Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei's consumer products division presents the new HUAWEI Mate X foldable smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), on the eve of the world's biggest mobile fair, on February 24, 2019 in Barcelona. (AFP/Josep Lago)
Mobile World Congress 2019, in Barcelona, Spain, which runs through February 28, will be remembered for introducing the first 5G data terminals and the first foldable smartphones. Here's a selection of the most impressive models introduced this year.
Huawei Mate X
Huawei's unveiling of the Mate X, the first foldable smartphone, is Mobile World Congress 2019's biggest sensation. The phone features two screens, measuring 6.6 and 6.4 inches, which together transform the terminal into an 8-inch tablet. What's more, the phone is 5G compatible with a generous 512 GB storage capacity. Although not yet available, the price was announced at €2,299. Another notable presentation in Barcelona: the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the first foldable smartphone by the South Korean manufacturer, presented a few days ago.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
With this version of its Mi Mix 3, Xiaomi will be the first manufacturer to launch a 5G-compatible smartphone in Europe, as early as spring 2019. This high-end phone is equipped with the new 5G Snapdragon X50 modem and Snapdragon 855 processor, both designed by Qualcomm. Derived from the classic Mi Mix 3, it features the same 6.39-inch notch- and edge-free screen format, thanks to an ingenious system of hidden-front cameras that unlock by sliding the screen downward. The model should start at around €599. But it's still too early to take full advantage of the phone, as no 5G commercial service will be available before the end of the year, at the earliest.
LG V50 ThinQ
LG seized the opportunity of the Mobile World Congress to present its very first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ. This 6.4-inch smartphone also includes the latest Qualcomm technology. But its real originality is expressed in its second 6.2-inch screen's protective cover, which allows enjoyment of Android's multitasking mode like never before. The dual screen can be positioned at two convenient angles (104 and 180 degrees). Availability is yet to be announced.
Sony Xperia 1
With the Sony Xperia 1, the Japanese giant launches the world's first smartphone with a 21:9 4K HDR OLED screen. In addition to the screen, which will delight movie lovers and those seeking the comfort of side-by-side apps, this smartphone features multidimensional Dolby Atmos sound and Eye AF auto-focus technology, which detects the eyes of any subject. The Sony Xperia 1 arrives this spring priced at €999.
Oppo prototype with 10x zoom
Our last selection is still in the prototype stage. Equipped with a main camera offering a lossless 10x zoom, this smartphone offers a considerable advance compared with competitors' current offerings (3x optical zoom and 5x hybrid zoom on the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro). To achieve these results, Oppo developed a triple lens with a main camera, an ultra-wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens, as well as a system for intercommunication of the three. Meaning that the sensors all work together to maximize their respective benefits and maintain the best image quality possible up to 10x zoom. The manufacturer's first smartphone equipped with this technology, it is scheduled for release before summer.