Mobile World Congress 2017, the world’s biggest showcase for mobile devices, is underway in Barcelona, Spain. The public show officially opened yesterday, but many of the big announcement were made on press day. Here’s a quick summary of everything we’ve learned so far:
The rumours are true. At HMD Global’s press conference on Sunday, the company confirmed they were re-launching the Nokia 3310. The new model is priced at just €49 and includes a 2.4-inch colour screen, an FM radio, a two-megapixel camera and 2.5G connection. A major selling point will be its 22 hours of talk time and up to one month of standby time. Released later this year, the device comes in gloss red and yellow and matte blue and grey.
HMD also announced three other smartphones: The Nokia 6 smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen, the Nokia 5 with a 5.2-inch screen and the Nokia 3 with a 5.0-inch screen.
As predicted in last week’s guide, LG did unveil the successor to its modular G5 and revealed it will feature an 18:9 screen aspect ratio. LG told attendees that the 18:9 format offers "more viewing space and a more immersive experience when streaming videos and playing games".
There were no surprises about the device’s specifications. It will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 4GB RAM, a 5MP front-facing camera with 13MP on the rear and has Google Assistant built in. The company is also showcasing its Watch Sport and Watch Style smartwatches this week.
Samsung may be waiting until March to launch the new Galaxy S8 smartphone, but the South Korean company had plenty of announcements saved for its press conference on Sunday. Two new tablets were unveiled - the Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book. Both devices come with Super AMOLED display and support HDR (High Dynamic Range) video content. Pre-orders for the Galaxy Tab S3 will be open March 17th on their website and the tablet will be available from March 31st.
The company also announced an updated version of its VR headset that includes an all-new handheld controller. It comes equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetic sensors.
At their press conference on Saturday night, BlackBerry revealed the rest of the specifications of the BlackBerry Mercury, which is now officially known as BlackBerry KEYone.
The KEYone has a 4.5-inch display and combines a touch display with a physical keyboard. The keyboard has been programmed to launch up to 52 shortcuts, with predictive flick typing and scrolling gesture support. The phone comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The camera comes with a 12MP Sony IMX 378 sensor on the back, and a 8MP front camera.
It will be available for $549 from early-April.
BEST OF THE REST
In brief, here are some of the major phones announced:
- BlackBerry KeyOne
- LG G6
- Moto G5
- Moto G5 Plus
- Nokia 5
- Nokia 6
- New Nokia 3310
- Sony Xperia XA1
- Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
- Sony Xperia XZ Premium
- Sony Xperia XZs
- Huawei P10
- Huawei P10 Plus
But the event is far more than just smartphones and tablets. For example, Roborace unveiled the world’s first self-driving race car. Roborace is aiming to be the first motorsport championship with autonomously driving, electrically powered vehicles. The car is powered by five LiDAR sensors; 18 ultrasonic sensors; six AI cameras and GNSS positioning, and it reaches speeds of 199mph (320kph).
American automaker Ford announced an exciting partnership with Vodafone that will see 4G modems installed in a select range of its upcoming vehicles. They say the modem will bring 4G LTE connectivity over Wi-Fi, with up to ten devices able to connect at once.
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