MWC (previously known as Mobile World Congress) brings together industry leaders, innovators and influencers to explore the biggest announcements in today’s mobile industry.
MWC which took place in Barcelona between February 25th – 28th, welcomed a bundle of innovative gadgets and intelligent mobile designs through its doors. Wondering what was announced at MWC 19? Then you’ve come to the right place.
As the largest tradeshow for the mobile industry, the show was buzzing with new product unveilings from some of the industry’s biggest tech companies. From Huawei’s futuristic foldable smartphone and Samsung’s impressive S10 flagship to the unveiling of SanDisk’s 1TB Micro SD, we have highlighted a few of the biggest announcements made at this years MWC. Read on for the lowdown about what was revealed.
Huawei’s foldable Mate X
Dropping at MWC in Barcelona on Monday, was Huawei’s impressive foldable device – the Huawei Mate X. Demonstrating a design that’s distinctly futuristic, the Huawei Mate X could set apart the brand from the smartphone industry. Unlike foldable phones we’ve seen before, the Mate X features an enormous 8-inch wrap around AMOLED screen, a thickness of just 11mm, 5G capabilities and a huge 4,500mAh battery.
The fold-out screen is placed on the outside of the device, creating a display that covers both the front and back when it is closed. When unfolded the screen on the Mate X measures a staggering 8-inches. While when folded shut the front and rear display’s measure 6.6-inches and 4.6-inches, respectively. A vertical bar found on the back of the phone houses the brainpower of the device, from the triple-camera system to the power button with features a fingerprint scanner.
The Mate X uses the same Kirin 980 processor that’s at the heart of the brands Mate 20 Pro and is paired with Huawei’s own Balong 5000 5G modem. Additionally, the Mate X features a 4,500mAH battery and includes Huawei’s 55W SuperCharge technology, meaning it can charge from 0% to 85% in just 30 minutes. The handset-tablet hybrid offers 512GB of internal storage, has a dual-SIM card slot and supports Huawei’s own Nano Memory card.
These impressive specs don’t come cheap, however. Huawei Mate X has a heavy price tag of €2,299 and will be available later this year, launching on EE, Three and Vodafone in the UK.
Sony’s Xperia 1 tall screen
Sony’s Xperia 1 literally stood out from the crowd at MWC with it’s super-tall 21:9 display. But why such a long display? For watching videos and playing games with Sony argues. The reasoning behind this is that most films are made in 21:9, so it makes sense for users to watch media in the same aspect ratio.
Perhaps Sony’s most advanced smartphone yet, the Xperia 1 features a number of impressive specs, both aesthetic and internal. Boasting a size of 6.5-inches, the phone combines a 21:9 aspect ratio with OLED screen tech to create a super-sharp 4K display. When compared to other smartphones available on the market, Sony’s new handset may appear very long. Gorilla Glass 6 has been used to protect the long panels of glass found on the back of the phone, while a long border at the top of the screen stores the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. A fingerprint scanner is also built into the side of the phone.
Similar to other devices announced at MWC, the rear of the smartphone features a triple-camera system, which includes a 12-megapixel wide sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel super-wide sensor.
The power behind Sony’s new device isn’t short of impressive either. The Xperia 1 comprises of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, 330mAh battery, 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. Additionally, the phone supports a microSD card of up to 512GB in capacity. So you’ll be sure to have plenty of space to download movies and games. There is no set release date for the Sony Xperia 1, however, it will go on sale approximately around April-June and will cost £849.
LG’s V50 ThinQ 5G second screen
Dropping at MWC was LG’s V50 ThinQ 5G – which offers users the option to buy a second screen. Yes, you heard us right, a second screen! Although foldable phones were a big component seen at this year’s tradeshow, they are a thing of the future and will most likely take a while to be mass adopted. Therefore, having the option to add a second screen is a realistic approach made by LG.
Alongside supporting 5G, the device features a Snapdragon 855 chipset, a 4,000mAh battery and vapour cooling chamber. In addition to this, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G can be joined up with the detachable DualScreen case attachment, to add another screen to your phone. This case has a built-in 6.2-inch display, giving the phone multitasking abilities. We love the concept of a foldable phone, but for those wanting to gain as much screen as possible all for a lower cost, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G is a great alternative for you.
Samsung’s foldable phone
With mixed reviews, Samsung unveiled its much-anticipated foldable smartphone, known as the Galaxy Fold. Filling the role of both a phone and a tablet, the device features a large 7.3-inch tablet sized screen that is able to fold in half to make a smaller 4.6-inch HD+ phone-sized screen.
The Galaxy Fold includes 12GB of RAM, a powerful 4,380mAh battery, uses a Qualcomm7nm octa-core processor and comes with 512GB of Universal Flash Storage 3.0. However, perhaps disappointing, the tablet-hybrid doesn’t include a microSD card slot and so there is no option to expand the internal storage. The device has an impressive total of six cameras – with three on the back, two inside and one on the front, that is inclusive of an ultra-wide, wide-angle and telephoto lens.
Another big trend seen at MWC was the option of 5G support, and Samsung’s foldable phone includes just that. Although manufacturers will have to wait for phone networks to start rolling out their 5G connections before users will be able to utilise this feature.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold almost appears cheap compared to Huawei’s foldable Mate X. However, it still will set you back a costly $1,980. The phone has a release date of April 26th for the US and May 3rd for Europe.
Samsung’s impressive S10 lineup
Winning the award for ‘Best of MWC19’ was Samsung for it’s impressive Galaxy S10 lineup. Although their announcement took place a week earlier at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event, the four phones unveiled included the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, the cheaper Galaxy S10E, and the brands first 5G handset – the Galaxy S10 5G.
The brand’s flagship has had a big step up in terms of both feature-based specs and aesthetics when compared to previous models. Exhibiting QHD+ dynamic AMOLED curved screens, built-in ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, and triple-lens cameras, each model isn’t short of impressive specs.
Of course, the S10 is a powerful lineup, too, featuring a top-end chipset, and with the internal storage capacity of a whopping 1TB on the S10 Plus, you won’t be short on storage space that’s for sure.
The cheaper price point of the Galaxy S10 E – a device built to capture the quality of the S10 and S10 Plus, makes sure that everyone can get their hands on the ‘Best of MWC19’ smartphone. Additionally, the Galaxy S10’s 5G support demonstrates the brand’s phones are built for future use.
Starting at a price of £699, the S10, S10 Plus and S10E will be released on Friday 8th March. While the S10 5G will be released later on this year. Find out more about Samsung’s impressive S10 lineup specs – here.
Oppo’s foldable device is similar to Huawei’s
Rather than announcing a phone during MWC 19, the brand confirmed it will launch a 5G-operating phone in the near future. But perhaps most interestingly, an alleged ‘leak’ of an Oppo foldable phone concept is doing the rounds and it has a strong resemblance to Huawei’s Mate X.
The brand’s VP, Brian Shen, teased fans with a first look at the unnamed prototype over on Weibo. But according to Tech Radar, he discussed that Oppo is not jumping the gun to mass produce it’s foldable smartphone just yet, as they want to first witness consumers response to the foldable design concept. As of yet, there are no specifications as to what features it will house and when it will be released. Nevertheless, the initial design looks very similar to the Mate X, with the screen on the outside of the device opening up to create a larger tablet-sized screen.
Microsoft’s Hololens 2 mixed reality headset
Since the first launch of the Hololens four years ago, Microsoft’s Hololens 2 is a device which has developed into a tool with many values, that can be utilised by a great number of businesses.
Now, Microsoft has launched the Hololens 2 which was showcased at MWC 19. Predominately, the main two upgrades that the device has gone under is that it is more comfortable and more immersive than the first headset. Being described as a tool purely used for business, the Hololens 2 features a 2K MEMS display which is clear, so you are able to view augmented reality components on top of real-life things.
Priced at $3,500 (which is approximately £2,600), this VR headset isn’t just for anyone, and will only be sold to businesses. Hololens 2 has been designed for individuals and organisations whose jobs are being transformed digitally. This may include the likes of people in design, manufacturing or even military personnel.
Check out a video from The Verge which takes a look into how the Hololens 2 operates below:
Nokia’s 9 PureView ultimate camera phone
With each new smartphone, comes a bigger and better camera system, so it’s difficult for manufacturers to stand out from the rest when it comes to camera performance. However, The Nokia 9 PureView comprises of a different photography system which differentiates itself from other high-end phones.
As the first smartphone to include five cameras on the rear, the Nokia 9 PureView takes a completely distinguished approach to take photographs: the five cameras all have the same aperture and field-of-view, meaning when a photo is taken all five shots come together to create one incredibly detailed main image. The five cameras, together with the flash and depth sensors, have been positioned in an unusual circular formation, which makes the device stand out from other phones showcased at this years MWC.
The handset will go on sale in the coming weeks and is priced at around £535. Is this the ultimate camera phone?
Energizer’s ridiculous 18,000mAh phone
There were a lot of weird and wonderful innovations demonstrated at this years MWC. However, perhaps one of the more bizarre device out of the hundreds shown is Energizer’s 18,000mAh smartphone – the Energizer Power Max P18K Pop.
The device measures around 18mm thick and is powered by an 18,000mAh battery. To put that into context, that is about 10 times the cell powered featured on the iPhone 7, yes 10! The Max P18K Pop can actually last long enough to play videos continuously for 200 hours and has a lasting time of 50 days. The mountainous device features a MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot and so doesn’t support the option of expandable storage.
In regards to cameras, the phone holds dual-front facing cameras which are hidden in a pop-up mechanism, while the rear of the display features a triple-camera system seen on other flagships. The three cameras include a 12, 5 and 2-megapixel arrangement. Energizer hasn’t released any specific release dates or costs, but if you find yourself always running out of battery, maybe this phone is for you!
And last but definitely not least, is memory:
SanDisk 1TB microSD card announced
The rise of increasing storage capacities continues as announced during MWC 19 was the SanDisk 1TB microSD card.
Micron and Western Digital’s brand SanDisk both launched UHS-I microSDXC cards which can hold an entire terabyte of data on. However, SanDisk has claimed the title for the worlds fastest. The brand is maintaining a performance advantage by demonstrating read speeds of up to 160MB/s, compared to Microns at 100MB/s. By reaching read and write speeds of up to 160MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively, the 1TB SanDisk Extreme microSD will allow users to transfer content in almost half the time over regular UHS-I microSD cards.
The new card will also be available in a capacity of 512GB and will feature the A2 specification for super-fast loading of apps. In addition to this, the new card is designed to withstand shock, extreme temperatures, moisture and X-rays as a result of being part of the SanDisk Extreme line. The SanDisk 1TB Extreme V30 Micro SD Card (SDXC) UHS-I U3 will be available soon from MyMemory.
New MicroSD Express format
During MWC, the SD Association announced the MicroSD Express – a new memory card format which promises insane transfer speeds. The new card format will enable future devices to use and create content at even faster speeds all whilst consuming less energy.
Similar to SD Express, the lastest cards will be dependant on PCIe and NVMe interfaces. These specifications will be capable of delivering ultra-fast maximum transfer speeds of up to 985 megabytes per second. The cards will be available in a mix of capacities, including microSDHC Express, microSDXC Express and microSDUC Express. Read more about the new MicroSD Express format making memory cards much faster – here.
So, there you have it – our round-up of the main highlights announced during MWC19. What are your favourites? Are there any mobiles not listed here that caught your eye, or even so, you weren’t a fan of? Let us know in the comments below.