Showstoppers At MWC
Truth be told, we’re tired of all the me-too smartphone designs in the market. Which is why some of the new launches from the Mobile World Congress came as such a breath of fresh air. Karan Bajaj rounds up some of his favourites from the show.
Nokia 9 PureView
Nokia’s PureView subbrand was synonymous with flagship camera smartphones. HMD Global, current owners of the Nokia name, acquired ownership of the PureView brand in 2018 and now they have announced their first PureView device, the Nokia 9 PureView. This is the first smartphone ever with a total of five 12MP cameras on the rear. Two of these are RGB (colour) sensors while the other three are monochrome sensors with f1.8 aperture and Zeiss lenses. This is quite unlike other multicamera phones that typically use the additional lenses for zoom, depth or wide-angle. This phone uses all five sensors to take a photo and combines the images to create a single photo. However, there is no optical image stabilization. Other features include a 5.99-inch 2k screen with in-display fingerprint scanner, Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 3,320mAh battery, wireless charging and Android 9.0. It is priced at US$ 699 and available for pre-orders in select locations already. There’s no word of an India launch yet.
LG V50 ThinQ 5G Dualscreen
It’s true, the V50 is very similar to the LG V40 ThinQ. It has the same 6.4-inch oled display with 3120 x 1440-pixel resolution, a notch, triple camera setup (12MP f1.5 + 12MP telephoto + 16MP ultra-wide, OIS, dual pixel autofocus, 2x optical zoom), 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, dedicated microSD slot and glass-metal sandwich design. The processor has been upgraded to a Snapdragon 855 and a larger 4,000mAh battery does duty thanks to the newly added 5G support. However, what makes the V50 interesting is a new Dual Screen accessory. This accessory has it’s own 6.2-inch full HD amoled display and it draws power from the phone via pogo-pin connectors. Once you slot the V50 into the attachment, you can use the second screen for gaming, multi-tasking, vlogging and so on. While this is not as cool as having a foldable display, it could increase productivity — just like having a second monitor for your computer.
Huawei Mate X
Huawei’s foldable Mate X was announced at MWC just days after Samsung showcased their foldable smartphone in San Francisco. Popular opinion is that the Mate X looks much better than Samsung’s attempt. The Mate X has an 8-inch flexible oled display that folds to become a 6.6-inch main display and a 6.3-inch rear display. Inside is a Kirin 980 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage and a 4,500mAh battery. Huawei has also added super-fast 55W charging which can charge the Mate X from 0 to 85% in under 30 minutes. Other features include 5G connectivity, quad camera with Leica optics, a side mounted fingerprint scanner and Android 9.0. It will be priced at Euro 2,299 (`Rs 1,86,000) and will be available to buy mid-2019.
Last year Nubia made us sit up and take notice with their gaming phones Red Magic and Red Magic Mars. This year they have a very unusual product — a wearable smartphone with a flexible oled display. The 4-inch flexible display has a resolution of 960 x 192 pixels and wraps around your wrist. Specs wise it’s more a smartwatch than a phone — Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage and a 500mAh battery for 2 days of battery life. It also has a 5MP wide-angle camera with f2.2 aperture, built-in speaker and a heart rate tracker. To take advantage of that unusual screen, the Alpha has a customized Android interface with gesture navigation and an old-school T9 keyboard. There are also standard smartwatch functions including fitness tracking and voice control. The Alpha with eSim is priced at roughly US$ 624. It will be available to buy in select countries from the third quarter of 2019.
Sony Xperia 1
The Xperia 1 is the first smartphone ever with a 21:9 aspect ratio screen. Sony calls it a CinemaWide display. It has a 6.5-inch oled display with 3840 x 1644-pixel resolution, HDR support and 100% DCI-P3 colour accuracy making it ideal for watching videos. This is also the first phone from Sony with a triple camera setup — 12MP f1.6 + 12MP f2.4 telephoto + 12MP f2.4 ultra-wide setup with hybrid optical image stabilization (5-axis OIS + EIS), dual pixel phase detect autofocus and 2x optical zoom. Sony has added a number of software features for the camera including a Cinema Pro mode for 21:9 video recording, HDR, 3D creator, and portrait selfie effects. Powered by the latest Snapdragon 855, the Xperia 1 has 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage and a 3,330mAh battery. Other features include expandable storage, a side fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port and wireless charging. There are no confirmed details on price and availability.