Mobile World Congress 2019: Highlights and New Phones

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Every year, thousands of people and several big smartphone manufacturing companies flock to Barcelona, Spain for the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC). But even when the expo hasn’t officially started companies are holding their own presentations, press cons, and parties to celebrate the release of their annual flagship phone.

The Big Players

And this year, there’s a lot of things to chew on. Samsung and Huawei butt head this year with the reveal of Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X, both the seamless foldable phones people have been asking for. It’s both wide, both thick, and is what people expect it to be. All while LG went the other way and opted for the dual-screen set up with their LG V50 5G phone.

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Nokia is still making budget phones, but they also got the Nokia 9 PureView, which fancies itself as some cross between a high-def camera and a smartphone. Another company making budget smartphones is Alcatel and they brought their Alcatel 3 and Alcatel 3L this year to show it off. A lot of Chinese companies are present: ZTE, Xiaomi, and Oppo are there along with Huawei. ZTE seems fine after the US gov’t tried to kill it by starving it of electronic parts. Who can blame the US though? After all, even today, tensions between China and the USA have been brought to the tech industry and both countries are trying to hack each other.

ZTE, however, survived and has released a 5G flagship this year: the Axon 10 Pro 5G. It seems that the Chinese phone makers are really determined to be the first ones to bring out 5G phones. China itself has already invested much in changing the infrastructure to accommodate 5G technology and, if you remember, 2019 was supposed to be the last year before the deadline set by the people responsible for making 5G technology available in the west. This 5G race is not only expensive in terms of changing the infrastructure, but it is also a matter of selling the 5G phones to the public. And 5G won’t even be available to most of the world even when the deadline has passed. Third World countries will definitely have a hard time catching up.

Xiaomi has finally gone global and started selling phones in Europe during the final quarter of 2018. Oppo didn’t launch phones this time, but they were demonstrating the power of their new 10x lossless Zoom technology. It seems that Oppo is planning to create 5G-compatible phones that can act as high-def cameras. And based on the amazing camera shots available on Oppo’s Twitter account, this new technology seems to be working. Oh and finally, Sony is there too with their Xperia 1 that’s still just a demo dummy. They have already set a release date for it this year, however.

Missing Players

Google and Razer’s phones were missing from the party, though Google was there to announce a partnership with Cisco to launch a project to help connect areas that has little to no Internet connections. They are going to build the infrastructure and let other ISPs use those to help connect those areas to the internet. Scott Harrell of Cisco claims that they will be “breaking down barriers to widespread wireless access” “by making public Wi-Fi sustainable.”

Google launched its brand new Pixel 3 last year in October. Razer, too, launched the Razer Phone 2 during that same month.


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Yep, there’s definitely a lot to chew on when it comes to this year’s conference. Particularly about the two foldable phones, LG’s dual-screen, and China’s vision for 5G technology that’s being echoed by their phone manufacturers. Plus, there are other mobile devices that were not smartphones that made their first appearance in MWC this year.