Gadgets for all open gates to new reality
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona aims at “creating a better future”
2 March, 2018
The world's biggest mobile phone trade fair, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), opened last Monday in Barcelona under the slogan “Creating a Better Future” with all big and many small manufacturers and developers, except Apple, displaying their new ideas and products, news wires reported. At stake is a market worth over €450bn and growing.The MWC has been held in Barcelona since 2006, growing in importance every year, with the 2018 edition attracting over 100,000 visitors to see stands by 2,300 exhibitors. The 2018 MWC focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the benefits offered by mobile technology, such as eradicating poverty, improving education and aiding gender equality, as well as the latest developments in 5G networks and their implication for the Internet of Things, smart cities, big data, virtual reality, healthcare, driverless cars and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. But for visitors, the main thing is what new gadgets and technologies are to be shown at the expo.Samsung was among the first to attack the public by announcing its Galaxy S9 and S9+. While the phones are about the same size as the previous versions, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the screens are brighter and slightly bigger. They have an advanced camera and stereo speakers, along with fun new tools, such as AR emoji, photo language translation and improved slow-motion video. Like other Samsung Galaxy phones, the S9 is water resistant and touts an infinity display, wireless charging, and a headphone jack. It also features enhanced facial recognition to better compete with the iPhone X. The device will initially be available in black, blue, and purple, with a grey option coming later. The new phones will be available in stores mid-March.While LG, HTC, Motorola, and Huawei all had a presence at MWC, none of them launched any competitive flagship phones. The ones that did rise up into the light were from Nokia and Sony, but the most innovative phones seemed to come from less known brands like Vivo and Energizer. Vivo showed its Apex concept futuristic device aimed at displaying the future of phone design. The concept phone wowed attendees with a number of innovative forward-facing technologies that push us closer toward phones that are just a screen with no bezels.Sony presented Xperia XZ, aimed at stopping the company's free fall into irrelevance in the mobile space. For the first time in years, it unveiled a new flagship phone that keeps pace with the competition. The Xperia XZ2 sports a new curved back design, slims down the bezels above and below the screen, and comes with wireless charging, a working fingerprint sensor on the back, stereo speakers with a special rumble feature, and an improved 4K HDR video capture. The MWC also saw the return of the once legendary Nokia, revived last year by HMD. On display in Barcelona were the Nokia 3310 revamped model with colour screen and the beloved game Snake!, and yet another classic: the 8110 slider phone. But besides reviving old phones, HMD is actually re-making Nokia as a competent smartphone maker too.
Visitors play with a virtual reality game at the mobile expo in Barcelona.