Folding phones and pop-up cameras: The weird and wonderful highlights of the MWC show floor
Mobile World Congress is open. The gadget trade show has opened its doors to reveal hundreds of new phones and other devices for the first time.
The convention floor was packed as eager visitors flocked to Samsung to see the new S9, Huawei to see the MateBook X Pro and Nokia to see the retro 8110.
From the innovative to the unusual, there was plenty to see on the first day of the show. Here’s what caught our eye.
ZTE’s party trick
Standing out from the crowd in the mobile phone market is the key – some do it with colour or a unique take on a popular feature.
But others, such as ZTE, take a different approach. Their Axon M, which is already available in the US but is yet to be seen in the UK is a smartphone with quite a twist – it has a fold-out second screen.
Doubling the display size creates a unique layout for watching videos or just checking your Twitter timeline. The perspective is unique too, and far from perfect with a big fold through the middle of it but nonetheless, this is a smartphone that can boast a bigger screen than any other.
Huawei’s novel webcam
Chinese firm Huawei said after unveiling its MateBook X Pro laptop that it wanted to bring the innovation it’s been pushing in smartphones to its growing computing brand.
There is perhaps no better example of this than the webcam on the new X Pro. Having expanding the FullView display to more than 90% of the screen panel, Huawei had to move the webcam from its traditional location above the screen.
They moved it to the keyboard, giving it its own function key, which pops up to reveal the camera with a press.
It’s quirky and stands out on a device that is otherwise very straight-laced and sleek.
AI and cameras
Two of the big themes of MWC are the growth of artificial intelligence and the ever-increasing focus on improving the camera specs in our handsets.
LG have taken both ideas to heart with the incremental update they’ve made to their V30 phone. The V30S ThinQ has new AI software built into the device to make it smarter, specifically around the camera.
The AI Cam feature automatically scans subjects in a photo and determines the optimal camera settings to get the best picture.
While the QLens feature offers image recognition, which can be used to get more information on something, or even find it in an online store to purchase it.
The phone its housed in may only be a half-step forward kind of device, but the technology it offers sets a high bar for future LG launches.
Away from the phones
It’s not just smartphones and connected gadgets that catch the eye at MWC – the convention centre in Barcelona is often home to some bizarre sights during the show.
From unusual crowd control measures to an unlikely swag store, the four-day show is a unique experience.
There’s also more than just smartphones to see – MWC this year is home to discussions around smart home security as well talk of driverless and connected cars, as well as virtual reality demonstrations.
In one instance, those last two technologies have been combined to offer a glimpse into the future.