From brilliant batteries to paper-like phones, Mobile World Congress is back with loads of exciting tech.
We headed to the show floor in Barcelona to get a peek at the smartphones, computers and gadgets that will soon be hitting the market.
Here’s what was unveiled:
The race for the world’s fastest mobile charging has stepped up a notch with Chinese manufacturers Realme and Oppo outing blisteringly fast charging speeds at this week’s Mobile World Congress.
Realme’s 150W UltraDart charging technology, which will debut in its forthcoming GT Neo3 (price and availability tba), reaches 50% in just five minutes, as does Oppo’s 150W charging solution, which will appear in a OnePlus smartphone this summer.
Think battery half-full in just 300 seconds is impressive? Oppo raised the bar even further with its ridiculously advanced proof of concept for 240W SuperVOOC fast charging, delivering a jaw-dropping, flat-to-full charge time of nine minutes.
Both Realme and Oppo say that unlike other fast-charging technology, which has the propensity to increase the speed of charging at the expense of long-term battery life, their technology protects the battery and will retain 80% battery capacity — even after more than 1,000 charge cycles. That’s a substantial step forward in charging technology.
Right now, the best fast chargers reach 100% in about 30 minutes so this new tech laughs in the face of the likes of the iPhone 13, Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 6.
It wouldn’t be Mobile World Congress without dedicating some page space to the smartphones that made their debut this week.
Our favourite has to be Realme’s GT2 Pro (£599, available Tuesday) — a super-slim and powerful entry into the Android arena that could give the Samsung Galaxy S22 a run for its money.
That’s down to it running on one of the fastest processors on the planet, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, as well as to its gorgeous ultra high-resolution 6.7in Amoled display — with a buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate — and its triple-lens camera.
Expect a 50MP main camera and ultra-wide sensors, plus an impressive microscope camera capable of magnifying up to 40x.
A unique, earth-friendly paper-like bio-polymer back that repels greasy fingerprints is the icing atop this affordable cake — and it all comes at a price that undercuts the higher-end competition.
Honor threw its hat into the ring too with the official outing of the Magic4 Pro (from £899, availability tba).
Also powered by Qualcomm, its Android 12 OS is complemented nicely by a 120Hz refresh rate on its gorgeous 6.8in Oled display, for super slick scrolling and gaming. The screen is a first of its kind too, with improved high-frequency dimming to keep eye strain to a minimum in low-light conditions.
On the camera front, Honor has equipped its new phone with 50MP wide and ultra-wide cameras, alongside a 64MP telephoto lens with 3.5x optical zoom (and 100x digital), and a 12MP selfie cam round the front.
Chuck in 4K HDR 10 video recording, stereo speakers, fast charging and a head-turning design that comes in a vegan leather option, and you’re looking at a compelling smartphone.
Laptops and two-in-one devices were out in force, starting with Samsung’s Galaxy Book2 Pro (from £999, pre-order March 18) and Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 (from £949, pre-order March 18).
Available in 13.3in or 15.6in, these stylish and super-thin Windows-toting ultrabooks have their sights set squarely on the ‘mobile first’ world of hybrid home and office working.
The Book2 Pro comes with a dose of 5G for the ‘always-on experience’, while the 360 version, as the name implies, has a rotating hinge that allows it to shape-shift into a variety of positions, including tablet mode, which is complemented with an S Pen.
Also keen to combine the PC and mobile experience to increase productivity, connectivity and security from anywhere is Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13s.
It also happens to be the world’s first laptop powered by Qualcomm’s new and powerful Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, and wants to offload everyday features like face detection, background blur and audio noise suppression to the Snapdragon platform’s integrated Qualcomm AI Engine in order to optimise its power.
Elsewhere, Huawei showed off its all-in-one Windows MateStation X (price and availability tba), which gives off serious iMac vibes and runs on just an AMD mobile chip. Boasting a 28.2in 4K touchscreen, this giant tablet-like device allows users to seamlessly interact with other devices in the Huawei eco-system using the company’s Super Device functionality.
For example, you can display up to three phone screens from three apps, drag and drop files between other devices and your MateStation, and even take calls on the giant screen.
The other stuff
Amazon’s Kindle has long been the dominant force in digital tomes but Huawei is hoping to change that with its MatePad Paper.
Taking e-readers into big-screen territory, the Paper has a 10.3in screen plus M-Pencil stylus support for digital doodling and annotating documents. It also boasts a power button that moonlights as a fingerprint scanner.
Seemingly half e-reader, half tablet, it’s fully functional as a productivity device, with emails, calendars, apps, handwriting conversion, connectivity with a smartphone or PC, voice recording, video playback and more.
USB-C quick charging, a book spine-inspired design and four-week battery life complete an impressive line-up.
And that’s not all! Check out these other upcoming innovations that were unveiled…
With its Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud services, Qualcomm wants to support a personalised experience that’s safer and can be upgraded throughout a vehicle’s life.
It has everything from 5G connectivity for features such as autonomous driving support to AR head-up display systems, digital mirrors and sign detection.
Honor unveiled the Watch GS 3, a smartwatch featuring heart-rate monitoring, run tracking and more, in a traditional mechanical outer shell.
Elsewhere, Mobvoi outed an Apple Watch doppelgänger, the TicWatch GTH Pro. This uses sensors on your wrist and fingertips to tell you what state your ticker and arteries are in.
Oppo folding phone
Although announced at the tail end of last year, Oppo was showing off its flagship foldable at this year’s show.
The result is a compact shape-shifter that shows no sign of a gap when it’s folded or a tangible crease when it’s open. Sure, it’s a little chunky, but then what foldable phone isn’t?
HTC’s version of the metaverse, which is designed to be accessed via tablets, PCs, smartphones and select VR face furniture, enables users to hold meetings in Engage, collaborate professionally in Vive Sync and unwind with holographic concerts in Beatday.
It also protects kids with Vive Guardian privacy.
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