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Samsung Galaxy S9 event: Watch it live here

After doing its own thing last year, Samsung returns to dominate Mobile World Congress 2018 on Sunday with the reveal of its next flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. The latest members of Samsung’s large and high-powered Galaxy family give Samsung its first opportunity to return Apple’s iPhone X serve that was debuted last September. We don’t know what exactly Samsung will give us just yet, but as the event is titled “The Camera.

Reimagined,” something about taking photos is a good guess. Other rumors include a face unlock tool, a virtual fingerprint reader, a fast wireless charger and Qualcomm’s‘s Snapdragon 845 processor. The event takes place in Barcelona this Sunday, February 25 at 6:00 p.m. local time (find when the when in starts in your time zone).

If you can’t make it to Spain, fear not as you only have to bookmark this page to watch the event live. Of course, CNET will bring you all the details of the new phones as the event unfolds, followed by top analysis of what it all means from Samsung, Apple and the entire wireless industry. Our editors Roger Cheng, Jessica Dolcourt and Andrew Hoyle will be on the ground in Spain, so also follow them on Twitter at @RogerWCheng, @jdolcourt and @Batteryhq for the sights and sounds as it all happens.

Back in San Francisco, Brian Tong, Lexy Savvides and Stephen Beacham will host a live show around the event and will take your calls and tweets.

They’ll kick it off at 8:30 a.m.

PT (convert to your time zone), a half-hour before Samsung takes the stage.

Samsung Galaxy S9 will blow away the phone field at MWC: Looking ahead to the phones we’ll see in Barcelona.

MWC 2018: All of CNET’s coverage from the biggest phone show of the year.

Mobile World Congress 2018

Why February 25 is the most important day of MWC (or maybe not)

Officially, 2018’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) starts on February 26, but for many attendees, the day of greatest anticipation is a day earlier, February 25. Why? Because that’s when we finally get to know the new Samsung Galaxy S9.

Not everyone believes that the presentation of the latest member of the Galaxy family is the most important thing at the show, however. “We don’t focus on device launches as something essential for our show,” explained Michael O’Hara, CMO of the GSMA — the trade group that organizes the MWC show — in an interview with Digital Trends Espanol. Although O’Hara noted that the organization is very happy with launches like the Galaxy S9, he pointed out that there was no event of this magnitude last year, and does not consider that the strength or success of the Mobile World Congress.

Objetivos del #MWC2018 : mas #Negocios , mas #mujeres y mas #Seguridad , sin olvidarnos del nuevo #GalaxyS9 https://t.co/6PfLIV9coD pic.twitter.com/GGbacBTrEY

— DT en Espanol (@DigitalTrendsEs) February 21, 2018

In fact, what takes place in Barcelona is something else. It’s about doing business, business, and more business. “The MWC is successful because industry leaders, regulators, and governments come and do their business,” he stresses. And in that sense, the figures that accompany MWC show their importance.

In addition to some 2,300 exhibitors, 170 international delegations and 108,000 attendees, it also entails the creation of 13,000 temporary jobs and an economic impact of 471 million Euros. In fact, since 2006, the MWC has generated 4.4 million Euros and created of 115,000 part-time jobs. Not bad!

Possible change of venue? It’s obvious therefore that the mere possibility of a change of headquarters would be a great loss for Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain in general. But at the present the GSMA has an agreement with these three parties (city, state, country), so Barcelona remains the headquarters of MWC — at least until 2023.

Whether that changes will depend above all on one thing: “that you can guarantee a safe environment for the event.” Despite the secession vote and subsequent protests that have taken place recently in the Catalan capital, and the strong independence movement that still live and breathe in all of Catalonia, the truth is that this requirement is illogical. Despite everything, for the GSMA, “the city of Barcelona works very well, and we want it to continue being headquarters,” O’Hara clarifies.

What is expected this year at MWC are fewer interventions of super-known industry leaders such as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg or Google CEO Sundar Pichai — events that were present at previous MWC events and drew great publicity and press. The motive? “This year we’ve decided to make things a little different.

We wanted to have leaders from more emerging industries. Focus on technologies that can make a difference and that can change the world, “O’Hara explains. More female presence and greater security

Likewise, in order to change things, the MWC of 2018 will have a greater female presence in terms of the participant speakers, as well as the attendees to this technology fair. “Twenty-five percent of our speakers are women this year,” said O’Hara, who wants the show to be a little more diverse. But that’s not the only thing that worries O’Hara. Therefore, to avoid a recurrent problem during the MWC, this year will increase the security during the event.

Thefts are a daily issue in Spain,especially in Barcelona. However, the organization is working and collaborating closely with local authorities to increase the police presence with special attention this year. All for the purpose of allowing entrance to the event only to authorized persons, and to try to have fewer reports on thefts. “It’s not possible to eliminate crime, but to try to reduce the number of reports,” concludes the GSMA’s marketing director.

Our predictions MWC expects to reap the same success as past shows in 2018 — and indeed, to exceed it in some ways. No doubt, that will be thanks to events such as Samsung and the presentation of its Galaxy S9, along with the announcements and novelties of other important industry players such as Huawei, LG and HTC, to name a few — even if it is not the priority for the GSMA.

There is a lot of excitement and many curious and experts are ready to see what is happening and what comes out of this Mobile World Congress.

Whether or not they will meet expectations, we’ll know soon enough.

But if you want to know in advance with a little more detail the ads on phones and other devices that we hope, do not miss our predictions.

Editors’ Recommendations

The Galaxy S9 arrives in stores on March 16, says report

The Galaxy S9 will be revealed on Feb.

25.

Samsung

We know the Galaxy S9 will be unveiled on Feb.

25, but how long until you can actually hold one in your hand? Not too long, reports The Investor, which claims the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will go on sale across the globe March 16. But if waiting 19 days after the phone is announced seems unbearable, you may be able to get the phone early.

Preorders for the Galaxy S9 may go live on Feb.

28 in Korea, according to the report. It also claims that people who preorder the Galaxy devices may receive it between March 9 and March 15, a few days before the phone lands in stores. The report cites Korean telecom carriers, which apparently already have an official preorder and release schedule from Samsung.

We couldn’t independently verify this information with Samsung — Samsung declined to comment on this story — but as the Galaxy S9 unveil draws closer, concrete dates may have already been set in stone. Last year the Galaxy S8 was first announced on March 29, but it wasn’t until April 21 that it first went on sale in places like South Korea, Canada and the US. Other countries like Australia and the UK didn’t get the S8 until April 28, while markets like Japan and South Africa didn’t get the phone until June.

While we don’t know for sure when the Galaxy S9 is rolling out to each country, if the reported dates are true it could mean less waiting for some. The Galaxy S9 will be unveiled the day before the international mobile tradeshow Mobile World Congress. Samsung’s Galaxy S phones are the most popular Android devices out there, and the S9 could give other premium phones like Apple’s iPhone X some stiff competition.

Be sure to stay tuned to CNET as we cover Mobile World Congress live and look out for official details on the Galaxy S9.

Now Playing: Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S9 could wow with camera features

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Mobile World Congress 2018

Cat S61 hands-on review

If you don’t remember the Cat S60 phone, it was the world’s first smartphone with a thermal imaging camera on the back. It’s not something most of us would normally use, but the phone turned out to be incredible well-received by tradesmen in industries as varied as plumbers and security guards to vets. This is the Cat S61, the S60’s sequel, and Cat Phone-makers Bullitt Group have listened to the prime customers using or interested in the S60, and integrated three of the most desirable new features into the latest, even more capable device.

Improved thermal sensor

The thermal imaging camera, made by experts Flir, is still present, and while the Lepton sensor is the same as on the S60, the software has been reworked and updated.

It’s more user-friendly, but more crucially, the thermal image resolution has increased. The S60’s old VGA image has been replaced by an HD picture, and the difference is dramatic. Now, the display shows considerably more heat spots, with more clarity, making at-a-glance temperature assessment easier and quicker.

Additionally, the temperature range has improved as well, starting at -20 degrees centigrade (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) and rising to 400 degrees (752 degrees Fahrenheit), up from 100 degrees centigrade on the S60, making it more versatile. Wondering what you’d use a thermal imaging camera for? The S61 is helpful for car mechanics, where engine operating temperatures are often much higher than 120 degrees.

Vets, especially those that work with horses, have used the camera to identify internal swellings when horseshoes have been incorrectly fitted. The camera’s ability to see hotspots up to 30 meters away has helped security guards out too, as they use the phone to scan areas where their guard dog is barking, without the need to use a flashlight. Greater temperatures and more visual clarity will only increase the device’s usefulness.

More sensors

The first brand new addition to the phone is an air quality sensor.

It’s a Volatile Organic Compound sensor (VOC), picking up a range of contaminants and designed for indoor use. It’s tailored for people working with potentially hazardous materials that affect the air in a room, including solvents, cleaning products, paint, or glue. The sensor provides real-time reports and adapts as you move around.

The data is presented in clear, color-coded graphs. Additionally, it shows humidity and temperature data in case you need it. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Joining the thermal imaging camera and air quality sensor is a laser distance measure. It’s built into the rear of the phone, and is effective up to 10 meters. It doesn’t just measure straight lines, it can also plot 2D shapes like walls.

For example, the laser can measure out a wall space to help estimate the amount of tiles needed to cover it. We didn’t see it working on the prototype of the S61.

Same rugged body

All this is encased in a hard-wearing Cat Phone body, with its IP68 water-resistant rating, and a rugged exterior that goes through extensive tests. For example, Bullitt claims the device withstands drops from up to 1.8 meters in height on to a variety of hard surfaces.

The screen measures 5.2-inches and has a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, is covered in Gorilla Glass 5, and there are three hardware Android buttons under it. The phone’s thick and heavy, which is a consequence of a 4,500mAh battery inside, but it does help improve grip especially if you’re wearing gloves. Also, the aluminum die-cast body is designed to meet MIL-STD-810G military toughness standards, and the screen works even if it’s wet.

The phone itself doesn’t have remarkable specifications, but it does everything you’d want. Android 8.0 Oreo is kept relatively clutter free, with the only changes instantly obvious coming from extra tools for the thermal camera, and a toolkit-style recommended apps section. Bullitt confirmed it will release an update for this year’s Android P version in the future.

The phone itself doesn’t have remarkable specifications, but it does everything you’d want with a 16-megapixel camera on the rear, and an 8-megapixel camera on the front. Inside is a Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage space. This gives the S61 an acceptable level of performance, and it slid through menus smoothly enough; but response times for apps was slow.

We used a prototype phone, so it’s unfair to judge performance without further testing on a final unit.

Price and availability

Given what makes the Cat S61 special, it’s clear the phone is designed with specific use cases in mind. Anyone looking at a Samsung Galaxy S9 likely won’t be considering a Cat S61, but if you have considered a Galaxy S8 Active, then the Cat S61 may be a great alternative.

Cat S61 Compared To

Sadly, you’re going to have to pay a premium for all this tech — the Cat S61 will cost 800 British pounds or about £1,117 when it goes on sale in the next few months. There are no plans yet to bring the phone into the U.S.

Still, when you add up the individual costs of a tough phone, a thermal imaging camera, an air quality sensor, and a laser distance measure, the Cat S61’s may just be worth the high cost.

Rugged Cat S61 phone can see through walls and then some

The Cat S61 is designed to cope with anything you can throw at it.

Katie Collins/CNET

Back at Mobile World Congress in 2016, British phone maker Bullitt showed off the Cat S60, a rugged phone for people working in rough-tough environments that could see through walls. In 2018, Bullitt is back with the Cat S61, which is like its predecessor, but on steroids. With an in-built Flir thermal-imaging camera, the phone can now sense temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius (up from 120 degrees on the Cat S61).

Thermal images are displayed in high-contrast at HD resolution (a boost from VGA) and can also be livestreamed, which is ideal if you’re in a search and rescue situation or need assistance in deciphering the images from an expert who isn’t present.

The Flir sensor can detect temperatures up to 400 degrees Celsius (useful for furnaces, apparently).

Katie Collins/CNET

An in-built air quality sensor is designed to alert users when dangerous solvents, chemicals or other pollutants reach hazardous levels in the atmosphere immediately around them. In a demonstration, we witnessed an alarm go off after the phone was made to sniff some glue (a tube was waggled around in front of the sensor for a few seconds).

The air sensor monitors for hazardous pollutants in the atmosphere.

Katie Collins/CNET

And the fun doesn’t stop there. The S61 also boasts laser-assisted distance measuring using the built-in 16-megapixel camera, which can be used to calculate the dimensions of a space of up to 10 metres on the fly — ideal if you need to quickly come up with rough estimates as you’re working.

With its girthy, rubbery build and aluminium die-cast frame, there’s no pretense this phone is for everyone. In fact — it’s quite the opposite. Bullitt has cornered a niche market with its Cat phones and it knows it.

Feedback from existing customers has informed all the new features the Cat S61 has on board, as well as boosting the power of existing features like the thermal imaging sensor and the flashlight, which is now much stronger. Bullitt has amped up support for first-time users of thermal imaging by providing a bunch of tutorials, too.

The rubbery rump of the phone is easy to grip, but also holds on to dust.

Katie Collins/CNET

Core specifications for the rugged phone have also been given an upgrade, including the 4,500mAh battery and the Full HD screen. The Cat S61 arrives running Android Oreo (with an upgrade to Android P slated for when it becomes available) and boasts 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Inside is a 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, and outside the phone has an IP68-rated dustproof and waterproof covering, which Bullitt promises will last as long as the phone does. If you fall within the target market for this workhorse of a phone, you’ll be able to pick it up in the second quarter of this year for GBP799 or 899 euros. Customers in the US will have to wait a few months longer for the S61 to go on sale.

A third-quarter launch is planned, and the phone will have a price tag of £999.

No information was available about it availability in Australia, but the UK list price converts to just over AU£1,420.

Mobile World Congress 2018
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