Welcome to a very special edition of our ‘Device Advice’ blog series, sharing our thoughts and insights into the most recent device releases from the world of mobile and beyond – this time we take a look at the key talking points of Mobile World Congress 2019.
Mobile World Congress returned to Barcelona this year and the timings couldn’t be more poignant. Following a year of flagship releases in 2018, the world of mobile had hit a standstill. That said, this year’s event brought with it the most interesting innovations we’ve seen in years. Mobile is exciting again.
Two topics that couldn’t be ignored at MWC 2019 included the revelation of two foldable phones and a range of devices ready and waiting to connect to 5G.
The build-up began, as expected, in the week leading up to the event before headlines became saturated with other headlines. Samsung used this opportunity to unveil its latest smartphones in the Galaxy line; the S10, S10+ and S10e. These devices are a clear upgrade to last year’s S9, packing more features into bigger screens with fewer bezels. With an on-screen fingerprint scanner, a bigger battery, more cameras, reverse wireless charging and its capabilities to connect to 5G networks, the S10 range quickly dominated the conversation.
Also announced by Samsung was the Galaxy Fold which marks a ten-year milestone in the Galaxy line. Breaking the mould for a smartphone, the device opens up into a tablet, but can be folded back into a traditional smartphone shape. It comes packed with two batteries, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, AKG tuned speakers, six cameras and the ability to wirelessly charge compatible devices. It’s a bold move with a potentially brave price tag.
Camera capabilities remain a core competitive feature to the latest smartphones and this year is no different. Whilst we have seen devices more recently with three rear cameras, Nokia has just introduced five. And, unlike other devices, all five cameras on the Nokia 9 PureView contribute to the one picture, creating the most detailed photo ever seen on a phone.
Not to be outdone by its competitors, Huawei later stole the spotlight at MWC by showcasing the Mate X, its own foldable smartphone offering. The Mate X comes with a bigger screen, a more ergonomic design and faster 5G connectivity, compared to the Fold – or so it is argued. However, if we thought Samsung went high with the price tag, Huawei looks to go even higher.
In other news, and in an attempt to redefine how we look to unlock our devices, LG announced its G8 ThinQ with a unique vein recognition capability. The device uses the veins in the palm of your hands to allow entry into the phone, though initial reports suggest the action of unlocking the device is harder than originally thought.
Next, the latest news from Sony, which introduced its most advanced smartphone yet, taking best performing features from the Xperia XZ3 and the Xperia XZ Premium and adding a few new qualities to make the Xperia 1. Unlike most handsets at MWC, the Xperia 1 doesn’t come with a notch, a hole punch display, a foldable design or 5G ready, but it does have a 4K HDR OLED ultra-wide 21:9 display, allowing for a more immersive experience in video streaming or gaming.
Finally, not a phone as such, but you may just want one. SanDisk just released a microSD card with 1TB of space that is breaking speed records. The tiny card is the fastest 1TB UHS-1 microSD card yet, meaning more storage than many will know what to do with. If the cloud isn’t for you, this microSD card may well be.