What is MWC? Mobile World Congress is one of the biggest and most exciting events in the mobile industry. It’s where the majority of big players like Samsung, LG, Sony, and Huawei show off their latest and greatest products every year.
When is MWC? MWC formally kicks off on Monday, February 26 and ends on Thursday, March 1. Of course, quite a few companies have already made their announcements official
Where is MWC? As is the case every year, MWC will take place in Barcelona, Spain at two venues— Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc.
Now that MWC 2018 is starting to kick off we’re already seeing big announcements from Samsung, LG, Nokia, and several others. Let’s dive right in and see what each company has to offer at this year’s Mobile World Congress.
Samsung officially announced its newest flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, at its Unpacked event on February 25, a day before MWC kicks off. In terms of their design, the S9 phones look similar on the surface to the older Galaxy S8 devices. The Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Curved Super AMOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and a pixel density of 570 ppi. The S9 Plus has a 6.2-inch display with the same aspect ratio and pixel density. Samsung says these displays are also 15 percent brighter than the ones on the Galaxy S8.
The Galaxy S9 will have 4 GB of RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery, while the S9 Plus bumps it up to 6 GB and a 3,500 mAh battery. Both come with 64 GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card for additional storage. Both phones will come with either the Samsung Exynos 9810 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoCs (depending on the region).
The biggest difference between the two phones are the camera setups. The Galaxy S9 sports a single Dual Pixel 12 MP sensor with dual /1.5 and f/2.4 apertures. The S9 Plus offers two rear-facing camera sensors — one wide-angle at 12 MP and one telephoto at 12 MP. Both phones also support what Samsung is calling AR Emoji, which lets owners turn themselves into an animated emoji inside the phone, which can then be shared with friends and family via messaging or social media.
Pre-orders for both the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will start on March 2, and both will go on sale on March 16. The Galaxy S9 price is $719.99 unlocked (or $30/month over 24 months) and the Galaxy S9 Plus price is $839.99 unlocked (or $35/month over 24 months) via samsung.com or the Shop Samsung app. Wireless carriers will have their own prices and trade-in deals for both phones.
Samsung also revealed a new version of its DeX Pad accessory along with the Galaxy S9 series. Like last year’s DeX, it should let you hook up your smartphone to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use it like a desktop computer. However, the new DeX Pad will have a different design than its predecessor, which will allow the smartphone to lie flat on the dock instead of upright.
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- Top 9 Samsung Galaxy S9 features
- Samsung Galaxy S9: New camera features
- Samsung Galaxy S9: First camera samples
- What the heck is the Galaxy S9’s dual aperture?
- AR Emoji vs Animoji: The differences explained
- Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus color comparison
- Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S8: Welcome changes
- Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus vs Note 8: A glimpse of the Note 9
- Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus vs Pixel 2 XL: Two of the best
- Samsung DeX Pad announced, we go hands-on
Instead of announcing a successor the LG G6 at MWC, the company decided to reveal a variant to its most recent flagships, the LG V30 and V30 Plus, as part of the trade show. The new phones are called the LG V30S ThinQ and the V30S ThinQ Plus.
In terms of design, the V30 S ThinQ phones are the same as the V30 devices. with both getting a 6-inch FullVision display. Both also use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. However, the G V30S ThinQ and the V30S ThinQ Plus will get a memory boost to 6 GB of RAM, compared to the 4 GB on the V30, and both get storage boosts as well, with 128 GB on the V30S ThinQ and 256 GB the V30S ThinQ Plus.
The V30S phones are also getting some AI camera upgrades, with features like QLens, which can do visual searches on Amazon or in Pinterest, and AI Cam, which suggests camera settings based on image recognition. Finally, there is Bright Mode, which LG says makes images taken by the camera twice as bright compared to the V30.
The V30S and V30S Plus will debut in South Korea in March, followed by launches in other parts of the world. Pricing for the phone has not yet been announced.
HMD Global, which owns the rights to use the Nokia brand, revealed several new phones at its MWC press event. This includes the Nokia 7 Plus, a bigger version of 2017’s Nokia 7. The Nokia 7 Plus will have a 6-inch display, compared to the 5.5-inch Nokia 7, along with an 18:9 ratio and a 2,160 x 1,080 resolution. It will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chip, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of onboard storage, dual 12 MP and 13 MP rear camera, a 16 MP front-facing camera and a 3,800 mAh battery. It will be released in selected markets in Europe this April for the price of €399.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco was also revealed at MWC. It has a 5.5-inch edge-to-edge pOLED panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and protected by Gorilla Glass 5. It has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage, along with the same 12 MP and 13 MP rear cameras as the Nokia 7 Plus, along with a 5 MP front camera, QI wireless charging and a 3,260 mAh battery. It’s due out in April in some parts of the world for €749.
HMD Global is launching the 2018 edition of the Nokia 6 in Europe, with two models; one with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage and the other with 4 GB and 64 GB of storage. Both have a 5.5-inch 1080p display Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 chip, a 16 MP rear camera and an 8 MP front-facing camera. It will be priced at €279 when it launches in Europe. By the way, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and the Nokia 6 will support Google’s Android One, which means those phones should get regular monthly Android security updates.
The cheapest Nokia Android phone was revealed at MWC as well, the Nokia 1. Based on Android Oreo (Go edition), it will launch in Europe, Middle East, Africa, India, Asia Pacific, Australia, and Latin America this April, with a price of just $85. For that cost, you will get a 4.5-inch IPS display, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, a 5 MP rear camera, and a 2 MP front-facing camera.
Finally, HMD revealed the Nokia 8110 4G, a feature phone designed to look like the older Nokia 8110 mobile phone, which was made famous by its appearance in 1999’s classic movie The Matrix. The “banana phone”, with its sliding cover to protect its keypad, will go on sale in May for €79 in Europe.
- Nokia 7 Plus with Android One, Full HD+ display is finally official
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- The Nokia 8 Sirocco is official: This is HMD Global’s true
- Nokia 8 Sirocco: Spec sheet breakdown
- Nokia 8 Sirocco: Release date, price, and availability
- Nokia 6 (2018) heading to Europe this April for €279
- Nokia 1 with Android Oreo (Go edition) announced at MWC
- The ‘Matrix phone’ is back: Nokia 8110 retro reboot coming in May
Huawei didn’t announce any new smartphones at MWC, but it did reveal a new Android 8.0 Oreo tablet, the MediaPad M5, a successor to the MediaPad M3, this new tablet will come in 8.4-inch and 10.8-inch screen variants, with both versions featuring 2560 x 1600 pixel “ClariVu” IPS LCD displays. Inside they will have the older Kirin 960 processor inside and 4 GB of RAM, along with 32, 64, or 128 GB of onboard storage. The 8.4-inch version will have dual speakers, while the 10.8-inch version will have four speakers. There will also be a 10.8-inch MediaPad M5 Pro model, which supports an optional keyboard dock, and can use the M-Pen stylus.
Huawei also announced the Windows 10-based Matebook X Pro notebook, with a 14-inch display, and inside you can get either the full Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, along with either 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM and either 256 GB and 512 GB of storage It also has a full-size chicklet back-lit keyboard with a cool feature; a web camera that’s placed in the keyboard, between the F6 and F7 keys, that pops up when you touch it, and goes back down when you press it down. Pricing and a launch date have not been announced.
- Huawei MediaPad M5 hands-on: More than multimedia
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During MWC, the budget-themed smartphone maker Alcatel announced five new handsets: the Alcatel 1X, Alcatel 3, Alcatel 3V, Alcatel 3X, and Alcatel 5, all of which have 18:9 FullView displays. The 5.3-inch Alcatel 1X is not only the cheapest of the five phones, it’s also running Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition), which explains why it will have either 1 GB or 2 GB of RAM, along with 16 GB of internal storage.
The Alcatel 3 will have a 5.5-inch display and 16 GB of storage, while the Alcatel 3X has a 5.7-inch screen and either 16 GB or 32 GB of storage. The Alcatel 3V has a big 6-inch display, with 16 GB or 32 GB of storage. The Alcatel 5 has a 5.7-inch display, 16 GB or 32 GB of storage, and a 13 MP front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture, along with a back camera is 12 MP. You can check out our detailed look at all the new Alcatel phones announced at MWC at the links below.
The ZTE Blade V9 and Blade V9 Vita were announced at MWC. The V9 Vita will have a 5.7-inch, 18:9 display, with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chip, either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM and either 32 GB or 64 GB of onboard storage. It will also have a dual rear camera, with a 16MP and 5 MP sensors, and an 8 MP front-facing camera. The Blade V9 Vite is smaller at 5.45 inches, along with a slower Snapdragon 435 chip, 2 GB and 3 GB RAM options, and either 16 GB and 32 GB of storage. There’s still a dual rear camera, with 13 MP and 2 MP sensors, and a 5 MP front camera. Pricing and availability have yet to be revealed.
ZTE also announced the Tempo Go, which is one of the budget phones that will us Android Go, a version of Android 8 Oreo made for low-end devices. The phone will have a 5-inch display with a 480 x 584 resolution, along with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of onboard storage, along with a microSD card slot where you can add up to 32 GB of additional storage. It will also have a 5 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front-facing camera and a 2,200 mAh battery. It will go on sale for just $79.99 unlocked.
- ZTE Blade V9 and V9 Vita are here, we go hands-on
- ZTE Tempo Go is the latest Android Go phone with a price
Sony unveiled two new smartphones at MWC — the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Compared to their predecessors, they both offer a new design, better camera, and enhanced audio.
The devices are identical in terms of specs with two exceptions: the display and battery. The Xperia XZ2 is equipped with a 5.7-inch Full HD+ screen and a 3,180 mAh battery, while its smaller brother sports a 5-inch Full HD+ display and a 2,870 mAh battery. Both are powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 chipset, feature 4 GB of RAM, and are equipped with a 19 MP camera — see detailed specs here.
Sony finally took a step forward in the design department on these flagships. The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact come with a design language called “Ambient Flow” that Sony says is modeled after the characteristics of water, taking the form of whatever holds it. They have thinner bezels than a lot of previous Sony devices, although they are still bigger than those of the Galaxy S9, LG V30, and a number of other smartphones.
The camera found on the two handsets is capable of capturing 960 fps slow motion video like the XZ Premium but can record in higher resolution — 1080p. You can also use it to create 3D models of various objects, which is a feature that has made its way to the front-facing camera as well.
Sony latest smartphones also sport dual front-facing speakers and an internal DAC to help boost sound quality. Sony has unfortunately removed the headphone jack on this device, but there is a dongle included. You can learn more about the two devices via the links below.
- Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact announced: New design, same Sony
- Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact: Price and availability details
- Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact specs: Almost everything you might want
- Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact hands-on
- Top 5 Sony Xperia XZ2 features
Only a month after unveiling the X20 Plus UD at CES 2018, which featured a fingerprint scanner underneath the display, Vivo took the wraps off the APEX FullView Concept Phone at MWC that expands upon the initial idea.
The device features an even better in-display fingerprint scanner that allows you to unlock it by placing your finger anywhere on the bottom half of the display. To unlock the X20 Plus UD, you have to place your finger on an exact location at the bottom of the screen.
Vivo’s innovative smartphone is basically all screen, with almost no bezels. That means it doesn’t offer much room for other things normally found on the front of a phone. Vivo had to hide the proximity sensor under the glass, and the ambient light sensor was moved to the very top of the phone. The front-facing camera also had to be moved. When you select it in the camera app, it rises out of the top of the device. It’s a very interesting idea that might become the new standard on smartphones somewhere down the line.
Another side effect of such a large screen is that there’s no space for a speaker. Vivo got creative and used a technology called Screen Sound Casting that basically turns the entire display into a speaker by sending vibrations through the screen.
Want to learn more about this innovative device? If so, check out the short hands-on video above or hit the link below.
MediaTek has unveiled its latest mobile application processor at MWC — the Helio P60. It’s designed for mid-range devices and comes with a number of improvements over its predecessor, complete with some new hardware and tools to support the growing market for machine learning and AI applications.
The Helio P60 comes with dedicated AI hardware, which is a first for a MediaTek chip. It’s dubbed a multi-core mobile APU (AI processing unit), but the company’s press release and website don’t reveal many details about the capabilities of its machine learning hardware. Suffice to say this isn’t the same as AMD’s meaning of APU, which is just a CPU and GPU on the same die. The Helio P60 does offer some specialized hardware that’s twice as efficient as a GPU at machine learning tasks, and we will hopefully take a closer look at it soon.
The chipset boasts a big.LITTLE octa-core configuration, arranged as an Arm Cortex-A73 clocked at 2.0 GHz paired up with the smaller Cortex-A53 also running at 2.0 GHz. The GPU is a newer Mali-G72 MP3 and the chip is built on TSMC’s 16/12nm process. MediaTek boasts performance improvements of up to 70 percent in both CPU and GPU situations compared with its previous generation products, thanks to the to the introduction of the bigger CPU cores and the updated GPU. The package is also more energy efficient, clocking in at around 12 percent more efficient than the Helio P23 in CPU terms, and can save up to 25 percent on more energy demanding games. Hit the link below for a more detailed look at the new chipset.
Asus used its first ever MWC press event on February 27 to officially reveal the ZenFone 5, ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 Lite to the world. In case you feel like you have heard of the ZenFone 5 before, you have. Asus released one with the same name in 2014.
The core ZenFone 5 will have a big 6.2 inch 2,246 x 1,080 display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It will also have a notch on top that’s similar to the one that’s on the iPhone X, but the ZenFone 5 uses it for its front camera, earphone and proximity sensor. Inside, the phone will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, either 4 or 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The phone will have a 12 MP main rear camera, with a secondary rear sensor with a wide angle lens. It also will have an 8 MP front-facing camera, and a 3,300 mAh battery. There’s no word on a price for the ZenFone 5 but it should be released in April.
The Asus ZenFone 5Z will share the same design, and nearly all of the same hardware, as the ZenFone 5, with one big difference: it will have the much more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset inside. The phone will also have up to 8 GB of RAM. Asus says it will sell this impressive sounding phone for about €479 in Europe and £500 in the UK, which is excellent considering that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will sell for hundreds more with the same processor. It’s supposed to be out this June.
Finally, the ZenFone 5 Lite (which will be called the ZenFone 5Q in North America) has some solid specs as well. It will have a 6-inch 2,160 x 1,080 display (no notch), the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. It will have a larger main rear camera than the ZenFone 5 at 16 MP, along with a secondary wide-angle sensor. The front camera setup will also feature two sensors, with a huge 20 MP main camera, and a secondary wide-angle sensor. It will also have a 3,300 mAh battery. There’s no word on a release date or price for the ZenFone 5 Lite/5Q.
We’ll update this page as soon as we hear more to keep you up to speed with all the latest major announcements. Meanwhile, let us know which products are you most looking forward to in the comments below!