MWC 2017 Smartphone Launches Round-Up [Part-1]
Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA and held in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Spain from 27 February – 2 March 2017. This year saw a lot of new smartphone launches from known and small companies alike.
We have summarised the major releases from large manufacturers in part 1 of the roundup.
The sixth generation of LG’s flagship series G, G6 is one hell of a revamp from the previous iteration. LG G5 was a rather modular device, which made it thicker than its competitors, and was not very aesthetically pleasing either.
LG is back with a great device that can give others a run for their money. G6 has a large 5.7-inch 2,880 x 1,440 resolution display with FullVision display, and an 18:9 screen aspect ratio, the first for a smartphone. The bezels around are small and the footprint of a phone is smaller than Pixel XL!
It packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, which is rather old but does its job well. Coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB internal memory, the phone is snappy and confident. It also comes with a dual 13MP camera setup at the back, along with a 5MP front-facing camera. The phone houses a 3,300mAh battery which is large enough to make it full day. It also has IP68 certification, making it water and dust resistant to a great extent.
The G6 runs Android 7.0 Nougat and has Google Assistant built in. It comes in Astro Black, Ice Platinum and Mystic White colours and looks very sleek. We think the company could have waited for another month or so, till the announcement of Snapdragon 835 chipset, but 821 is not a letdown either.
Nokia 3, 5 and 6 Android smartphones and Nokia 3310
Nokia is back with the classic 3310 feature phone in a new avatar. And what’s better is that the phone has a standby time of 30 days and a talk time of 22 hours. It even comes with the legendary Snake game.
Nokia 3, 5 and 6 are Android smartphones ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000. These phones are budget smartphones with decent Qualcomm processors, upwards of 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage. Nokia has kept the Android UI very basic and we hope Nokia is able to make the best use of it.
The smartphones will be available in India in the second quarter of this year. You can read all about these four phones here.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
When we thought that tablets are dead, and smartphones can do the trick, Samsung has come out with a good successor to Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. This tablet packs a 9.7-inch AMOLED display, with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC and 4GB of RAM.
More importantly, this tablet comes with an S-Pen which has been the selling point of Samsung tablets. The pen has an improved grip now and is bigger than the previous versions. It feels a lot more intuitive now than before and that’s a good thing.
The internal memory has been listed at 32GB, but you can increase it with a microSD card of up to 256GB. However, the best part is that the tablet has a larger battery at 6,000mAh which will surely last a lot more than the Note tablet. The tablet will come with the latest Android Nougat 7.0, with Samsung’s own Touchwiz UI.
BlackBerry KEYone qwerty-hybrid smartphone
At MWC 2017, BlackBerry announced the first phone launched under its agreement with TCL, called BlackBerry KEYone. The smartphone comes with a touchscreen and a qwerty keypad at the bottom, just like the Passport.
It sports a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 at 433 ppi and 4:3 aspect ratio. Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core clocked at 2.0 GHz, 64-bit Adreno 506 coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.
The smartphone features the same Sony IMX378 camera sensor from the Pixel phones, at 12MP with phase detection autofocus and dual-tone LED flash. For selfies, the phone has an 8MP fixed focus front camera with wide-angle lens. The company has integrated the fingerprint sensor into the spacebar of the keyboard.
KEYone will be available from April 2017 for $549 and BlackBerry will make sure it reaches all part of the globe very soon. All keyboard lovers will love this smartphone as it packs good features, but at a price.
Lenovo Moto G5 and G5 Plus
The most awaited budget smartphones have been unveiled at MWC 2017. Lenovo has announced Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus, which had got leaked only a week back before the event.
Moto G5 is the cheaper and smaller version of the two and comes with slightly enhanced specifications from the previous version. It has a smaller a footprint and feels more premium with the improved plastic around. It also has a Moto Z-like camera unit at the back, along with a fingerprint sensor on the front.
Moto G5 Plus is the larger sibling and hence comes with better features than the G5. It has a better processor, camera module, quick charging support, larger display and a better fit and finish. Both the smartphones will be launched in India on March 15 and will be priced lower than their predecessors.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra
Sony’s footprint in India is really small, and above that the company only has the premium models in India that face tough competition from the likes of Samsung, Google and LG. However, Sony is back with the XZ Premium smartphone that can become a potential winner here. Xperia XZ was a bust and never even sold well globally.
It comes with a monstrous 5.5-inch 4K LCD crystal clear display, powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4GB of RAM, Adreno 540 GPU and 64GB inbuilt memory. It houses a 19MP camera at the back with 960fps capability, allowing you to shoot extra slo-mo videos.
There is a 13MP camera at the front and Sony is best with its cameras. It also houses a 3230mAh battery, runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and a fingerprint sensor. The smartphone will be available globally in Spring this year.
Sony Xperia XZs has a smaller 5.2-inch full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, Adreno 510 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB Internal storage. It has the same camera setup as XZ premium which is a benefit for XZs owners. The phone comes with a smaller 2,900mAh battery and QuickCharge 3.0.
Sony Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra are mid-range smartphones, with 5-inch 720p and 6-inch full HD displays. Both the phones feature borderless edge-to-edge displays and run of Helio P20 chipset by MediaTek.
Both the smartphones host a 23MP rear camera with SteadyShot. XA1 comes with an 8MP a front facing camera while XA1 Ultra comes with a 16MP selfie camera. XA1 boasts of 3GB RAM and a 32GB internal memory while XA1 boasts of 4GB of RAM and 32/64GB internal storage options. XA1 Ultra has a larger battery at 2,700mAh while XA1 has 2,300mAh, and support Qnovo adaptive charging.
The MWC 2017 is still going on – in our second part we will cover more smartphone launches and interesting gadgets that were announced!