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MWC 2018: Smartphones -- It's a Wrap!

by Neil Mawston | Mar 01, 2018

Our Devices and Wearables teams have spent the week at Mobile World Congress in snowy Barcelona.

This is a summary of what we discovered:

* Day 1 = Alcatel showcased its affordable 1, 3 and 5 smartphones with "simganic" usability. Learn more here.

* Day 2 = Samsung Galaxy S9 with slow-motion camera was the biggest device launch of the week. Nokia's "banana phone" delivered some good headlines for HMD -- top marks for differentiated design. Learn more here.

* Day 3 = This was software and networks day for us. We found Samsung Bixby AI has improved, Google ARCore introduced better AR for premium Android models, while ZTE got carried away and claimed it may launch a 5G handset in 2018 -- we are very skeptical. Learn more here.

* Day 4 = Vivo X20 Plus UD claimed the world's first commercial smartphone with a fingerprint sensor *underneath* an OLED display. This brings mobile biometrics to a whole new level. Learn more here.

* Day 5 = The last day, many visitors have already left, and the showfloor is quieter, so we checked out two niche but developing OS stories. First, we examined Google Flutter, a fast and flexible UI, which could be blended with Zircon microkernel and Fuschia OS to create an Android replacement for the 2020s. Finally, we took a look at Sailfish OS 3. The new platform is ~30% faster, better security, and optimized for mass-market 3G / 4G smartphones and eventually feature phones. The operating system will likely give Jolla a moderate lift and refresh in Asia, where it has a relatively strong presence.

So... that is it for another year.

MWC is a wrap!

See you next year in February 2019.

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