This year’s biggest mobile industry show, ‘Mobile World Congress’ took place in Fira de Barcelona, Spain. Various companies launched their flagship products, hoping to showcase the best of their products to the world.
In case you missed the biggest announcements regarding this year’s smartphones, we bring to you the highlights at the MWC.
One of the world’s largest mobile manufacturers, Samsung unveiled its S9 & S9+ models, continuing the series. It didn’t really focus on introducing any revolutionary or outstanding new features but instead went on to improve existing ones.
Significant improvements were seen particularly in the camera department, with variable apertures giving users the ability to change between f/2.4 and f/1.5. This was not possible in the S8, with another super slow motion feature, shooting at up to 960 frames per second (FPS) in 720p.
Coming to the design side, the S8 was widely criticized for placing the fingerprint sensor right next to the back camera, making it hard to reach. Fans were relieved by the fact that Samsung finally managed to place the fingerprint sensor in a suitable position right below the camera in S9.
HMD Global, the company licensed for making smartphones under the Nokia brand name released 5 phones this year. This included Nokia 1, Nokia 6 – 2018 edition, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco.
Following previous year’s trend of upgraded feature phones (Nokia 3310 3G/4G), Nokia unveiled a reboot of the 8810 (also known as banana phone), which was first released in 1998.
The new version supports 4G and comes with a modern style alongside decent specifications, most notably the iconic standby battery time of 25 days.(Afterall, we’re talking about good ‘ol Nokia)
The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 compact were released by one of the oldest phone makers, Sony. The company’s new smartphones fall under a new design language termed ‘Ambient Flow’.
According to Sony, they’re the first set of phones to offer the ability to shoot 4K HDR content. The XZ2 – not the compact version – also allows for wireless charging, Dynamic Vibration (think PlayStation’s controller) and more.
Image Source: Droid-Life
Not only this, it goes on to beat the Galaxy S9 in terms of offering the ability to record up to 960 fps at 1080p whereas Samsung can only do it at 720p.
Vivo made quite a show this year with its new Apex concept. It featured a truly bezel-less screen with close to 90% screen to body ratio. Even the fingerprint sensor is integrated on the bottom half of the display.
How this works is really simple, you just place your finger anywhere at the bottom half of the display and it detects your fingerprint like a normal sensor would.
Another interesting feature was the dual fingerprint system. You can set up Vivo Apex to read two different fingerprints at the same time for additional security.
As Andy Boxall from Digital Trends points out, you could use this feature to take fingerprints of 2 people to unlock the phone as well, particularly useful in situations where the device is used for banking or other business needs, requiring your partner’s fingerprint as well.
Image Source: Gears Today
Coming to the front camera it’s not built into the display, unlike almost every other phone you’ve seen before, a mini cam will slide out from the top when you’re taking that selfie and automatically go back in when you switch to the back camera. Pretty impressive, huh?
However, you should know that Apex is just a concept for now and Vivo aims to incorporate these new features in its new products. You could see the front camera slider in one of their phones in the future and the dual fingerprint sensor in another.
Redefining the term iPhone ripoff, Asus went on to release the Zenfone 5 line featuring 3 phones which looked very familiar.
Asus Zenfone 5 and iPhone X side by side
As the image indicates, the phone’s display is pretty similar to Apple’s iPhone X. Since its launch, the Zenfone has even been termed as an iPhone X clone but at what cost? Although the phone excludes wireless charging and waterproofing, it offers what the iPhone X does at half the price. That still doesn’t save it from bad publicity, however.
The one sad thing is that none of the Zenfone 5 phones seem to have any sort of water resistance. Oh, and while Asus was copying Apple’s designs, the company also went and made their own Animojis too, which are called, you guessed it, Zenimoji. – Sam Rutherford from Gizmodo
The thing is, they purposely copied almost everything from Apple without hesitation, while only childishly referring to Apple’s latest flagship as the “Fruit Phone X.” Like, you can’t make this stuff up. – Kellen from Droid Life
The company’s officials were quick to defend their products and went on so far to even mock the iPhone X ironically leaving tech enthusiasts disappointed.
Think about it, they copied the most famous phone on the planet and actually had the guts to back it up by petty statistics.
The new V30S ThinQ with 6 GB of RAM & 128 GB of storage was released at the conference, as a refreshed version of the V30 which was released in 2017.
The device packs a range of AI features, particularly LG exclusive voice commands and an enhanced camera with automatically adjusting shooting modes.
Image recognition capabilities were also added which allows you to scan QR codes without opening another app and also displays information about certain household products, taking your shopping experience to another level.
Earlier this year, Alcatel announced 3 new smartphones at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). We saw this happen at MWC with the Alcatel 5, 3 and 1 series being released, resulting in a total of 7 smartphones.
All happen to be wallet-friendly which means they’re not so expensive, coming in at mid-range prices. All the phones also feature an 18:9 display ratio, keeping up with the latest trends.
However, we’re still yet to see a few other devices coming from this series.
Huawei made a smart move not competing with Samsung by releasing their flagship smartphone, but that didn’t stop them from releasing other devices. The company released 3 new tablets, the MediaPad in 8.4 & 10.8 inches and the MediaPad Pro.
Image Source: Tech Radar
Along with this, a new laptop, the Matebook X Pro, was also released with the design undoubtedly inspired from Apple’s MacBook. This didn’t stop it from being praised, especially for the thin bezels making for a 91% screen to body ratio.
ikimobile’s “Cork” Phone
A smaller announcement that mostly went unnoticed by many at the MWC was this peculiar smartphone. ikimobile (the manufacturer) showed off their BLESSPLUS phone made out of cork.
Not only was its based off of cork, the material was used inside the phone as well to make it shock absorbent. The company’s reps dropped the phone on purpose in front of people passing by to prove BLESSPLUS’ durability.
As the phone is made out of cork, its completely eco-friendly and can be safely burned without releasing harmful gases.
It is also resistant to physical damage and heat, braving temperatures between -180 and 120 degrees Celsius.
The phone featured a 6 inch 18:9 1080p display, with a MediaTek Helio P20 SoC. It comes with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage.
It also has dual 13 MP cameras on the back and a 5 MP sensor up front. BLESSPLUS is powered by a 3,800 mAh battery with fast charging. It will be available for € 359.99 for early bidders.
Which device was your favorite at this MWC? Let us know in the comments section below!