If you’re a fan of all things smartphone, Mobile World Congress 2018 was the place to find out all of the hottest innovations, designs and decisions being made by the biggest manufacturers and developers in the business.
As usual, MWC took place in Barcelona and saw tens of thousands of attendees wooed by the shiniest, slickest developments in the mobile tech world. Here are some of our favourite highlights.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus
Over the past decade, Samsung has grown into one of the main heavy-weights of the mobile market, commanding a real level of respect. With the Samsung Galaxy S8 being such a revelation in terms of design and function in the Android world, all eyes were on the South Korean company to see what it had up its sleeves for the S8's successor.
More of an evolutionary upgrade rather than another radical redesign, the Samsung Galaxy S9 offers incremental improvements in hardware, alongside a reimagined camera system. This dual-aperture lens offers amazing video recording capabilities, including 720p super slow-mo alongside a host of other features. The Galaxy S9 also features the new Android Oreo, Intelligent Scan security, and dual speakers with Dolby Atmos stereo sound. Oh, and there’s both a microSD slot and a headphone jack to top it all off.
For the full run-down comparing both models, take a look at our blog: Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus.
Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact
Another high-profile announcement came in the form of the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. With a 5.7 inch HD display, 19MP camera, and 6MB RAM, the XZ2 is certainly a phone to write home about. However, it's the more budget-friendly XZ2 Compact that really caught our eye.
Sony’s Compact smartphones have always been an anticipated arrival, thanks to their welcome habit of offering flagship specs with a smaller-price tag. The XZ2 Compact showcases a 5 inch HD display, alongside the same blisteringly quick Snapdragon 845 chipset and whopping 19MP camera as its big brother, but will come in at a lower cost. Both handsets will be available the first week of April.
Discover more: We take a closer look at the Sony Xperia X range.
Google Android Go
While most manufacturers are adept at altering the Android mobile operating system for their phones, Google’s Android Go platform aims to offer budget phone manufacturers a useful operating system for their devices that’s easy-to-use, fast and fully backed up by dedicated updates.
This will include better storage economy, brand new dedicated apps, and simple access to your files on the go. Expect to see Go on phones from Alcatel, ZTE and Nokia very soon.
You can’t have a technology conference without a little robotics, and at MWC this important role was filled by Temi, a 10-inch tablet that wheels after you around your home - billed as the first ever robot to offer true and intuitive interactions with humans.
Working somewhat like an Amazon Echo on wheels, Temi is a personal assistant and media hub all in one high-tech package. As a mobile unit, you only need to call Temi over for assistance with whatever you need. Using AI, it can answer your questions, set up video calls, play music, control other smart devices, take photos, keep you up to date with news, and offer entertainment in the forms of videos and games. It can even be used to carry items, so if you're a golfer, you could turn up to your next game with most impressive caddy on the green.
Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 8110
Nokia delivered an engaging event for the second year in a row, announcing a greater ranger of variety than any other mobile manufacturer. With curved edges, a bezel-free screen and metal-glass design, the new Nokia 8 Sirocco flagship looks beautiful. It also comes with wireless charging, a 5.5-inch QHD OLED screen and a whopping 6GB RAM. Set to be released in April, this is one to watch.
Retro fans who loved the reappearance of the Nokia 3310 last year will certainly get a kick out the return of the Nokia 8110. Originally made famous as the phone used by Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, this classic feature-phone has been reintroduced in a striking yellow, earning it the nickname banana-phone. If there's one thing that Nokia have previously demonstrated, it's their ability to tap into the power of nostalgia, and the 8110 looks set to continue this trend.
Huawei and 5G
Huawei announced at this year's MWC that its Huawei Balong 5G01 chip is the first to meet the standards required for 5G capability. This announcement has put the spotlight firmly on 5G and what it means for UK handsets. Given the apparent size of Huawei's chip, it's looking likely that it will be available in mobile hotspots at first, rather than handsets. With that said, the manufacturer has invested heavily in network technology, which it says will be used in everything from cars, to smart homes and of course, smartphones.
5G promises to take networks to the next level, increasing download speeds to around 2.3Gbps. However, it's likely that we still have a couple of years to wait just yet, as the carriers build the infrastructure required to support this next generation of cellular data. With most of the major networks working on building the right framework to introduce 5G, the industry expects to see nationwide coverage by 2020.
MWC 2018 certainly had its fair share of impressive tech to debut. Make sure to check back over the coming weeks as these awesome innovations make their way onto Mobiles.co.uk.