MWC 2017: The tech convention summarised in 8 weird moments

MWC 2017: The tech convention summarised in 8 weird moments

The curtain has closed on the latest big tech event of the year – Mobile World Congress – where new smartphones were aplenty as the likes of LG, Sony, Huawei and Nokia all showed off new devices.

That’s not to mention new tablets from Samsung and even a few smartwatches and the increasing presence of AI-powered cars.

It was a packed week in Barcelona, but it wasn’t just the big announcements that form the highlights of the show, sometimes it can be the strange things you witness on the show floor that stick with you…

1. Battery charging as a spectator sport

Every phone launched at MWC needs a unique selling point if it is to stand out from the very large crowd of manufacturers there. Some go for big, bright booths to catch the eye, others go for a big stunt or celebrity endorsement to pull in.

Meizu though had a different approach, they decided to show how good their new superfast charging phone was by charging it live on stage. In real time.

2. Selfies, selfies, selfies

(Martyn Landi/PA)

A regular part of the show sees the media and consumers get hands-on with new smartphones for the first time. This means trying out the new cameras, and that means taking a few selfies.

As a result, almost every phone’s camera roll is a delightful sea of selfies, which in itself can provide a healthy few minutes of entertainment.

3. Play Snake like its the year 2000

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last week you’ll know that Nokia has re-launched the 3310, one of the most popular phones of all time.

This modern version now has a camera, but still no internet so it’s made just for calls and texts, and of course, to play Snake.

4. Crowd lifeguards

Sometimes, the desire to get to the Samsung booth to see the new Galaxy Tab S3 can get a little too much for some and crowds can build that push and shove.

Luckily at this point, MWC has its friendly neighbourhood Flow Controllers on hand to reorganise everyone, telling some it’s probably best if they go to Huawei to see the P10 first before coming back to Samsung when the crowds are a little smaller.

5. #Slogans

This isn’t just MWC – the tech world in general has a issue with some of its corporate slogan work. Strange phrases that seem to mean less the more you say them, only amplified further when they’re printed in big letters on the side of a booth.


6. Weird wearables

Last year everyone had to wear Gear VR during Samsung’s press conference, this year things have gone even further with devices such as the above – which we still haven’t been able to identify – casually being worn around the convention centre.

7. Booth pride

Mobile World Congress
(Emilio Morenatti/AP)

We’ve already touched upon how important the booth is to each company – it is the face of their show after all.

Such is the importance of it that many firms have full time floor-spotters walking around their space whose only job is to buff the floor clear of any scuff marks. The never-ending scuff marks.

8. The relief when it’s over

Barcelona is a lovely place, and MWC itself offers a fascinating insight into the next year or so of smartphones, but after four days in the show’s bubble, many can’t help but feel slightly relieved to be heading home – so much so that they document the process of recycling their badge.

But don’t worry, there’s a reminder on the way out that the chances are you’ll meet again.

Mobile World Congress
(Martyn Landi/PA)

Until 2018, MWC.