Another Mobile World Congress Conference (MWC) is ending. The 2017 Edition was exciting, and there was ample new tech to look at during this crazy week. Here are the products we thought were the most interesting at the show, sorted in no specific order. You find them to be available in many markets in the weeks to come, in the meantime, we provide a first look for most of them. We can’t wait for the 2018 edition of MWC!
By launching the LG G6 at Mobile World Congress 2017, LG took instant leadership for introducing the first 2:1 aspect ratio display and ushering a new era of big-screen phones. Users want it all so LG offers a large 5.7” display in the body of a ~5.3” smartphone. The result is an incredible “screen-only” facade that looks stunning.
The beauty of the LG G6 isn’t skin-deep, it is designed for life with a shock-conscious and water-resistant chassis. LG’s signature dual-camera system is back with some improvements, and it remains the only game in town for wide angle photography. A must try.
Huawei P10 & P10 Plus
Huawei’s P10 is the company’s new flagship phone in the small screen form-factor (5.1”). The P10 is an ultra-thin (7mm) and light (145g) smartphone that feels very good in the hand. Huawei has pushed the P9 design further, and although both phones look superficially similar, the P10 has top notch build quality, easily rivaling or surpassing the iPhone 7. Huawei has built on the strengths of the P9 and Mate 9 success: the company has oriented its P10 handset towards fashion and photographic art, with an outstanding array of color options. A real beauty.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony is going all out on Imaging this year with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, a handset with a 4K HDR display and a 960FPS camera sensor. The Xperia XZ Premium keeps the general design language of Xperia handsets, but Sony has applied a new surface treatment that gives the phone a unique shine that makes it look very premium. The 5.5” 4K display has an astonishing 800 PPI pixel density, and high-resolution nature photos should look amazing on it. The 960 FPS slow-motion should be extremely fun to play with as well.
Lenovo Yoga 720 15-inch
The Lenovo Yoga 720 is a 15-inch multi-mode (Yoga) laptop that complies with the latest Microsoft standards for trackpads and fingerprint logging (Windows Hello). It is neatly designed and aimed at being powerful but relatively affordable at the same time. It is available in 13” and 15” but we found the 15” to be particularly compelling because it comes with a discrete graphics processor which lets users play recent games at high frame rates or perform heavy computing tasks. In short: a very solid no-nonsense laptop.
Samsung Galaxy Book 12
Samsung invented this category of PCs that look like Android tablets with the Galaxy TabPro S. The Galaxy Book 12 is the second generation of such computer systems. It has a beautiful “thin & light” design which has been further refined for efficiency. Samsung has paid attention to user and reviewer feedback and has improved many key points: there are two USB ports now, and the keyboard has been vastly improved with 3-levels of backlighting and a long key travel. At the same time, Samsung introduced a 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5 version that could break records for performance/weight.
Huawei Watch 2
Huawei’s Watch 2 takes full advantage of Android Wear 2.0 with its LTE connectivity and is one of the best-looking smartwatch available right now. The Huawei Watch was a very popular watch before, this is update should take it to the next level. It is water and dust resistant, has 2.3GB (out of 4GB) of storage available for music files (~500 tracks?) and Huawei estimates that it will have a three days battery life.
Oppo 5X Camera Technology
If you thought that Apple’s 2X optical zoom was nice, you will love Oppo’s 5X optical zoom prototype. It is known that telephoto lenses do require extra depth, which is an issue with thin handsets. However, Oppo has come up with a solution by having most of the lens system sunk into the chassis parallel to the phone’s surface. A 90-degree mirror system makes it possible to integrate the telephoto system to look like a normal camera. And it works: in our tests, the Oppo 5X optical zoom easily beat other phones.
HP Pro X2 612 G2
The HP Pro X2 G2 is an excellent update of the aging G1 product, and what an upgrade: 25% lighter and 100% better battery life. The HP Pro X2 G2 also uses a different industrial design with a kickstand which makes it much thinner when in tablet mode. At the same time, HP remains competitive on the keyboard and trackpad front, with a detachable keyboard that is comfortable to use, with a longer key travel. Finally, it’s possible to use a digital pen in a very natural way since the palm rejection algorithm has been improved as well.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
The Galaxy Tab S3 is an Android tablet designed for both entertainment and productivity. It comes with a 9.7” AMOLED HDR display that is compatible with the most technologically advanced video formats. HDR makes high-contrast scenes more life-like because more information is encoded per pixel, and the screen is capable of a higher dynamic range. When it’s time to work, the 4:3 screen makes it more readable in landscape position, and the keyboard makes typing a really comfortable experience for a computer that size.
Waverly Labs Universal Translator
The Waverly Labs Universal Translator has been out as $249 crowdfunding in-ear language translator since last Summer. However, they are ramping up to (hopefully) ship this summer and were demonstrating the devices at MWC 2017. Not Star-Trek worthy yet, the device is promising enough to warrant a best of MWC. This is one of those function that would change the world if it worked reasonably well enough. At the moment, there are a few seconds of lag in between speech and translations, but we feel like this should be encouraged.