Acer Liquid M220

For some time now, consumers have pretty much been stuck choosing between Lumias for their Windows Phone fix. Acer is aiming to change that with the launch of its catchily named "Liquid M220" smartphone. The M220 is a decidedly low-end handset, with a 4-inch WVGA (480 x 800 pixels) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage (upgradable via microSD), 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front-facing shooter. It's clearly aiming to compete with Microsoft's cheapest Lumias, and, although admittedly this comes down to taste, it's not exactly a looker compared to its rivals.

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It's that time again: Our team has descended upon the heart of Barcelona to bring you another week of the latest the mobile world has to offer. As always, we'll be shooting videos and liveblogging events until our fingers fall off, and we certainly hope you'll come join us for the ride. So, what's in store for us all this time around?

We're glad you asked.

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See that wooden round thing above? That's a smartphone -- a real, working smartphone with a high-res screen and a camera, and not just a concept that will never come to life. Just imagining how to take calls on it without a headset or how to access websites on it is giving us a headache, but it's sure a good way to stand out in a world dominated by rectangular devices. This circular oddity is called the Runcible, and San Francisco design firm Monohm modeled it after pocket watches and compasses: items it says we humans have been carrying with us for ages.

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Swatch's first foray into the fitness-tracking business is the Touch Zero One, a touchscreen watch built with beach volleyball in mind. This is an upgrade to the barely readable Swatch Touch, introducing features that track the ferocity of your spikes and bumps, how many steps you take and the number of calories burned during those all-day volleyball matches. It even counts the number of times you clap, finally settling the debate about who is the best sport on your team. The Touch Zero One then sends all of this information to a smartphone app, which ranks your volleyball performance from 0 to 100, beginner to professional. There's no need to charge the Touch Zero One each night -- the standard Swatch battery lasts for "months and months," the company promises. This baby should cost around $160, according to A Blog to Watch. Swatch hasn't set a release date, but it would make sense for its spike-tracker to show up on beaches by summer.

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EE was the first 4G network operator in the UK, and it's now hell-bent on staying the fastest. After launching its LTE-A network (aka 4G+) in central London last October, it's trialling new spectrum configurations that could boost speeds even further. If you haven't been keeping up with all the network developments, here's a quick primer: standard 4G can offer theoretical download speeds of up to 150 Mbps, while LTE-A doubles that hypothetical maximum to 300 Mbps. To achieve this, EE added an extra 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum on top of its existing 1800MHz band, and now the carrier's testing a three-band approach that leverages another 15MHz, boosting top download speeds to 400 Mbps.

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Year of the Goat: 11 Chinese smartphone brands to watch

2014 had been a wonderful year for the ever-competitive Chinese smartphone market. We saw the birth of new brands, the record of world's thinnest phone broken three times, and a couple of companies entering India with great reception (although not without some struggle). So with MWC following right after Chinese New Year, what better way to celebrate both than to look at the top Chinese smartphone brands? Granted, not all of these companies will be on the show floor next week (not Xiaomi or Oppo, for instance), but there's no stopping us from saying "ni hao" to them, anyway.

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Google believes you'd want to see more mobile-friendly websites when you do searches on a phone or tablet. That's why on April 21st, it'll start giving online destinations with mobile versions higher placements on the results page, assuming you're also using a mobile device. Google's updated algorithm will even parse info from indexed apps, if you have them installed on your phone/tablet and (in case it needs log-in credentials to work) if you're signed in. The company has long given ranking points to websites that are optimized for new computers and devices, and it also made finding mobile-friendly ones easier last year, so the change isn't entirely surprising. If you run a website and need to know if Google recognizes its phone/tablet version, though, you can run it through the company's mobile-friendly test tool. You can never be too sure, especially since the company believes this change "will have a significant impact in [its] search results."

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Are you a Verizon subscriber holding out for a Nexus 6 on Big Red? Well, your wait might be over pretty soon. Leaked in-store marketing materials are starting to float about and Verizon auto-uploaded a promo video for the handset (now made private) to its YouTube channel, as spotted by Phandroid. Apparently those banners and related items are set to display come March 11th with the device releasing the next day. What's more, Phandroid's sources say that when the launch does happen, Moto's big-screen device'll pack Verizon's enhanced LTE service (voice over LTE) and Lollipop 5.1. Until the Nexus 6 actually hits your local Verizon store, maybe watch our video review (below) again -- it'll make the wait exactly 3:48 shorter.

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Federal Communications Commission Votes On Net Neutrality Plan

While you may have been doing a victory lap around your cubicle in the last few hours, not everyone is so enthused about the FCC's decision today. The commission voted to officially classify broadband internet as a Title II public utility, and it's already prepared for lawsuits from service providers. While court proceedings will take time to hash out, a war of words wages on in the immediate aftermath, so we've compiled comments from both sides on the matter.

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Engadget Expand NY - Day 2

Phil Molyneux, the man who led Sony into the 4K era as its chief operating officer and president, is making a surprising move for his next gig: He's now Will.i.am's right-hand man for i.am+, the musician's wearable technology startup. Molyneux joined the company as its president and COO a few weeks ago, where he's basically tasked with making Will.i.am's dreamy vision of computing come true. The first example of that is the $399 Puls wristband, a bulky 3G-equipped wearable that the company believes can replace your phone. Aside from the star power behind it, there wasn't much about the Puls that seemed compelling when it was announced last fall. But Molyneux's participation has us thinking that Will.i.am's crazy wearable idea might actually have legs.

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Next time you have to access WhatsApp on your desktop, you won't need to fire up Chrome if it's not your preferred browser. The messenger's web client now works on both Firefox and Opera, giving you more choices on the computer, though you'll still obviously have to settle if you're a Safari fan. That's pretty much all that's changed: the sign up process remains the same, so you will be prompted to scan a QR code with the mobile app in order to start using the web client like we mentioned when the product launched. Unfortunately, that also means iPhones still don't have the capability to scan that QR code (Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Android devices can), forcing faithful iOS users to stick to their mobile devices.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 teaser

It's no longer hard to get a hefty 128GB of storage in a smartphone, but that doesn't mean you'll enjoy it. What's the point of all that extra space if your phone chugs handling huge games and 4K videos? Samsung has clearly anticipated this problem, though -- it just outed the first 128GB flash memory chip based on the speedy Universal Flash Storage standard. The part uses tricks like command queuing and a serial interface to give you the kind of breakneck performance you'd expect from a solid-state drive in a PC, not a device that fits in your pocket. It's about 2.7 times faster at random data reads than the flash you see in many high-end phones, while its sequential speeds are "up to SSD levels." And that's while using 50 percent less power -- you won't have to take a hit to battery life.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 leak

HTC isn't the only mobile company having trouble keeping its 2015 flagship phone under wraps. XDA-Developers forum member reefur has posted photos of what's believed to be a prototype Samsung Galaxy S6 for AT&T. The tipster was understandably worried about giving it a spin, but he notes that this handset is "pretty slim" and more upscale than Galaxy S phones of the past. In addition to the expected metal frame, Samsung's usual plastic backing has been replaced with glass à la the iPhone 4 and Nexus 4 -- don't drop this, folks. There also doesn't appear to be either a removable battery or a microSD card slot, which is bound to disappoint some fans if this is what shows up at Samsung's March 1st event.

Update: We've added a side-by-side comparison with the Galaxy S6 Edge to the gallery as well.

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Android for Work on a Nexus 6

Remember Android for Work, Google's big effort to make your smartphone safe for business? It's finally ready for prime time. The officially launched initiative lets you keep work-related accounts and app info separate from personal affairs while maintaining security -- you don't have to worry that higher-ups will peek at (or worse, delete) your vacation photos. You'll only get full flexibility if you're using Android 5.0 Lollipop, which lets you create work profiles, but an app will grant you access to corporate-approved tools if you're running Android 4.0 or later.

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Google Calendar for Android

Want to make sure everyone at your next shindig has a copy of the itinerary? You'll probably want to snag the updated version of Google Calendar for Android, then. The refreshed app lets you associate Google Drive files with events -- you don't have to send that big presentation in a separate message to make sure everyone gets it. There are a few other welcome (and arguably overdue) upgrades in store, such as a 7-day week view, pinch-to-zoom navigation and the option of importing the .ICS calendar files that you frequently get through email. The Calendar upgrade might take a few days to hit your device, but it should be worthwhile if you're determined to organize your life.

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