The Mobile World Congress is an exciting time of the year. A crazy week, with lots of announcements which can be hard to follow. We’ve rounded up everything important that happened in MWC 2016.
The LG G5 was definitely the best phone announced at MWC this year. The G5 has brought back removable battery which all phone manufacturers have been trying to kill. Also, this is the first level towards a consumer modular phone. These modules are called LG friends. The bottom can be removed to add modules. Right now, there’s a camera module which gives physical control buttons and another is a Hi-Fi DAC developer by Bang & Olufsen which enables 32 Bit audio playback! Apart from these features, the phone is powered by 2.1Ghz Snapdragon 820 Processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.
After a long wait, successor to the highly acclaimed Mi 4 was finally announced at the MWC. It comes in three different variants: Standard edition with 3GB RAM and 32 GB storage priced at CYN 1,999 (Approximately Rs. 21,000), the next version with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage priced at CYN 2,299 (Approximately Rs. 24,000) and the final version with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage priced at CYN 2,699 (Approximately Rs. 28,000). It has curved edges on the front and back and come in four different colours: Black, White, Gold and Rose Gold. They will be available starting March 1st in China. There is no word on Indian release yet.
Apart from this, Xiaomi also announced Mi 4s, an updated version of Mi 4 with an updated design, finger print sensor and some internal changes. It will be available in four colours: Black, Gold, Purple and White. Mi 4s is priced at CYN 1,699 (Approximately Rs. 18,000) and will be available from March 1st in China. Once again, there is no word of availability of the phone in India.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge at MWC 2016. They look pretty much the same to last year’s Galaxy S6. There’s not a lot in terms of new features. This is like the ’S’ upgrade which Apple does every two years with the iPhones. The main difference is in the internals and the phones now have IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. The phones in 60 countries, starting March 11. The countries have not been specified yet. Also, the pricing will be similar to the last year’s Galaxy.
It’s 2016 and Virtual Reality is huge this year with every company including Apple trying to get into the game. A lot of VR announcements were made at CES early this year. At the MWC, there are four main things that happened for Virtual Reality:
HTC Vive: Vive, the VR Headset HTC has been building with Valve is finally up for pre-orders. It is priced at $799 and will be shipped in April.
Samsung Gear VR: Samsung announced their latest Gear VR which is a phone mount priced at $100. It allows for seamless integration with Galaxy phones.
LG 360: LG 360 is a part of LG friends and the most exciting VR announcement from MWC. Unlike other VR headsets which are very bulky, it is really sleek and weighs under 200 grams. It connects to LG G5 via Micro USB and there is no mounting. Apparently, it is really comfortable to wear one for long hours. There is no word on pricing or availability.
Mark Zuckerberg: In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus and he was at the Samsung Conference talking about their integration with Samsung. The Oculus store will be available on Samsung phones to be used with Gear VR. Also, he said that he has teams working on bringing the social apps to VR(Not sure what that means!). The best part was probably when he announced Minecraft will be available on Oculus store soon!
The company has been getting a lot of attention lately due to it’s Nexus 6P which is really good. So, they had to live up to a lot of expectations for their flagship phone and it seems like they have. The phone has top of the line specs like every other flagship phone. One unique feature of the phone is that it has a pressure sensitive display(The same one Apple calls 3D Touch on iPhone). Although the phone supports it, there is not a lot to do because Android does not fully support it. So there are no apps which make full use of this hardware feature.
CAT (Caterpillar, the truck company) is into making phones now. The S60 is a super rugged phone which can take a real beating and is water resistant. S60 is the first phone which is equipped with Thermal Imaging Camera. They’ve partnered with FLIR, a company which has been making this as an external add-on accessory for iPhone and Android Phones. It will be available in US later this year for $599 (Approximately Rs. 41,000).
Oppo Super VOOC
Super VOOS is a new fast charging technology which Oppo showcased at the MWC. It can charge a 2500mAh battery from 0 to 100 in 15 minutes! There is no word on when a device will come equipped with this technology yet. Expect some announcement later this year.
LG Rolling Bot
LG Rolling Bot is another LG Friends accessory. It looks like a Sphero, but it is not a toy. For starters, it is four times the size of a Sphero. It connects to Wifi and comes with an inbuilt camera. Rolling Ball can be controlled from anywhere across the world and can shoot videos. If it detects any activity when you’re not home, gives you an intruder alert. It also has an inbuilt speaker and you can talk into it from your phone. The ball is really useful for pet owners. It as a ‘Pet Mode’ and when it is activated, it moves around while shining a laser pointer for your pet to chase around! Also, it has a 5000mAh battery and will automatically go park itself in the charging dock when it is almost out of battery. Once again, LG has not given any details on the pricing yet. Hope it’s not very expensive.