Mobile World Congress 2018, the world’s biggest mobile telephony trade show is closing today. We had a great time looking at the new technologies and products. Here are the very best products of MWC 2018, in order of appearance:
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ phones were undeniably the hottest consumer products, with five thousand people attended the event (2000 media and 3000 industry insiders). The Galaxy S9/S9+ sets the bar for all 2018 phones as the de-facto Android phone to beat at the high-end.
It comes with the latest technology in Camera, Processing, and Modem capabilities and is designed to push the most common use cases to the next level. The Camera performance is particularly impressive, and you can read more about it in our Galaxy S9 Review / Hands-On.
LG AI Camera and Bright Mode
LG did not announce a new phone design but had a modest hardware and firmware update for its LG V30 flagship phone called LG V30S. The new handset comes with more RAM (6GB) and more internal storage (up to 256GB). Among several new “AI Camera” (artificial intelligence) features, there is a hidden gem called Bright Mode.
It is a low-light camera mode that kicks-in automatically, and brightens the scene way beyond what your eyes can perceive, without losing colors and details. It is best for static scenes, and you can look at a simple low-light camera test with an LG V30S unit.
Lenovo Yoga 730 Laptop
The Lenovo Yoga 730 is a Premium laptop that brings many features from the high-end Yoga 920 model to a much more affordable price point, in both 13” and 15” configurations. It does a great job at preserving some of the look and feel, and should nearly match the more expensive model when it comes to computing power.
The 15” Yoga 730 model even has a discrete GPU option that can cater to Creative users who get ~4X the performance of the regular Intel GPU, in addition to a large and comfortable display.
Lenovo Chromebook 500e
Chromebooks are usually not very exciting because they are designed for basic computing needs such as web and productivity. However, when a Chromebook is rugged (kid-resistant) and comes with an unbelievably responsive Digital Pen, we do take notice. Despite its affordable price, the Lenovo Chromebook 500e has much better Pen responsiveness than certain PCs costing many times the price.
It is great for note-taking, and we can also imagine it being used by professionals, possibly in the field. For some use cases, it could even replace a much more expensive pen-based rugged computer.
Huawei MateBook X Pro 14” Laptop
Huawei is known for its phones and LTE networks, but the company is coming to the PC market without skimping on features and quality. With the MateBook X Pro, Huawei took the gloves off and gives Power Users an extremely attractive and powerful 14” system. The thin-frame display is absolutely gorgeous and offers the most display surface for its size.
Its 3:2 aspect ratio is a better size for general productivity, which is in strong demand for some user profiles. Finally, the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GPU sets it apart from competitors by increasing the graphics speed by many folds. Stay tuned for the full review, but you can learn more about the MateBook X Pro here.
ASUS Zenfone 5 and 5Z
ASUS has a legendary track record in the Android smartphone space, but facing stiff competition, ASUS is going on the offensive with the Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 5Z handsets. Both handsets have a beautiful design that has little to envy from the $1000 iPhone X.
The Zenfone 5Z model will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 and extremely high specifications – at an estimated price of $480 (our estimation), and the Zenfone 5 should be priced even lower. Stay tuned for a detailed hands-on article about the ASUS Zenfone 5 Series, but for now, ASUS has certainly stunned the audience at MWC.
Sony XPERIA XZ2
Sony has received very positive crowd feedback at its MWC launch of the Sony XPERIA XZ2. This handset has a brand new industrial design which departs from the boxier XPERIA designs in favor of a curvy design which feels better in hand. The XPERIA XZ2 is the first handset to be announced with a 4K UHD HDR video recording capability.
4K UHD HDR recording is part of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 new capabilities, but interestingly enough, Sony is currently the only OEM to support for it, possibly because it has a superior Sony EXMOR camera sensor. The XPERIA XZ2 continues to have its 960FPS slow-motion which Sony introduced last year.
SANDISK EXTREME microSD UHS-I CARD 400GB
The contributions of Sandisk to the Flash storage world are uncontested, but this new Sandisk 400GB microSD card is a significant milestone. The ability to extend your handset or even laptop storage with 400GB of fast Flash Memory is incredible, that is, if your phone supports microSD.
Beyond storage capacity, this card offers unprecedented performance: 160MB/s write and 90MB/s read speeds are about 50% faster than the previous generation. This opens the door to longer 4K recording at extreme quality. Read our coverage of the new 400GB Sandisk microSD card at MWC. The first 400GB card was launched last summer (see photo above), but this one is faster.
Lillycover Skin Care Device
Lillycover is a portable skin analyzer that helps understand and improve one’s skin health. It has several sensors, including a macro camera and image analysis algorithms that will capture and interpret instantaneous skin status. A complete history will also be kept to see the evolution and keep the user motivated to maintain a healthy skin. It can handle many types of skin because it has a skin database built after looking at skin from 10,000 patients.
Ticatag TiFiz Xpress, XtrackR and Xtrack GPS Trackers
Once of the main friction points of GPS-tracking for assets and vehicles is the fact that batteries eventually run out. The faster they run, and the more likely the tracker won’t help when we actually need it. Ticatag’s new products at MWC provide 2-3 months of battery, and even up to 3 years for the most powerful one. They work on a special low-power wireless network specifically designed for IoT purposes.