Mobile World Congress is the biggest smartphone show in town. Held in Barcelona each February, it’s the CES of phones and tablets. Here are the highlights from the show floor…
Multi-taskers and movie watchers – the LG G6
In a nutshell: Display 2 apps side-by-side on the sharp screen to get stuff done or enjoy magnificent movies
Smartphones have become indispensable, with tools for everything from online banking to calorie counting - and that’s before we mention WhatsApp and Netflix. Now LG has come up with a phone that makes switching between apps seamless.
The LG G6 is all about the screen – all 5.7 inches of it. It takes up 80% of the phone, with just a slither of plastic on show either side. This, and the wider 18:9 aspect ratio, affords enough space to simultaneously display 2 apps side-by-side when the phone is held on its side.
This means you can check your daily and weekly calendars simultaneously, or look at your MyFitnessPal while watching Netflix. Interestingly, the radical modular design of the G5, which enabled audio and camera add-ons to slot onto the phone, has gone.
- Watch movies that fill the screen (no letterboxing) on Netflix thanks to the wider 18:9 ratio
- Enjoy brighter colour and sharper contrast when watching HDR content on Netflix
- It will survive being dropped in the pool (or a puddle) thanks to IP68 waterproofing
- Ask Google questions with your voice using Google Assistant – the first non-Google phone to get it
Filmmakers, photographers and creative types –Sony Xperia XZ
In a nutshell: Show your arty side by shooting super slow-motion video footage and excellent stills
Love shooting Instagram photos and video on your phone? The new Sony Xperia XZ will be right up your street. Sony is famed for its standalone cameras, and the Xperia XZ uses technology from its Cyber-shot camera range. It features slow-motion video capture that’s 4 times slower than other flagship smartphones.
You can capture arty footage of…
- Friends landing skateboard tricks
- Your cat leaping from a wall
- Petals falling from flowers
- Confetti floating through the air
The options are endless…
The stills camera will deliver better results when shooting in low-light, and offers less motion blur when shooting fast moving objects. Cameras aside, the phone also has a super-sharp 4K HDR screen with 4 times the resolution of Full HD. So you can watch Amazon Prime in 4K HDR on the phone.
Retro types craving the simple life – Nokia 3310
In a nutshell: Noughties classic makes a comeback – bringing retro simplicity to the Instagram age
What if you don’t want your phone to be your camera, your personal organiser and your mini TV? Nokia has reincarnated its Nokia 3310 – the phone of the noughties and a true design classic. More than 126 million Nokia 3310s were sold, and people are nostalgic about the handset.
But why buy one in 2017?
- Long battery life – the low-powered phone has up to 1 month’s standby power
- Digital detox – with limited connectivity and apps, it’s a great phone to unplug for a holiday or festival
- Cheap price – you’ll be able to buy a new Nokia 3310 for around £40
- Snake – the game that filled a million bus journeys makes a welcome comeback
Did you know? The 3310 is capable of basic web browsing, but it has much lower data speeds than 3G or 4G.
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What about Samsung?
Samsung usually dominates headlines at Mobile World Congress. In recent years it’s launched its Galaxy flagship smartphones at glitzy Unpacked events in Barcelona. But this year there was no new Galaxy smartphone, with Samsung holding an event in March in New York. But there was news from Samsung at MWC in the shape of 2 new tablets.
Samsung’s take on the Surface Pro or iPad Pro. A powerful laptop squeezed into a tablet body. Aimed at ‘on the go professionals’, it has a snap-on keyboard and a digital stylus for writing on the screen.
Galaxy Tab S3
If you want to box-set binge on Netflix or hit the digital high street, take a look at the new Galaxy Tab S3. It’s around the same size as an iPad at 9.7 inches, and can playback HDR content (think Stranger Things) for vibrant colour and superb contrast.
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