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MWC day two roundup: Samsung, Pebble, Windows Phone and more

Day two has come and gone in Barcelona, where 2015’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) show is in full swing. And amid the tapas plates and tangos, we’ve seen a helluva lot of amazing technology. Here are some of the highlights from the biggest mobile tech showcase in the world.

Top Tech of MWC 2015

With the first day of the show now over, Digital Trends’ crack team of editors have handpicked nominees for The Top Tech of MWC in five key categories: mobile, wearables, cool tech, apps, and accessories. You’ll find them all listed here, along with links to where you can find out more about each nominee.

Make sure to check back at 10am PT, when Digital Trends will announce the winner in each category, plus our overall Best of MWC award winner. It may even be a device the world has yet to see …

Watch Netflix from anywhere in the world

Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are helpful but not something to get really excited about. Neither is privacy online, regardless of whether it’s something we should be more mindful of. How do you get someone to pay attention to these two subjects? Wrap them up in a single easy-to-use app, call it TunnelBear, and make it look awesome. TunnelBear makes these often complicated features easy for everyone to use. What’s more, it operates on your PC, Mac, or your Android or iOS smartphone.

Samsung backs out of wearables

During Samsung’s keynote address at Mobile World Congress, the South Korean giant didn’t announce a smartwatch. Seeing how it released six such devices in the span of a year and a half, this came as a bit of a surprise. Talking with the Wall Street Journal, however, Samsung gave the reason for that: The company will take a bit of a break. “We’ve been introducing more devices than anybody else,” said Samsung executive vice president Young-hee Lee rather candidly. “It’s time for us to pause.”

Liquid sapphire for your smartphone

If you want to reduce the risk of scratches and the accumulation of smudges on your smartphone or tablet screen, then you need a screen protector. The problem with almost all the options on the market is that you virtually have to be in a vacuum environment if you expect to be able to apply them without any bubbles, trapped dust, or wrinkles. Enter Kristall with a clever liquid solution.

Kristall Liquid Screen Protector phone

Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Pop open the kit, clean your phone’s screen with the provided alcohol wipe, dry it off, and then apply the magic solution with the provided pad. A minute later you have a protective layer on your screen that’s completely invisible.

Windows Phone can hold its own

Microsoft sure makes a nice budget smartphone. Its latest Lumias, the 640 and 640 XL, are both attractive and reasonably powerful, even though their prices are fairly low. Both are still running Windows Phone 8.1 with the Lumia Denim update, and both are ready for the Windows 10 update to arrive. As it is, the devices both run Windows Phone 8.1 smoothly, and the Denim update brings it all together in one solid package.

Pebble unveils Time Steel

During a session on wearables, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky revealed a new model of smartwatch: the Pebble Time Steel.

Pebble announcment 1

Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Just like the recently announced Pebble Time, it has a color epaper display, but it’s 20 percent thinner than the original, water resistant, and more durable. “Imagine attaching a GPS strap when you go for a run,” says Migicovsky.

Full coverage

MWC day two is in full swing, and DT will stay on top of the news for you. Stick with us all week to stay on top of all the show’s news, and follow our writers on Twitter for breaking news, photos, and details as it happens.