Impressive impostors, Google Experiments, and fighting robophobia on Day 3 in Spain

We just handed out our Best of MWC 2016 awards, but that doesn’t mean our bottle of sangria has run dry! There’s plenty more to see and play with at Mobile World Congress, and we did just that on day three of our Barcelona adventure.

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the long-awaited Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro for Samsung’s Galaxy S7. Everything from its aluminum frame and curved rear panel, down to the oval-shaped fingerprint sensor screams Samsung’s design ideas. However, it has more than enough subtle differences that make it a true beauty. The spec sheet also has us drooling with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, a whopping 128GB of storage, plus a 16-megapixel camera. The Mi 5 is one hell of a steal at about $415, but it’s only headed to China at the moment. Please release it elsewhere, Xiaomi!

If you’re scared of an impending robot revolt in the future, a little time with Pepper should help minimize any fears. As adorable as any non-human could possibly be, Pepper is claimed to be the first robot to recognize human emotions, and thanks to plans by IBM to add its brilliant Watson technology to the ‘bot, it’s likely to get much better at knowing when we’re happy, and when we’re not. We’ve spent some quality time with Pepper, and have a feeling her charm will win over even the staunchest robo-phobic.

Google has a big presence at MWC, and part of it includes an arty side-project called Android Experiments. Made to show off its playful side, one of our favorite Experiments is IOIO Plotter (pronounced yo-yo), where a robot makes a line drawing based on your portrait. You snap a selfie, then the app sends a modified version of the image to the robot, when then sketches your image. It takes about five minutes to complete a portrait, and best of all, you can try it yourself by visiting the Android Experiments website.

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