Pocket-lint Best of MWC 2019 Awards: Foldable phones, 5G, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and more
Here then is Pocket-lint’s round-up of the best phones and devices at MWC 2019.
Huawei Mate X
There were several foldable phones on show at Mobile World Congress but few look quite as stunning in the flesh as the Huawei Mate X.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Mate X has its folding screen on the outside, which allows for an almost bezel-free 6.6-inch phone experience when shut – plus a second display on the rear. When extended, it then becomes an 8-inch, almost square tablet with a 2480 x 2200 resolution. We await to see how durable it is in daily use, but for the sheer “wow” factor, the Huawei foldable device is right up there.
Sony Xperia 1
While some manufacturers are producing interesting notch styles or foldable displays, Sony has gone a different route in offering something unique: a 21:9 screen.
The Sony Xperia 1 has a long, thin 4K HDR display the same aspect ratio of many cinema screens, which means it will show a lot of movie content in its original format without black bars. However, that’s not the only benefit of the extra real estate, Sony also offers software that makes use of the longer panel. You can view two apps simultaneously, for example. We also find it fits nicely in the hand, even though it offers a 6.5-inch screen size.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
Other than foldable devices, 5G was the big story of this year’s MWC and most manufacturers announced their plans. Some, such as Xiaomi here, also unveiled their first 5G phones.
Where the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G is different to its peers, however, is in price. It will be a super low £529 when it arrives in May. Most other 5G handsets have early adoption prices – around £1,000 or more – so we applaud Xiaomi’s commitment in ensuring the new network tech is in everyone’s grasp, not just early adopters with big pockets.
Nokia 9 PureView
Instead of the front of the phone, HMD Global is taking the battle around the rear with its long-awaited Nokia 9 PureView. It is taking a lead in the camera wars with an extraordinary penta-lens camera.
The rear array contains five 12-megapixel cameras and a Time-of-Flight sensor. Three of the camera sensors capture monochrome images, which ensure the light and details are correct, the other two RGB colour. When added together, the Nokia 9 PureView is potentially capable of some incredible images. It can also shoot in RAW format, so is similar to a high-end dedicated camera.
Samsung Galaxy S10+
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ was launched before Mobile World Congress, as part of Samsung’s 10th anniversary Galaxy Unpacked event. However, it also made an appearance on the company’s stand and was swamped by attendees eager to get a glimpse.
It is a big, bold and beautiful device with a superb 6.4-inch Quad HD+ display and HDR10+ support to playback video at its very best. An ultrasonic fingerprint sensor sits behind the screen, so you need only tap the bottom of the display to unlock it. And thanks to the supersmall, double-lens punch-hole notch on the front, the phone is almost bezel-free. It is a great-looking handset and no mistake.
Rather than an actual foldable phone, TCL – the company behind BlackBerry Mobile – showed its interesting DragonHinge technology that can facilitate bends and curves of different types for different devices.
To illustrate its abilities, TCL did have some prototypes on display, including a foldable phone concept that has a display on the inside and can shut to the size of a wallet. Another to catch our eye was a phone that uses the hinge system to wrap around your wrist, turning handset to smartwatch.
Microsoft HoloLens 2
Microsoft’s long awaited follow-up to its augmented reality headset is a much lighter, more capable device than before.
The Microsoft HoloLens 2 has wider field of view for AR graphics and 2K resolution per eye where the first-generation had 720p. It is more comfortable, so can be worn for longer periods and while it is primarily for business and corporate use, Fortnite developer Epic Games revealed it will be supporting the platform so we could see gaming applications in future.
Oppo 10x lossless zoom camera technology
Oppo‘s Mobile World Congress plans mainly focused on its innovative technologies that will make it into devices in the coming year.
Of those, its 10x lossless zoom camera tech really stood out. Cameras in phones have been developing rapidly in the last few years, to an extent that the compact camera market is struggling to compete. Oppo’s new tech will make imaging firms even more nervous as it proves that a thin, regular handset can now also offer an optical zoom lens of considerable quality through the clever use of tiny, internal mirrors.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Along with the Microsoft HoloLens 2, Huawei’s MateBook X Pro is the only other device in our list that’s not a smartphone or phone technology.
The 2019 model of MateBook X Pro is stunning. It’s Huawei‘s credible MacBook Air rival, with a pop up camera, fingerprint sensor on the power button and up to 512GB SSD inside. It can be specced up to an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, with 16GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics, so will be great for work and play on the move.
Xiaomi Mi 9
MWC has been a breakout show for Chinese manufacturers and Xiaomi has particularly impressed this year with its quality devices that needn’t cost the Earth.
The Xiaomi Mi 9, for example, sports the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM and 6.39-inch Full HD+ display, yet starts at just €449 (£387). You even get a triple-camera system on the rear on the flagship model, comprising a 48-megapixel main camera, plus 16-megapixel wide-angle and 12-megapixel telephoto cameras for good measure.
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