This was MWC 2018: all the trends in one list

by JohanBe inspired09/03/2018

This was MWC 2018: all the trends in one list
The entire telecom sector was present last week at the Mobile World Congress, the annual central event for everything to do with smartphones and mobile communication. We were there in Barcelona too and we list the main new features for you.

Many smartphones, but fewer flagships

Among the smartphones, as expected most attention focused on the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and its bigger brother, the S9+. Eye-catchers include the new camera with a ‘variable aperture’ and the AR Emoji function to make personalized emoticons.

Huawei and LG are not launching their next flagship phones until the spring. The other smartphone big hitters came mainly from Sony and Nokia. With the Xperia XZ2, after many years Sony is leaving behind the rectangular design that was looking somewhat dated. Thanks to its flowing lines and thin screen edges, the successor to the Xperia XZ Premium looks a lot more modern. The most striking new features are the video function in 4K HDR quality for more contrast and better colors — a world first on a smartphone — and the Dynamic Vibration System: during films, music and games, the phone generates subtle vibrations – just like a PlayStation controller.

Remake of the banana phone

Nokia is well and truly back and at MWC they introduced no fewer than five new devices. The absolute showpiece was the stylish Nokia 8 Sirocco with a 5.5-inch OLED screen, double camera and a casing made of stainless steel and glass. But we particularly remember the bright yellow Nokia 8110 with 4G and Wi-Fi, a remake of the iconic ‘banana phone’ from 1996 that also featured in the film The Matrix. You can buy this gadget for just € 79.

The Apple bite

True to tradition, Apple was not at MWC, but there was no lack of iPhone X clones. Smartphones such as the Wiko View2, the Asus ZenFone 5 and the Noa N10: they all have a huge display with a ‘bite’ missing at the top. The first camera and some sensors are contained in this so-called ‘notch’. It will be interesting to see if Apple just lets this go …

Driverless… Huawei?

Huawei didn’t need a new smartphone in Barcelona to draw attention to itself. The Chinese manufacturer brought out a lovely tablet, the MediaPad M5 with Harman Kardon loudspeakers, but drew attention mainly with its Driverless Car Experience. Just off the show floor, the company demonstrated how, with the help of the camera and artificial intelligence from the Mate 10 Pro smartphone, an adapted Porsche Panamera can distinguish various objects from one another, such as a child crossing the road or a ball that suddenly rolls in front of the car. If danger threatens, the smartphone instructs the Porsche to avoid the object by adjusting the steering or doing an emergency stop. Or how the intelligence of a driverless car apparently also simply fits in a smartphone.

Gadgets for people and animals

Real gadget lovers found somewhat less to attract them at MWC 2018 than during previous shows, but he who seeks finds. For instance, at Sony we chanced upon the Ear Duo earphones: a wireless headset that also lets surrounding noise through when you are listening to music. What is more, the gadget keeps you informed of your appointments, the latest news and other information that concerns you all day long. The Ear Duo also offers voice recognition via the Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri.

Or what do you think of the Smart Dog Vest? A ‘jacket’ for your dog that not only tells you where your faithful four-legged friend is, but also forwards the heart beat, temperature and all the sounds that the animal makes to the related smartphone app.

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