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MWC 2018: Day Two: Smartphones

by Rajeev Nair | 2月 26, 2018

Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018), the biggest show on Mobile and Smart Connected Ecosystem is taking place in Barcelona, from Feb 26 to Mar 1, 2018.

Strategy Analytics will have a large team of analysts across Smartphones, Drones, Robots, Tablets, Wearables, Components, Smart home and Connected cars in attendance.

Please click here, to meet our DEVICES analysts at the show

Although the event is set to officially kick off by Monday (Feb 26) vendors were eager to showcase their new devices in advance.

Our Day 1 coverage, on key smartphone launches is available here.

Below are our top picks on smartphones and related developments, from Day 2 of the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018):

Samsung: Under its dual flagship strategy Samsung launched its next iterate of the Galaxy S series. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are to spearhead its return to the top position in the Global Smartphone rankings in H1 2018.

Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and will feature an AMOLED double edged display (18:9). This is to be first phone to be powered by the processor.  Some of other key hardware upgrades include: dual cameras for Galaxy S9 Plus, while the Galaxy S9 would include a single camera. The finger print sensors at the back of the device have now moved closer to the camera when compared to Galaxy S8. It also supports wireless charging, IP68 standard (water resistant) and expandable storage. Face recognition and Iris recognition remain, but no major upgrade from Galaxy S8 and Note 8 here. Other notable updates to the flagships as:

  • Camera – As the theme of the Samsung launch event “THE CAMERA REIMAGINED” suggests the two new flagships are more about strengthening its imaging capabilities. Samsung introduced dual aperture – F2.4 for daylight and F1.5 for low-light significantly improving the low-light photos. Another key introduction was that of the slow motion mode.


  • 2Nd Generation Bixby: Bixby upgrades adds new functionalities to its AI powered virtual assistant and includes live image translation, enhanced place recognition, Bixby camera makeup function and the food calorie calculator. These additions do take Bixby beyond voice and allows it to better compete with Google Assistant now. However, we believe a more evolved version of the Bixby 2.0 will follow suit in 2018.


  • Audio Upgrades: Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus include enhanced audio function with the inclusion of Dolby Atmos surround-sound technology. Tests by our device team points to a marked improvement from its predecessor, the S8.


  • Other Additions: Addition of AR Emoji bring it at par with Apple iPhone while on the productivity side Samsung added DexPad, upgrade from previous Dex dock. Connecting via HDMI / USB port the pad can be used to cast phone screen into a big display.


Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus would be available for retail in US and major overseas market by mid-March while pre orders begin by March 3. Its trade in program with the US carriers include a US$300 credit for upgrades to Galaxy S9 from the older Samsung models.

                        Galaxy S9 and S9 plus

HMD (Nokia): A year into its operations HMD Nokia launched five new devices in MWC 2018. Four of which were smartphones. The vendor positioned them across the spectrum to include the low, mid and high end price tiers. In the smartphones segment, the vendor launched Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, The New Nokia 6 and Nokia 1. While in the feature phone segment, it launched Nokia 8110 4G.

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco: This Android device is powered by Snapdragon 835 chipset and is positioned in the premium segment. It’s a 5 inch device with curved sides.Other highlights include dual camera and wireless charging features. Nokia 8 Sirocco would be made available globally by April 2018 at a wholesale price of US$ 730.


  • Nokia 7 Plus: The mid-range device to be powered by Snapdragon 660 processor would have dual SIM compatibility and would feature dual cameras with image fusion between them. The device would be available globally in April 2018 for wholesale price of US$ 410.


  • New Nokia 6: The device would be powered by a Snapdragon 630 processor. It would feature a fingerprint sensor at the back along with 16MP primary camera. While the front camera would be of 8MP. The device to be made available globally by April for a whole sale price of US$ 300.


  • Nokia 1: The dual SIM device would have MediaTek MT6737M as its engine and would be featuring the Android Oreo (Go Edition). It would also include a removable battery with cameras of 5 MP / 2MP in the back and front respectively. Since Nokia’s reintroduction last year, it their first smartphone in the sub US $100 category and would be available by April 2018.

                                 Nokia MWC all release

We believe pricing could be a major challenge for HMD Nokia the premium segment but nevertheless it’s impressive for a year old company, to launch multitude of devices in such short span. We expect HMD to significantly improve its global smartphone rankings with the new mid and lower priced portfolio.

ZTE: ZTE launched three new smartphones at the day 2 of the Mobile World Congress 2018. The three devices positioned for the mid and Entry price tier include: ZTE Blade V9, Blade V9 Vita and Tempo Go. While the Blade series runs on Android Oreo, the Tempo GO as the name suggests, is on the Android Oreo (Go Edition).

  • ZTE Blade V9 & Blade V9 Vita: the device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor and has a 5.7 inch screen with 18:9 aspect ratio. Its features a dual primary camera of 16 MP and an 8MP front one. The device positioned in the higher price tiers would be available at a wholesale price of US$ 290, in the markets of Spain, Germany, Russia, Mexico and China.


    ZTE Blade V9 Vita is a slightly smaller version of the V9 and has 5.45 inch display. It would be available in the above markets at a wholesale price of US$ 195.                                                                                                                                                       

  • ZTE Tempo Go: The vendor’s third device was targeted at the growing US unlocked market. ZTE’s Tempo Go would be powered by a Snapdragon 210 processor and is the first device from ZTE on the Android Go version. The 5 inch display smartphone includes 5MP rear and 2MP front camera. The entry level smartphone would have a wholesale price of US$ 91 in the US market and would be available online.

                                    ZTE MWC 2018

You can tune into our Day three update which would focus on New Technologies to include 5G, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence etc.

Previous Post: MWC 2018 : Day One : Smartphones | Next Post: MWC 2018: Day Three: AI, AR & 5G

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