Tech teasers at MWC 2019

MWC is a huge event on our calendar and we’re looking forward to soaking up not only some Barcelona sunshine but immersing ourselves in the next big things to hit the mobile world. With all the big players (except Apple) in one place it’s an awesome opportunity to see what the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei have to show… and how they show it off! Here’s a short summary of what we’re hoping to see.

Everyone’s talking 5G

Numerous smartphones are lining up to launch with 5G capabilities including one of the models of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. LG are also rumoured to be launching a 5G phone which could be the new LG V50 ThinQ 5G which if it follows on from its predecessors, will pack a fair punch specs wise.

Foldable phones

All indications are that there will be a number of key announcements from Huawei at MWC this year, including the 5G foldable phone and a new successor to the MediaPad M5. Rumors are that Xiaomi will also be be appearing with a foldable phone prototype.

Samsung will also hopefully have their new Galaxy Fold on display after its recent demo.

Second Screens

The mobile phone market has an interesting history with second screens. The Numa X comes with a second screen on its back for the perfect selfie (it doesn’t have a front facing camera). The ZTE Axon M also comes with dual screens but this time the second screen is attached via a hinge.

LG has taken a different approach to secondary screens in the past with their V10 and V20 models coming with a small second screen at the top of the phones for an always there bar of shortcuts and notifications. This year, LG are rumoured to be launching a device which would allow you to attach a secondary screen like a case. The company has already tried the ‘modular phone’ with the LG G5 which wasn’t a huge success so it’ll be interesting to see if this rumour pans out.

Super Wide Screen (Sony)

It’s been awhile since Sony made a smartphone to excite people but that hasn’t stopped them trying and they have a large fan-base. This year they’re trying something a bit different to the other main competitors, with what they’re calling ‘CinemaWide’ display. The display already exists in Sony’s TVs with a 21:9 aspect ratio so its very possible Sony’s new flagship offering will have it too.

Displays have been Sony’s ‘thing’ in the handset world, they’re the only manufacturer to include a 4K display in a handset. While the 21:9 ratio will make for a nice to look at phone, it could also have a negative impact on usability if the manufacturer doesn’t make some changes to its version of Android.

MWC 2019

Virtual Reality

The HTC Vive Cosmos was already unveiled at CES but MWC could give us the opportunity to get our hands on it before its commercial release later in 2019. The Vive Cosmos is meant to be able to be used away from your PC (providing you’ve set it up first) which gives it an awful lot of potential as a commercial product.

AR

There’s a rumour flying round that Microsoft will be launching the follow up to their HoloLens, aptly named HoloLens2. There was never really a consumer ready version of the original HoloLens so many may be hoping that Microsoft launches something for the consumer market this time round.

5 lens smartphone from Nokia

Nokia, like Sony, have struggled to remain relevant in the modern mobile world but with launch of retro handsets, and a solid range of affordable Android devices, they’ve been pretty exciting in the past 2 years. The latest rumoured device from the aging giant is the Nokia 9 (and Nokia 9 PureView), coming with five camera lenses (yes, five) and an under screen fingerprint scanner. The multi-lens monster camera is rumoured to be able to capture five simultaneous photos (in incredible detail), and capture 10 times more light than other phones. The flagship will follow its more mid-range siblings onto the Android One platform which means it will get Android 9 and get timely updates to its OS.

Its been a while since we’ve seen a true flagship contender from Nokia so it’ll be very interesting to see what the Nokia 9 ends up actually being.

Wearables

MWC 2018 wasn’t the best year for wearables with the industry focused more on VR but this year looks like we’ll be treated to some new products from the main manufacturers.

Samsung are looking at releasing the new Galaxy Sport watch earlier in February but that doesn’t mean that MWC won’t get anything new.

While Sony appear to have abandoned their actual smartwatches, they’ve not entirely left the wearables arena. We already saw their smart watch straps (Sony Wena Wrist) launch earlier this month and it looks like MWC could see the tech giant show off their Xperia Ear Duo. The ‘hearable’ device has already been shown off before but we’re hoping this year they’ve worked out all the issues found with the first version.

The smartwatch market has been somewhat stagnant outside of Apple with very few devices coming with updated hardware and WearOS being plagued with issues. More traditional watch designers have been releasing smartwatches but there’s been little for tech enthusiasts to get excited about. Until now that is.

With foldable phones on the horizon, it does make you wonder if we’ll ever see a phone which can bend around your wrist to become a smartwatch. Thankfully, ZTE brand Nubia thought the same. They showed off a prototype device last year which bent around wrists and hopefully we’ll see an iteration on this device this year.

This year we should hopefully see more WearOS devices using the Qualcomm 3100. Smartwatch manufacturers have been slow on releasing devices containing the new processor although it has been used by Montblanc and Louis Vuitton. This year we would hope to see Huawei and LG show off more affordable options using the processor, especially since these two manufacturers have made some stunning smartwatches in the past (we’ve long since given up waiting for the Sony Smartwatch 4).

See you at WMC

Sun, sangria and smartwatches! Only a few more days to wait for the conference and Waracle will be there. If you’d like to get in touch at the event we’d love to hear from you. If you can’t be there make sure you follow us on Twitter (@WaracleUK) as our team are duty-bound to share all they are seeing for the rest of us!

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