During late February each year we see the future of mobile tech on Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and this year was no different. Many manufacturers have made some astonishing reveals and showed us what the next year has in store for us. Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, Huawei and many others have have presented us with gadgets that were already rumored and expected, but also new tech they managed to keep under the radar.
Surely the most anticipated gadgets were Samsung’s new flagship phones Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. If you look at the exterior of the phones, you will notice that not much has changed since the S6 models. It is obvious that Samsung’s philosophy is: “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” and that the biggest changes are on the interior:
- batteries have been bumped up to 3000 mAh in the S7 and 3600 mAh in the S7 Edge;
- both phones are fitted with a Snapdragon 820 CPU in NA and with an Exynos chip for the rest of the world;
- cameras have undergone the biggest changes as now they have 12 MP sensors, rather than 16 MP from the last year’s models; however, they have a lens with brighter f1/7 aperture.
- additional features include: uSD support, IP68 water and dust resistance standards as well as Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
New Samsung Galaxy handsets are available for purchase starting March 11th.
Considering how most of the information about Samsung’s flagships has leaked prior to the main event, LG was the one to steal the show with its new G5 smartphone and it’s “Friends”. Not only did they steal it, but they have shown how it’s done! The new G5 is truly something innovative, as it is a modular handset. You can remove the bottom bezel and replace it with so-called “Plug-in Friends”. These are CamPlus – which comes with hardware camera controls, such as shutter button and zoom scroll, and HiFi-Plus – which is basically an external DAC made by Bang & Olufsen.
Along with the phone and it’s “Friends”, LG has also released a VR headset, a 360 camera and a robot ball which is controlled with the phone.
It has a 5.3” IPS display with qHD resolution, dual cameras, and a Snapdragon 820 CPU. This is the first LG smartphone made entirely out of metal.
While all eyes were focused on piecing together the leaked data about Samsung handsets, Sony managed to surprise us with three new smartphones. All of the phones are dubbed as X models from the Xperia line. They unveiled Xperia X Performance, X and XA.
The strongest one, Xperia X Performance, comes in a standard candybar form with premium metal finish and has a rather thin design. It is characterised by a 5” fHD screen, Snapdragon 820, 3GB of RAM and a 23MP camera.
Xperia X is a mid range smartphone with similar characteristics as the Performance model. It has the same screen size and resolution, same amount of RAM, same camera and design. What’s different is that it comes with Snapdragon 650 CPU.
Although Xperia XA is the cheapest of the three, it should not be overlooked. It has a 5” 720p display, MT6755 Chipset, 2GB of RAM and a camera with a 13MP sensor.
At the HTC stand we saw three newcomers and a phone that’s already on shelves since late 2015, but only in Chinese market. The three released handsets can be somewhat described as low end phones. Both Desire 825 and Desire 630 share the same features, except for the display size and battery capacity. They have Snapdragon 400 CPUs, 2GB of RAM, 13MP cameras and both come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The bigger one has a 5.5” 720p screen and the 630 has a .5 inch smaller screen. Desire 530 is the weakest one with a 5” screen, Snapdragon 210, 1.5GB of RAM and an 8MP shooter.
Htc One X9 is a phone that was released in China in late 2015, and is only now being released to other markets. It features 5.5” fHD display, octa core MT Helio X10 SoC, 3GB of RAM and a 13MP camera with OIS support. The price nor the release date of the phone are yet to be disclosed.
The atmosphere was exuberant on the other stands too. Alcatel present us with three new mid range handsets POP 4, POP 4+ and POP4s. Furthermore, ZTE disclosed a powerful new device which is basically a smart tablet projector – Spro Plus, and from the kitchen of Huawei we saw something that might be considered as their attempt on entering Windows 10 2-in-1 market, with a device called MateBook. Finally, HP surprised us with a powerful new Windows 10 handset called the Elite x3.
With so many manufacturers attending MWC 2016, it is difficult to encompass everything that they have presented us with so far. One thing is certain, from the consumer’s point of view it was, and still is, a quite exciting gathering of new tech and trends.