The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is now underway. The annual event is set to take place from today, February 27th, up until March 2nd. Most of the usual suspects will be there though MWC 2017 will definitely have some exceptions – and surprises.
The company’s event has already come and gone and there were absolutely no surprises. This year marks the first time since 2013 that the company did not unveil a new phone. Its woes with the Galaxy Note 7 practically ensured that the South Korean mobile giant would not release a new phone during the conference.
Instead, Samsung unveiled two new tablets: The Galaxy Book and the Galaxy Tab S3. The company also showcased a Gear VR package comprised of a headset and a remote. As one might expect, the headset will be compatible with current and future flagship devices.
The Nokia 3310 confirmed that the Nokia 3310 would be making a comeback. The device looks and operates like an upgraded version of the original. And yes, Snake will be included with the phone.
Aside from that, Nokia has finally made a full switch to Android with the Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 models. Both are mid-range devices that will probably compete with the likes of the Moto G. It will definitely be interesting to see if the Nokia name still holds any significant value to the average consumer.
As expected, LG revealed its latest flagship, the G6. Interestingly, this is the first phone to offer a screen with 18:9 aspect ratio in what has been dubbed a ‘FullVision’ display. The phone, of course, also comes with other high-end specifications including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM.
The company also revealed the LG X Power2, a device in the higher-mid range that promises two days of battery life.
The P10 and P10 Plus were highly anticipated and they did not disappoint. Both devices are equipped with 4.5G technology, a world first. Though how it will work in action remains to be seen, 4.5G tech promises double the download speeds, along with a 60 percent reduction in call-dropping.
Though no high-end models were revealed, Motorola did showcase the latest installments to its mid-range series. The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus look better than any other G-branded device that has come before with specs to match their premium looks.
The company that never seems to back off is back once again with the KEYone, a return to form. BlackBerry’s partnership with TCL has been known for a while now but seeing the device in a major event is still good news for the company’s loyal fans.
The 4.5-inch KEYone will arrive in April 2017. Then, we will finally get to see if the physical keyboard is a thing of the past or if BlackBerry will strike gold again.
Sony launched a variety of phones for all ranges. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the company’s flagship with a 4K display with HDR which will most likely be one of the best-looking of this generation.
In addition to that, the Sony Xperia XZs is a slightly lower-specced model but is still a premium device. Finally, the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra have redefined the XA series into a more premium line perched well into the higher end of the mid-range spectrum.
The different futures
Every year at MWC, we get a glimpse of where manufacturers wish to drive the industry. Some simply follow the current trends, doing their best to deliver what they believe their audiences want.
Others, however, drive the industry forward – or backwards – with an array of different features. For instance, most manufacturers are against 4K displays, and for good reason. On small devices, the benefit of such a display is arguable at best.
With that said, the current push for VR makes things a little different. Some excellent headsets, such as Google’s own Daydream framework and Samsung’s Gear VR, provide an argument for extravagant displays.
Other than that, however, MWC has always been the place to be for all the major announcements. People from all over the world, in person and from the comfort of their homes, tune in the event for the latest flagships. This year has not disappointed so far and with a few days to go, there is still room for surprises.