Asian companies unveil new smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

02 March 2015

Several big Asian phone companies launched new high-end smartphones and other wireless gizmos yesterday, to help them take on US giant Apple in a big year for wireless gadgets, AFP reported.

South Korean firms LG Samsung and LG along with Chinese maker HTC timed their smartphone launches to grab attention on the eve of the Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest telecoms trade fair, in Barcelona, Spain.

In a direct challenge to Apple's popular iPhone 6 which was released last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S6, a smartphone with a touchscreen that curved around the edges and came with a wireless charger.

It also came out with the larger S6 Edge, a "phablet" somewhere between a tablet and a phone in size.

LG showcased a top-line phone with a curved back to sit snugly in the palm, the LG Flex 2, as also a range of four new mid-range smartphones and two new luxury internet-connected watches.

HTC chief executive Peter Chou meanwhile presented the HTC One M9, featuring a grey metallic handset moulded from a single piece of aluminium as a crowd of hundreds cheered.

The company also revealed a new connected "fitness band" body-monitoring bracelet and a virtual reality headset would open for sale by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the congress would offer a glimpse of the future of mobile communication technology during its four-day run the online edition of South Korean daily  The Chosun Ilbo reported.

The congress has "Edge of Innovation" as its theme and highlights fifth-generation mobile communications technology and Samsung's latest smartphone, the Galaxy S6 as its highlights.

Samsung yesterday unveiled the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge at a separate event that come with built-in batteries that cannot be exchanged and metallic exteriors similar to the iPhone.

The S6 is not being showcased to general audience but only to select clients and news media for fear that other companies might snap detailed photographs and release copycat products.

LG has a smartwatch, Urbane LTE, on display which is capable of turning the ignition of an automobile and open the driver's side door. It also features a "walkie talkie" function that enables multiple users to communicate simultaneously.

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