Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the annual tech convention ,which manufacturers flock to in order to unveil their latest and greatest handsets. This year was no different.
Usually dominated by Samsung, MWC 2017 saw handset manufacturers step up to fill in the void created by the lack of the Galaxy S8 launch. That does not mean, however, that there were no fantastic handsets on display.
Here are four of our favourites unveiled at MWC 2017:
1. Nokia 3310
Nokia’s 3310 is one of the most iconic pieces of technology ever created. Ask almost any millennial what their favourite handset has been and, odds are, that they’ll say it’s the 3310.
HMD Global, the company which now owns the Nokia brand name, has re-released the Nokia 3310.
Calling it a “modern classic reborn”, HMS says that the new Nokia 3310 is thin, light and incredibly durable. After spending some time with the handset at MWC 2017, our Tech Guru discovered that it is indeed light and slimmer than expected. As to whether or not it’s durable remains to be seen.
The company says that the 3310 boasts a 22-hour talk-time and 30 day stand-by time.
Unlike the original 3310, the new Nokia 3310 is available in four distinctive colours. These include Warm Red and Yellow, both with a gloss finish, and Dark Blue and Grey, both with a matte finish.
There has been no confirmation of local availability or cost. But, HMD says that when the handset does go on sale globally, it will retail at an average price of €49.
2. Huawei P10 & P10+
Huawei’s P9 was one of the first handsets to have a dual rear-facing camera setup. Unlike LG’s G5, however, the Huawei setup was co-produced with Leica. As such, it featured a monochrome lens, as well as an RGB lens.
This setup worked so well that the company used a second generation Leica dual camera system in the Mate 9. The P10 sees Huawei continue their partnership with Leica to introduce an updated dual-camera system on the new flagship handset. This is also the first Leica-made, front-facing lens in a smartphone.
The P10 (and P10+) not only focus on photography, but are also some of the most beautiful handsets ever created by the Chinese company. Yes, they do bear a striking resemblance to the iPhone 7, but the P10 is available in a total of eight colours. Including Pantone’s colour of the year, Greenery.
Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer Business Group, said: “With Huawei P10 and P10+, we have created a smartphone that revolutionises and redefines portrait photography. Thanks to the evolution of our partnership with Leica Camera, users now have an incredible Leica front camera on their Huawei device, in addition to the rear. To match this innovation inside, Huawei’s partnership with Pantone Color Institute ensures that the devices are equally as beautiful on the outside. The Huawei P10 and P10+ are smartphones that are as fashionable as they are functional.”
Not only does the P10 feature an improved camera setup, it also comes with an updated UI. This brings a few new features, as well as a redesigned fingerprint scanner, which is now located on the front of the handset.
The Huawei P10 (and P10+) will be coming to South Africa within the next few months. But, exact launch date and pricing have not yet been confirmed by Huawei South Africa.
3. LG G6
LG returned to Mobile World Congress with the G6, the company’s latest flagship handset.
The first thing that you notice about the phone is that it’s mostly all screen. It has a 5.7-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio, Quad HD+ Full Vision display with the thinnest bezels ever seen on an LG handset.
LG has retained their signature rear-key, as well as the dual rear-facing camera setup that they first introduced on the G5.
The G6 sees further improvements including an IP68 rating, as well as an aluminium and glass body and Dolby Vision and HDR 10.
“The LG G6 offers users new visual and manual experiences. It marries an expanded screen with the convenience of one-handed use,” said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “LG will continue to lead smartphone innovation with a focus on convenience and reliability in order to exceed consumer expectations.”
Following the trend of handset manufacturers across the globe, the G6 also includes a voice activated AI assistant. In this case, it’s using Google Assistant, which is built into the handset.
Based on the small amount of time that our Tech Guru spent with the G6, it comes across as a solid, premium device with an amazing display and a fantastic camera.
Local pricing and availability for the G6 have not yet been confirmed.
4. Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony surprised everyone with the announcement of its impressive XZ Premium.
Sony has used the imaging know-how used in Sony ‘α’ and Cyber-shot cameras to create the XZ Premium’s new Motion Eyecamera system. It’s also the first smartphone to feature a memory-stacked Exmor RS sensor. With technologies usually only found on premium compact cameras, it provides 5x faster image scanning and data transfer. This means you can create videos by recording in 960 frames per second. Providing super slow motion video playback that is four times slower than other smartphones.
The XZ Premium is powered by Qualcomm’s latest chipset, the Snapdragon 835. This means that, at launch, it will be one of the first smartphones capable of Gigabit LTE (up to 1Gbps).
The exterior of the phone is meant to standout. Thanks to its glass loop surface, which has a mirrored effect on the back.
The XZ premium has a fingerprint scanner and an IP68 rating.
Local pricing and availability have not yet been confirmed.