If you love all things mobile, the halls of the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona is where the action’s at every February, where the world comes together to see t5he latest and greatest in mobile teach at the Mobile World Congress. This year’s show was the most exciting in recent memory, with Sony, Samsung, LG and Xiaomi pulling out all the stops to bring their A-games to Barcelona and as the dust settles on the show, here’s your pick of the big trends from MWC that one can expect in the year ahead.
Smartphone brand have finally started looking past the megapixel wars, and are instead focused on making this year’s products take better pictures across shooting scenarios. Samsung’s S7 and S7 Edge smartphones also sport completely redesigned cameras with a super bright f/1.7 aperture that helps keep noise levels down in low-light shots, and Oppo showed their Smart Sensor stabilization , which stabilizes the smartphone camera sensor instead of traditional lens based stabilization. But if you are the sort with shaky hands and blurred pictures, Xiaomi’s Mi 5 may be just what the doctor ordered- it offers four axis image stabilization which not only helps with sharper images in dim lighting but also smoother more stable videos.
VIRTUAL REALITY EVERYWHERE
Virtual reality demos clearly stole the show at MWC. LG showed off a VR headset for the G5, Samsung had Gear VR headsets for its galaxy launch and HTC announced commercial availability and pricing for the Vive Pre VR headset. Unlike 2015, this year’s launches are riding pretty on the coat tails of a slew of 360 degree cameras from LG, Samsung and Nokia which will provide the consumer generated VR content that will drive adoption.
FASTER BATTERY CHARGING
It’s still good to see brands taking steps towards solving the battery problem. The Xiaomi Mi 5 for instance, supports the latest Quick Charge 3.0 standard which promises an 80 per cent to 90 per cent battery charge in an hour. But the one to watch out for this year is Oppo’s Super VOOC FLASH Charge technology which can juice up an average 2,500Mah phone battery in only 15 minutes. Insane.
EXPANDED DEVICE ECOSYSTEM
Samsung has long been a proponent of the ‘Galaxy’ ecosystem, with its Gear wrist wear and VR goggles, and now the Gear 360. Sony showed off a projector that can turn almost any surface into a touchscreen and an
earbud that doubles as a personal digital assistant.; But it was LG that took the ecosystem to a whole new level with the G5- the phones has a smart slot which can accommodate a range of accessories- from a slide in camera grip with an auto focus but ton and analog zoom controls to a high quality digital to analog converter enabled music accessory. A truly modular phone, where you can choose the phone you want- either with the camera accessory if you’re a photography enthusiast or the audio accessory if you love your music.