So this year’s Mobile World Congress is over, and the 94,000+ attendees are packing up and heading home from sunny Barcelona with their heads full of the latest in mobile tech. Everyone who’s anyone in mobile attended this year (with the notable exception of Apple, who prefer to do their own thing), with some seriously exciting innovations in mobile being announced over the course of the conference.
At Envirofone, we’re particularly excited about what this means for the world of smartphones and wearable mobile tech, so we were keeping a close eye on what came out of the glitzy, tech-studded conferences over the last few days. With our heads full of the amazing stuff to look out for in 2016, we’ve put together this round-up of the latest and greatest in mobile technology… what’s on your watch list?
Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
We can’t quite contain our excitement for this one: the new Samsung Galaxy flagship phone is certainly something to keep an eye on! With faster speeds, a bold new design, bigger battery and a better camera, the Galaxy S7 seems to be the epitome of what a new and improved phone release should look like.
Building on the success of the S6 line, Samsung have continued their support of premium grade materials, with the new S7 sporting the same gorgeous aluminium and glass casing as before. They’ve managed to improve on the “feel” of the phone too, with many reports stating the S7 and S7 edge fits much more comfortably in hand than their predecessors (but still keep an eye out for those fingerprints!).
Specs-wise, on paper the new Galaxy S7 looks like it could be the best Android phone ever, running with an impressive 2.15GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor, 3,000-3,600 mAh batteries, an impressive 4GB of DDR4 RAM and HQ dust and water resistance built in. Coupled with the fact it runs the new Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, this is a serious phone for power users. And let’s not forget the impressive 12-megapixel, auto-focus camera!
Perhaps a bonus for those disgruntled by Samsung’s previous decision, the S7 and S7 Edge will have support for microSD cards, pushing just a little bit more of that uniqueness that makes Samsung phones a popular choice for those not interested in Apple’s offerings.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Release Date: March 11th, globally.
LG’s new G5 phone genuinely looks as though it came from the future. In a surprising move that put this manufacturer on the same level of impressiveness as Samsung’s new flagship at MWC, the new LG G5 features a pull-out, swappable battery component (pictured) making this a high end smartphone with real, customisable parts. An ambitious project, the G5 appears to be a very powerful handset that’s attempting to do something different, something which always gets mobile tech lovers’ attention.
We’ve all been longing after truly modular smartphones, and the LG G5 is definitely a step in this direction. Although it isn’t quite as fluid as full-adaptability to your everyday needs, the G5’s two initial accessories – the LG Cam Plus and the Hi-Fi Plus – definitely sound exciting. The Cam Plus is designed for serious photo-fanatics (with a built in, additional battery for extra juice) and the Hi-Fi Plus is heaven for HD audiophiles. However, the fact that there will only initially be 2 accessories does feel slightly limiting: hopefully we’ll see more in future, proving these do well and are priced sensibly.
Finally, a really nice touch is the overall “swappability” of the G5’s battery itself. The ability to switch out a drained battery for a spare is somewhat of a rarity among today’s battery-draining high end phones, so we’re keen to see how well this takes off. If it works for LG, it might work for other manufacturers, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed on the removable battery front.
LG G5 Release Date: Early April 2016
Sony Xperia X
Shown here in a hands-on at MWC, Sony surprised attendees with the announcement of the Sony Xperia X line, a new Android range that looks to blur the line between what it means to be a mid- or high-end smartphone. While Samsung and LG are tough acts to follow, Sony seems to have impressed with this new line, which contains 3 models and is aiming to compete with not only the G5 and S7, but HTC, Lenovo and other Android manufacturers worldwide. We’re not sure how well the Xperia X line will cope with spreading itself so thin on competition, but it’s going to all be down to what’s inside the case versus how it’s priced.
With the 3 models ranging across difference price / performance brackets, from the Xperia X Performance, to Xperia X to the Xperia XA, there’s something different about each in terms of build quality, internal workings and unique features. All phones feature an edge-to-edge, slightly curved 5 inch display and Android Marshmallow 6.0, but internals range from the MediaTek MT6755 to new Snapdragon 820 processors and huge difference in RAM.
It’s an ambitious move by Sony at a time when other manufacturers are also experimenting with price brackets and shifting focus from solely on power users, but we’re hoping they’ll overcome any previous mistakes made with the Xperia lines (like the Xperia Z’s poor battery life) and produce something that really can compete with the other major players on all fronts.
Sony Xperia X Release Date: Not Confirmed
MWC 2016, Best of the Best?
There you have it: was this year’s Mobile World Conference the best yet? Some say so, with amazing new releases scheduled not only for the smartphone market but across wearable tech, robotics and the exciting new Virtual Reality fields, meaning we’re moving into a world that’s more and more high-tech at an ever-faster rate.
What’s your favourite thing to come out of MWC 2016? Is there anything you feel the conference didn’t touch on enough? Personally, while we’re all about smartphones, we can’t wait to get our hands on the new Oculus Rift VR headset…