It was a glorious week in Barcelona. But, as all good things come to an end, the Mobile World Congress had to draw the curtains. Before we all say goodbye to the world of digital wonders (until our next purchase), let’s take a look at the phones, robots, cameras, VR gears and other accessories that impressed us this year.
As you might have expected, big players didn’t disappoint. Samsung, LG, Sony and Xiaomi brought us la creme de la creme of the smartphone industry. But they aren’t the only names visitors will recall this year. CAT and Gionee were the unexpected surprises of the event. Gionee’s loop full-metal design, OCR capabilities and dual support for WhatsApp turned quite a few heads.
CAT’s flagship phone was remarkable for the first integration of a thermal camera, in a waterproof smartphone, nonetheless. See resolution and final price here.
Going back to the big cats, this time Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which impressed with their camera capabilities, wireless charging, water resistance and a huge battery. They didn’t stop here, though; a 360-degrees camera picked our interest also, since it offers pretty clear 30-megapixel spherical photos and 3840 x 1920 video with one caveat: images have to be stitched on the latest smartphones from Samsung, meaning S7 and S7 Edge.
LG brought quite a lot of Friends to the party, preparing to sweep us off our feet. The G5 was a modular concept after all, with quite a few accessories to attach. Camera Grip offered extra support and extra battery for taking photos, Hi-Fi Plus augmented your sound quality and 360° Virtual Reality Cam is the most compact of its type, similar to Google Cardboard but smaller.
Sony tested our preference for a lower-priced phone but equally capable to a Xperia Z one and it payed off. They’re focusing on the X line now, that is waterproof and comes with a super camera sensor, the latest Snapdragon 820 chip, fingerprint scanner and microSD expandability. Meanwhile, Xiaomi revealed the Mi5, a smartphone made for photography, with fingerprint recognition and strong battery.
Before we switch to VR and robots, we have to give a shout-out to Akyumen’s Holophone, a phablet with a projector built-in, and, of course, a lot of internal storage for video content. While Oppo didn’t bring a new smartphone to the table, it did built the fastest charger for its devices, just 15 minutes for 100% battery.
After mobile phones, virtual reality gears were the talk of the town at MWC. If you wound up in a hall with few people on the aisles, you could certainly find them at VR presentations. There, with headsets on, they were moving, gesturing or screaming of excitement. From Sony’s Xperia Gear to LG’s VR Friend to Oculus and Vive, this MWC’s virtual reality devices left everybody please. We’ve talked about Vive before and found out what’s the best phone to use with Samsung’s VR powered by Oculus, in case you’re on the lookout for a VR set.
In charge with lifting the spirits was also Pepper, the first robot to recognize human emotions. It was a blast talking to it and watching its dancing moves. With IBM’s Watson technology we’re sure it will get better at understanding our problems. Another cool bot was LG’s rolling, inspired-by-BB-8 friend, a home security addition. It follows you around the house and monitors your pets and kids via an 8-megapixel camera.
Talking about cameras, we can’t forget the eyeballing experience Nokia’s Ozo was. Shaped like an UFO of some sorts, the camera records 360-degrees spherical video and 360×360 surround sound with VR output and real-time monitoring.
Another brilliant touch was Qualcomm’s Invisible Museum. Since it’s hard to explain and visualize their technologies, they decided to put together an augmented reality space. White, simple displays came to life through one of their apps, unveiling what they can do nowadays, with information and visuals you’d otherwise spent enormous time to find.
Last but not least, we had a multitude of accessories. The selfie stick couldn’t miss from this mobile reunion and neither smartwatches; they were everywhere, with Guess joining the club and offering luxury options.
See everything we talked about in close detail in the gallery above!