give users an up to 165-degree screen angle.

The full-sized keyboard, which includes a track pad and mouse buttons, connects magnetically (it even has the Surface Type Cover keyboard-style magnets and fold that bring it closer to the screen and put it at a more typing-friendly angle) and has a smooth back for easy cleaning. It also has custom collaboration buttons, including one that will let you present to other screens by pressing the “Present” button.

But the HP Pro x2 612 G2 is actually a Windows  10 tablet.

But the HP Pro x2 612 G2 is actually a Windows  10 tablet.

The 12-inch full-HD display is covered in Gorilla Glass 4 and backed by Intel Integrated graphics. Running Windows 10, the HP Pro x2 612 G2 also comes with a Wacom Active Pen that will let you touch the screen and draw on it at the same time. If you’re wondering where you’ll put that pen when you’re not using it, HP chose not to go the magnetic route and instead created a keyboard with a pen loop attached. While this solution looks like the loop we used to attach our Surface Pens to the first Surface Type Cover keyboards (and that eventually fell off), this one is permanently attached to the G2 keyboard.

The display will also feature two cameras: a 5 MP of the front and 8 MP on the rear; both can shoot 1080p video.

Who doesn't love a kickstand?

Who doesn’t love a kickstand?

The system will also support Windows Hello login security via a fingerprint reader. And for the business crowd, it includes TPM and NFC for secure payments, a smartcard reader and even a removable SSD drive (a true rarity for these detachable systems).

HP is also promising the system has up to 11 hours of battery life. Our guess is that rating is for streaming video. Your mileage may vary if you run multiple applications and browse the web.

The ultraportable device will use USB-C for power and data and also includes a USB-3 port, a micro SD card slot and SIM slot for LTE connectivity.

The HP Pro x2 612 G2 starts at $979 (including the keyboard and pen) with an Intel Core M 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. There will also be Pentium and Core i5 and Core i7 options (both 7th generation). It’s on sale now.

Ford patents a head rest specifically designed to hide a travel pillow


Ford might have just solved a question that puzzled the automotive industry for eons: Where does one store a travel pillow in a car? On the floor? In the trunk? In an NPR tote bag in the backseat? Nope. Ford wants to store a travel pillow in the head rest, of course.

This new patent filing by Ford illustrates a secret compartment built-into a vehicle’s head rest. There’s a little door that when removed reveals a travel pillow — you know, the kind that wraps around a neck and is just moderately more comfortable than resting your head on a shoe.

Ford notes in the filing that car headrests are not designed to facility a comfortable snooze. They’re designed to combat whiplash. Therefore, this patent, if implemented, would provide a solution for passengers to snooze comfortably while utilizing unused space in the vehicle.

Sony’s Xperia Touch projector lets you interact with any surface

Why it matters to you

Sony’s Xperia Touch brings the idea of screen-less interactivity one step closer to reality.

Sony’s latest odd contraption is a projector with an interactive display — the Xperia Touch has been shown and demonstrated at previous trade shows, but the company is finally bringing it to market.

The Xperia Touch looks like a large, external hard drive, but it’s essentially a device projecting an Android tablet interface onto a wall. The resolution it projects only goes up to 720p, but it ranges in size from 23 inches to 80 inches.

More: PSVR sales are so high that even Sony is surprised

To project it at 23 inches, the Touch needs to sit close to a wall — that’s when the magic happens. An infrared sensor detects movement across the projected screen, allowing the Touch to detect touch actions on the wall. This allows you to control the projected Android user interface with just your fingers, similar to using a mounted tablet except without a physical display.

Sony has a handful of apps pre-installed that utilize this type of interface, such as a piano keyboard app and a drawing app. But what makes the Xperia Touch even more unique is how it’s essentially a Google Home as well.

That’s all thanks to the new announcement about Google’s app update that will bring Google Assistant, its artificially-intelligent voice bot, to all devices running Android 6.0 or higher. The Xperia Touch runs Android 7.0 Nougat, so you’ll be able to utilize Assistant’s many features, like controlling smart home devices.

The Touch is also filled with a myriad of sensors, such as a human detection sensor, humidity, temperature, barometer, ambient light, GPS, and e-Compass sensors as well. It also has Bluetooth 4.2, 32GB of internal storage, and 3GB of RAM.

More: HMD’s Nokia 3310 throwback will last for a month on standby: Our first take

It also has NFC at the top, so if you use “OK Google” to ask the Touch for directions, simply tap your (NFC-capable) phone on top and beam the data to your device — that way you’ll get the navigation information on your phone, ready to go.

It’s meant to stay idle and remain plugged in your home via the USB Type-C charger, but it does have a battery that can keep it running for an hour unplugged.

Sony did not announce pricing at the moment, but the Xperia Touch will be available in select markets in spring 2017.

We don’t need more Surface clones


When Microsoft launched the Surface line back in 2012, its combination of a tablet and keyboard cover (married with a smart kickstand), was innovative. With it, Microsoft surely hoped to kickstart a bit of innovation in what had become a rather stale market for Windows laptops and an almost non-existing market for Windows tablets. Instead of innovation, though, what we’re seeing now is a plethora of bland Surface clones. Microsoft created the market and everybody is following — but few offer any compelling reason to buy their products instead of Microsoft’s original (which is now in its fourth generation).

All of this was true for the early Surface clones and it’s once again on full display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Instead of launching a major flagship phone, Samsung’s brought its newest Surface clone to the show: the Galaxy Book (a name that’s eerily familiar to anybody who still remembers last year’s Huawei Matebook). Like every good Surface clone (including Samsung’s earlier attempts), it runs Windows 10 and comes with a detachable keyboard cover. The new keyboard cover is better than the old keyboard cover. It also features a stylus — the S-Pen, just like virtually every other Surface clone. And it has a nice screen.

Not to be outdone, HP also brought a new 2-in-1 to the show: the Pro x2. It’s got a 165-degree kickstand, and a detachable keyboard cover, and a stylus (though it’s a nice Wacom one). To be fair, it also has a few features specifically to the enterprise market, like a replaceable SSD drive,  and a fingerprint scanner.

It’s interesting to see Microsoft basically leading its hardware partners now. Years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Now, we’re seeing it repeatedly. Just wait for all of the Surface Studio clones to hit the market in the coming months (because Dell’s Surface Studio clone is definitely not a Surface Studio clone…).

pro-x2-612-g2-front-right-facing

Mastercard to bring Qkr! payments app to the U.S. and five other countries

Why it matters to you

If Oracle and Mastercard manage to get a variety of retailers, schools, and other institutions integrate with Qkr! and Masterpass, then Qkr! will be an even simpler way to pay over tap-and-pay services.

Mastercard’s mobile payment service Qkr! is coming to the U.S. as well as a handful of other countries, and the company’s new partnership with Oracle will help make the experience even more simple.

Qkr! is an iOS and Android app that uses Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital payment service, to allow users to pay at select restaurants, cinemas, schools, and more. It’s not a tap-and-pay service like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and it requires the merchant to enable the service.

More: Citibank enters the mobile wallet space, partners with MasterCard to offer Citi Pay

The collaboration between Mastercard and Oracle, which offers software services for a lot of institutions, will allow for simpler transactions on the merchant side, while preventing the need for vendors to build two separate payment solutions for in-store and online operations with Mastercard Payment Gateway Services.

“Oracle has the ability to bring this offering of Qkr! already integrated into their offering to the hundreds of thousands of merchants they have within their platform,” Kiki Del Valle, senior vice president at Mastercard, told Digital Trends.

Qkr! will launch in Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S. over the course of the year, where customers will be able to pay for supplies and fees at schools, make payments at gas stations, parking lots, stadiums, vending machines, and more.

Mastercard and Oracle are working with partners such as Carluccio’s Wagamama, Young & Co.’s Brewery, and Geronimo Pubs to let customers order additional items during meals, pay at the table, and split the bill.

More: PayPal inks agreement with MasterCard allowing users to make mobile payments

“It’s about being able to drive a smart engagement that can help streamline some of the tasks that servers or associates at a restaurant may have and help expedite the service in the way the consumers want to engage with any particular brand,” Del Valle said.

Qkr! accepts all major credit and debit cards, and consumers can register more than one card.

The mainstream media is not dead


The next decade will be one of immense change. The future of humanity will be decided – do we go to space or stay put, do we survive the changes coming? Further, many establishments will die. The publishing industry, burdened and drowned by the long tail, will sink. Music and movies will take new shapes, shapes as revolutionary as the talkie was to the zoetrope.

Basically, stuff’s going to get weirder.

But stuff is already weird. Look at the so-called Mainstream Media. This cabal of lie-tellers are busy, if you believe the Internet, breaking the bonds of reason that the average person has with the world. Conspiracy theories abound. The MSM is at their heart. We are on a boat and the MSM has cut us adrift, aiming us for the rapids.

Bull.

The reason I’m burbling out this diatribe is three-fold. First, I believe in the free press and the mission of journalists to tell the truth. Journalists exist to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. This may not be completely accurate all the time but dammit if it’s not true most of the time. The average journalist has given up the opportunity for professional success to write about children escaping from Afghanistan to the UK. The journalist has given up a cosy summer house or a nice boat to report from the frontlines of poverty in West Virginia, California, and Calais. The journalist is a damn fool who writes for money and is not sly enough to grease the right palms to grab more.

Second, even in this murk, even in these dark years, the mainstream journalist deserves our respect and our appreciation. In a few years their jobs will be eaten by robots and Instagram stars but while we still have them let’s give the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume they’re not dead.

Finally impetus this was this piece in the Guardian in which a Carole Cadwalladr searched for “Mainstream is…” on Google and found that the closest match was “Mainstream Media is dead.” I hope that my drop in the SEO bucket will somehow help.

In the firmament of journalists many of us are blips on the horizon and don’t rate a place in even the most meager of constellations. But there are many up there now and many who have since passed who deserve a spot on Orion’s Belt or at the tongue of the snake. They have proven that a free, unfettered press is a luxury surpassing gold and fame. Their efforts at change have done more than any politicians. They have written truth despite the thousands of propagandists who plague them. They are big league.

So as we enter this mad season of anger and fear and outpourings of grief and rage and disbelief I encourage you to turn to the scribe in the corner, the one who hasn’t gone native, the one who tells stories and tells them straight. Turn to them and listen.

Because SEO and Twitter bots and Facebook will denude their truth, soon, other media will tear them down. We will lose national treasures. So follow them as long as you can. Follow the men and women who make you laugh and who can tell stories that make you cry. Avoid social media and look to real media – for the brief instant it survives. Sometimes there’s more light in a passing comet in a dead moon.

Maybe I’m whistling past the graveyard. Maybe we’re not going to make it. But if you appreciate the truth then your skills must be put to its dispersal. Your technology is empty if no one uses it. That’s why the world built the media: To tell the stories of the underdogs who win despite the bad odds. So, in a very self-serving way, I encourage you to support truth wherever you see it. It can be here, on this site. It can be at the New York Times or the Times Leader of Martins Ferry, Ohio. It can be far it can be near. It can be within your own ranks as you try your hand at methods to pay writers for their time and effort. But I ask you to make the security of a free press as important as the security of your water supply.

As we work to avert the death of this small planet we’re going to need some good, true news. Support it wherever you see it. And tell the robots and the arguers and the propagandists that they cannot win. After all, they never have.

Featured Image: Bettmann/Getty Images

Lenovo’s Yoga 720 packs gaming-grade graphics into a 2-in-1

Why it matters to you

The Mobile World Congress show was used by Lenovo to showcase its new products slated to arrive this spring.

As expected, Lenovo unleashed a truckload full of new device announcements during the Mobile World Congress 2017 show. The new bundle of hardware goodness includes the Yoga 720 convertible laptop slated to arrive in two sizes this April, the Flex 5 (Yoga 520) targeting May, the Miix 320 2-in-1 device, and two tablets built for adults and children alike.

That said, the convertible laptops and 2-in-1 devices are based on the latest seventh-generation processors from Intel. The Miix 320 is based on an Intel “Cherry Trail” Atom chip while the tablets rely on ARM-based Qualcomm processors. Some of the notable features scattered throughout the new MWC 2017 portfolio include discrete graphics, Thunderbolt 3, fingerprint readers, and more.

Yoga 720

This is the flagship of Lenovo’s MWC 2017 rollout: a convertible laptop with 15.6 inch and 13.3 inch screens. Depending on the configuration, they will include Full HD or Ultra HD resolutions, touchscreen support, and a discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip provided by Nvidia, which should make PC gamers on a budget quite happy.

What’s interesting with the Yoga 720 models is that the 13.3-inch unit will be sold with up to 16GB of DDR4 system memory while the 15.6-inch model will be maxed out at 8GB. However, the larger model will still support 16GB of memory, indicating that the upgrade may be quick and painless on the customer end. The 15.6-inch model provides an extra USB 3.0 port too as well as a bigger battery.

Yoga 720-15 Yoga 720-13
Operating system: Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home
Display size: 15.6 inches 13.3 inches
Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
3,840 x 2,160
1,920 x 1,080
3,840 x 2,160
Display type: IPS Touchscreen IPS (No Touch)
Processor: Up to seventh-gen Intel Core i7 Up to seventh-gen Intel Core i7
Graphics: Up to a GeForce GTX 1050
(discrete)
Intel HD Graphics 620
(integrated)
Memory: Up to 8GB DDR4
(16GB max)
Up to 16GB DDR4
Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
Up to 1TB HDD
Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Audio: JBL Speakers
Dolby Audio Premium
Dual Digital Microphones
JBL Speakers
Dolby Audio Premium
Dual Digital Microphones
Camera: 720p HD fixed-focus
CMOS camera
720p HD fixed-focus
CMOS camera
Connectivity: Wireless AC (2×2)
Bluetooth 4.1
Wireless AC (2×2)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports: 1x Thunderbolt Type-C
2x USB 3.0
1x Microphone/headphone combo
1x Thunderbolt Type-C
1x USB 3.0
1x Microphone/headphone combo
Battery: 72 Watt hour
FHD model – up to 9 hours
UHD model – Up to 8 hours
48 Watt hour
FHD model – up to 8 hours
UHD model – Up to 7 hours
Size: 14.33 x 9.5 x 0.74 inches 12.2 x 8.38 x 0.56 inches
Weight: Starting at 4.41 pounds Starting at 2.9 pounds
Color: Platinum Silver
Iron Grey
Platinum Silver
Iron Grey
Copper
Additional features: Backlit keyboard
Lenovo Active Pen 2
Backlit keyboard
Lenovo Active Pen 2
Preloaded software: Lenovo App Explorer
Lenovo Companion 3.0
Lenovo ID
Lenovo Settings
MacAfee LiveSafe 30-day trial
Microsoft Office 365 30-day trial
Lenovo App Explorer
Lenovo Companion 3.0
Lenovo ID
Lenovo Settings
MacAfee LiveSafe 30-day trial
Microsoft Office 365 30-day trial
Availability: April April
Starting price: $1,100 $860

Yoga 520 (aka Flex 5)

Here in the United States, this device is called the Flex 5. Like the Yoga 720, Lenovo is serving up this convertible laptop in two flavors: 15.6 inches and 14 inches. However, unlike the Yoga 720, these units are sold with Windows 10 Signature Edition, meaning customers won’t get tons of bloatware as seen with Lenovo’s other devices. It’s a clean installation, which translates into better device performance.

Outside the obvious screen size differences, the two convertibles are unique in small ways. Both sport the same memory and storage configurations, but the 15.6-inch model packs a better processor, a discrete GeForce 940MX graphics processor, a higher screen resolution, and a bigger battery. Both units include a fingerprint scanner that supports Windows Hello.

Flex 5 15.6-inch Flex 5 14-inch
Operating system: Windows 10 Home SE Windows 10 Home SE
Display size: 15.6 inches 14 inches
Display resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 1,920 x 1,080
Display type: IPS Touchscreen IPS Touchscreen
Processor: Intel Core i7-7500U Intel Core i5-7200U
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX
(discrete)
Intel HD Graphics 620
(integrated)
Memory: 16GB DDR4 16GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
1TB HDD
256GB PCIe SSD
1TB HDD
Audio: Harman Speakers
Dolby Home Theater
Dual Digital Microphones
Harman Speakers
Dolby Home Theater
Dual Digital Microphones
Camera: 720p HD fixed focus
CMOS camera
720p HD fixed focus
CMOS camera
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.1
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
2x USB 3.0
1x SD card reader
1x HDMI
1x Ethernet
1x Audio jack
1x USB 3.1 Type-C
2x USB 3.0
1x SD card reader
1x HDMI
1x Ethernet
1x Audio jack
Battery: 52.5 Watt hour 35 Watt hour
Size: 14.3 x 9.72 x 0.75 inches 12.9 x 9.02 x 0.78 inches
Weight: Starting at 4.4 pounds Starting at 3.74 pounds
Color: Onyx Black Onyx Black
Additional features: Backlit keyboard
Fingerprint reader
Backlit keyboard
Fingerprint reader
Preloaded software: None None
Availability: May May
Starting price: $800 $800

Miix 320 2-in-1

Lenovo’s new Miix unit can be used as a laptop or as a tablet, as the included keyboard is detachable. Unlike the convertibles, this device is based on an Intel Atom processor, a chip we presumed had gone extinct in the mainstream market. While Lenovo didn’t list the specific Atom chip in its pre-launch specs, the description matches the x5-Z8500 released in the first quarter of 2015.

More: The Lenovo Flex 4 2-in-1 convertible is getting a refresh with a thinner frame

Models will be shipped in Windows 10 Home and Pro flavors along with 4G LTE connectivity. Configurations will consist of up to 4GB of system memory, up to 128GB of internal storage, and loads of pre-installed software. Other notable features include a 2MP camera on the front, a 5MP camera on the back, Wireless AC connectivity, and a 1,920 x 1,200 screen resolution.

Device type: 2-in-1 with a detachable keyboard
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro
Display size: 10.1 inches with Touch
Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,200
Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8500 “Cherry Trail”
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics (integrated)
Memory: Up to 4GB DDR3L
Storage: Up to 128GB
Audio: 2x one-watt Dolby Advanced Audio speakers
Analog microphone
Camera: 2MP on front
5MP on back (with auto-focus)
Connectivity: Wireless AC (2×2)
Bluetooth 4.2
4G LTE
Ports: 1x USB 3.0 Type-C
2x USB 2.0 (on dock)
1x Micro HDMI
1x Micro SD card slot
1x Nano SIM slot
1x Microphone/headphone combo jack
Battery: 33 Watt hour (up to 10 hours)
Size (tablet): 9.8 x 7.01 x 0.35 inches
Size (dock): 9.8 x 7.20 x 0.33 inches
Weight: Wi-Fi model tablet only – starting at 1.21 pounds
Wi-Fi model with keyboard – starting at 2.25 pounds
4G LTE model tablet only – starting at 1.23 pounds
4G LTE model with keyboard – starting at 2.27 pounds
Color: Platinum Silver
Snow White
Preloaded software: Lenovo ID
Lenovo App Explorer
Lenovo CCSDK
Lenovo PC Manager
Garantia Estendida
Lenovo Cloud Disk
Dropbox with 25GB
Yandex
LEI
Lenovo Application Store
Availability: April
Starting price: $200

The Tab 4 Series Tablets

Finally, Lenovo introduced two tablet models built for adults and kids alike. There are four units in the entire Tab 4 batch: two with 8-inch screens and two with 10.1-inch screens. All four are based on Android 7.0 “Nougat” and are compatible with the Lenovo Kid’s Accessory Pack, an optional add-on that includes a blue light filter, two colorful stickers by 3M to help prevent scratches, and a shock-resistant bumper. The tablets also offer a dedicated Lenovo Kid’s Account packing a special browser and curated, safe content.

But that’s not all. The “Plus” units offer an optional Productivity Accessory Pack consisting of a Bluetooth keyboard that also serves as a protective sleeve or stand. When attached, this pack will automatically load a special productivity interface built into the two “Plus” tablets, providing mouse and keyboard optimizations, multi-window support, a desktop-like taskbar, instant app switching, and more.

First, here are the ingredients thrown into the two new 10.1-inch Android tablets:

Tab 4 10 Plus Tab 4 10
Operating system: Android 7.0 Android 7.0
Screen size: 10.1 inches 10.1 inches
Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 1,280 x 800
Panel Type: IPS IPS
Processor: Eight-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
(MSM8953)
2.0GHz
Four-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon
(MSM8917)
1.4GHz
Memory: 3GB and 4GB 2GB
Storage: 16GB and 64GB 16GB and 32GB
Audio: Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos audio
Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos audio
Cameras: 5MP (front)
8MP (back)
2MP (front)
5MP (back)
Battery: 7000mAh 7000mAh
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS
4G LTE (optional)
Wireless N
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS
4G LTE (optional)
Ports: 1x USB 2.0 Type-C
1x Headphone jack
1x SIM card slot
1x Micro SD card slot
1x Micro USB
1x Headphone jack
1x SIM card slot
1x Micro SD card slot
Colors: Sparkling White
Aurora Black
Slate Black
Polar White
Sensors: Fingerprint reader
Accelerometer
Ambient light
Vibration motor
Hall sensor
Accelerometer
Vibration motor
Hall sensor
Size: 9.72 x 6.81 x 0.27 inches 9.72 x 6.73 x 0.32 inches
Weight: 1.04 pounds 1.10 pounds
Price: $249 $149
Availability: May May

Now here are the two new Tab 4 8 units:

Tab 4 8 Plus Tab 4 8
Operating system: Android 7.0 Android 7.0
Screen size: 8 inches 8 inches
Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 1,280 x 720
Panel Type: IPS IPS
Processor: Eight-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
(MSM8953)
2.0GHz
Four-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon
(MSM8917)
1.4GHz
Memory: 3GB and 4GB 2GB
Storage: 16GB and 64GB 16GB and 32GB
Audio: Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos audio
Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos audio
Cameras: 5MP (front)
8MP (back)
2MP (front)
5MP (back)
Battery: 4850mAh 4850mAh
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS
4G LTE (optional)
Wireless N
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS
4G LTE (optional)
Ports: 1x USB 2.0 Type-C
1x Headphone jack
1x SIM card slot
1x Micro SD card slot
1x Micro USB
1x Headphone jack
1x SIM card slot
1x Micro SD card slot
Colors: Sparkling White
Aurora Black
Slate Black
Polar White
Sensors: Fingerprint reader
Accelerometer
Ambient light
Hall sensor
Vibration motor
Accelerometer
Ambient light
Hall sensor
Vibration motor
Proximity (LTE only)
Size: 8.26 x 4.84 x 0.27 inches 8.7 x 4.88 x 0.32 inches
Weight: 0,66 pounds 0,64 pounds
Price: $199 $109
Availability: May May