10 Hottest Smartphones From Mobile World Congress 2014

Smartphones Take Center Stage

The clothing industry has Fashion Week, the automobile industry has the Detroit Auto Show, and smartphone makers have Mobile World Congress. This week the who's who of the mobile industry came to Barcelona, Spain, (except for Apple) to introduce to the world their 2014 lineup. This year's head-turning handsets featured the requisite huge screens, faster processors and even more gorgeous designs.

Here is a look at the hottest smartphones from Samsung, HTC, Nokia and the rest of the mobile industry.

YotaPhone 2, Dual-Screen Smartphone

The Buzz: The YotaPhone 2 has two screens. There is the 5-inch 1,280p front display and then there is a 4.3-inch grayscale 960p × 540p e-ink display on the back. This is Russia-based YotaDevices' second-generation YotaPhone, and it goes on sale for about $650 in Europe this summer and heads to the U.S. in early 2015. The purpose of the e-ink display is to extend the battery life and offer glare-free access to any content on the phone.

The Specs: Besides the YotaPhone 2's front and back displays, the phone runs Android 4.4 and comes with special apps so users can push a button and have content flip to the opposing screen. The phone is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm and has an 8-megapixel camera and a front-facing 2-megapixel lens.

Samsung Galaxy S5: Feature-Rich, Security-Minded

The Buzz: Samsung introduced a smartphone that emphasizes features over specs. With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is trying to compete with Apple's iPhone 5s' fingerprint-reader security functions while at the same time pushing into the mobile device fitness market with a heart-rate monitor and apps that link to Samsung wearables.

The Specs: Samsung's Galaxy S5 sports a 2.5GHz quad-core processor running 4.4.2 Kit Kat OS, a 5.1-inch display, resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, and a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front. Other features include NFC, dust- and water-resistant chassis, fingerprint scanner and a heart-rate sensor. Pricing was not available.

Lenovo's S860: Three Times The Charm

The Buzz: Lenovo introduced three S-series smartphones at Mobile World Congress, including the S860, S850 and S660. The S860 has the key feature of a 4,000mAh battery that promises a whopping 24 hours of 3G talk time or 43 hours on 2G.

The specs: The S860 ($349) features "all-day" battery life thanks to the 4,000mAh battery. It has a 1.3MHz quad-core MediaTek processor running Android 4.2 a 5.3-inch display.

Blackphone: Security-First Smartphone

The Buzz: Dubbed the "Snowden Phone," the Blackphone is a privacy-first smartphone that runs on a highly customized version of the Android OS. The phone is made jointly by Silent Circle and Geeksphone. It ships with two years of encrypted SpiderOak online file storage and encryption via Disconnect that secures any wireless data service that runs on the handset.

The Specs: The Blackphone has a 4.7-inch screen, runs on a 2GHz quad-core CPU, has a 16-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera, and runs on either the GSM, LTE or HSPA+ networks. Key apps are Silent Phone, Silent Text and Silent Contacts that allow for secure communication. The Blackphone is available now for pre-order for $625 and ships this June, according to the company's website.

Sony Xperia Z2 Focuses In On Sight And Sound

The Buzz: This is Sony's second-generation Z-series phone and it comes with a tablet that goes by the same name -- Xperia Z2. The smartphone's marque feature is its 20.7-megapixel camera that can record video in 4K format. The dust- and water-resistant phone also boast two speakers and a noise-canceling headset for better sound quality in noisy environments.

The Specs: The smartphone has a 5.2-inch display, a 2.3GHz quad-core processor powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor CPUs, and runs on the Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS. The phone is slated to ship in March. Pricing was not available.

HTC Desire 816: Solid Midrange Offering

The Buzz: HTC unveiled the Desire 816, a midtier handset it says will be a more affordable option to its HTC One family of handsets. The Desire 816 used to be HTC's top-line handset and has won numerous industry accolades for its stereo speakers and well-built design.

The Specs: Key features include a big 5.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU, front-facing speakers, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. HTC says the phone will be available in China this March and rolling out worldwide soon after. Pricing was not available.

Acer Aims Midrange With Liquid E3 and Z4

The Buzz: Acer's Mobile World Congress smartphone lineup this year redeems the Taiwanese company's handset reputation after last year's release in Barcelona that was met by critics with yawns. Acer debuted two midrange smartphones -- the Liquid E3 ($236) and Liquid Z4 ($136). Both have sleek designs, attention to detail and an affordable price.

The Specs: The higher-end Liquid E3's features include a 4.7-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2GHz MediaTek processor running the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, and 13-megapixel camera. Acer says it will ship the Liquid E3 in Europe by April with broader distribution after that.

Nokia X Series Budget 'Windroid' Phones

The Buzz: With the ink still drying on Microsoft's $7.1 billion deal to buy Nokia, the Finnish device maker is making a bold statement releasing a smartphone running a highly customized version of Android -- not Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 OS. Nokia unveiled three budget handsets -- X, X+ and XL -- the models will sell for $122. At first glance, these phones look more like a Windows Phone than anything Google would put out.

The Specs: Specs for the higher-end Nokia XL include a 5-inch 800p x 480p display, 5-megapixel rear camera with flash, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 2,000mAh battery.

Firefox Phones: $25 Smartphone

The Buzz: Mozilla showed off smartphones made by Alcatel, ZTE and Huawei running its Firefox OS that will sell for $25. Mozilla is targeting low-cost markets such as Indonesia where it will target a demographic that can't afford high-end models.

The Specs: Mozilla showed off a 4.5-inch screen, 1.2GHZ dual-core reference phone called the Firefox OS Flame. The phone has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 2-megapixel camera on the back. Specs also include a 1,800mAh battery, a 3G radio and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

LG G Pro 2 And G2 Mini: Phablet And Mini-Me

The Buzz: LG is tackling the phablet market and small-form-factor market at the same time. The 5.9-inch LG G Pro 2 phablet is getting a lot of attention for its featherweight feel and sleek design. LG's G2 mini sports a 4.7-inch display and is being billed as a "compact smartphone."

The Specs: LG G Pro 2 features a 5.9-inch 1,920p display, runs Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS and is powered by a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. The G2 mini comes with a 4.7-inch 960p display and will ship with either a 1.7GHz or 1.2GHz quad-core processor and a 13-megapixel or 8-megapixel camera. Both phones ship this March. Pricing was unavailable.