MWC15 new launches: Phones with free Skype calls; Brightest tablet display


The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona has already seen a host of new devices launched. HTC kicked off the party with its One M9 smartphone, followed closely by Samsung that unveiled the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge on Sunday.

On Monday, Sony Mobile has announced the launch of its Xperia M4 Aqua Dual smartphone as well as the Xperia Z4 tablet, while Microsoft has taken the covers off the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL smartphones.

Sony’s Xperia Z4 tablet promises the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2k display, on the lightest and slimmest tablet design. The Z4 Tablet will launch globally, in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi variants, from June 2015.

“Building on the success of its predecessor, we wanted to take all the qualities that consumers loved most in Xperia Z2 Tablet and enhance them for Z4 Tablet,” says Dennis van Schie, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Sony Mobile.

“Consumers appreciate innovation most when it can bring real value to their lives, so we have carefully crafted and considered every aspect of Z4 Tablet to meet even the most demanding lifestyle. Sleek and lightweight, yet incredibly powerful, with standout entertainment and smart productivity features, Xperia Z4 Tablet is an extraordinary tablet that fits perfectly into your day-to-day life.”

Microsoft’s Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL smartphones, on the other hand, come with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal on the Lumia as well as on one PC or Mac and one tablet, plus 1TB of OneDrive storage, and 60 free minutes of Skype Unlimited Worldwide calling per month.

“Our newest Lumia devices buildon our momentum in the affordable smartphones space,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for Phones at Microsoft. “With the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, we continue to make innovation accessible to more people. We have packaged competitive hardware with innovative Windows software and Microsoft services to help you achieve more, wherever and whenever you want.”

Sony’s Xperia M4 Aqua Dual (available in the UAE from April 2015 for Dh1,199) offers a 13MP front and 5MP selfie camera and comes preloaded with Xperia Camera apps, including Sound Photo and Movie Creator.

“Xperia M4 Aqua Dual represents our renewed mid-range focus - with no compromises” said Dennis van Schie, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. “Offering the most popular standout features made famous by our Xperia Z Series; camera capability, two-day battery life and waterproofing - Xperia M4 Aqua Dual brings a proposition and price, products in this section of the market simply cannot match.”

Microsoft said pricing for its news smartphones will vary by market and operator: Lumia 640 (will begin rollout in April) is estimated to be around €139 (Dh571) for the 3G model and €159 (Dh654) for the LTE model, before taxes and subsidies. Lumia 640 XL (March rollout) will be around €189(Dh777) for 3G and €219 (Dh900) for LTE, before taxes and subsidies.

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