The Hottest Smartphones Of MWC 2018


Hot on the heels of another MWC, we’re all still catching our breath from the announcements and teasers that we had to go through. In case you missed it, MWC or Mobile World Congress is essentially the world’s largest convention regarding the mobile industry. It’s here that all smartphone manufacturers strive to be to announce their flagship smartphones which make us empty our wallets and sell our kidneys to buy them.

Organized by the GSMA and held in Barcelona, MWC 2018 took place from the 26th of February to the 1st of March 2018. This year saw some veteran smartphone manufacturers bring back some of the classics that we all loved. So what exactly were the hottest smartphones of MWC 2018? Well, we have a list.

The Camera. Reimagined

Thus far, the best smartphones at MWC would be the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. They take what we drooled over the S8 and S8 Plus and make it better, or at least try to. Powered either by Samsung’s latest Exynos 9810 or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, the new Galaxy S9 packs the same 5.8” 18:9 display QHD display as the Galaxy S8.

It also has the same battery at 3,000 mAh, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which can be expanded via a MicroSD slot. It also (thankfully) retains the 3.5mm headphone jack and is also IP68 dust and water resistant meaning you can take it along for a swim and not worry about it getting too wet.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 (Image Credits: CNET)

Where it excels is with the camera. The Samsung Galaxy S9 packs a 12MP rear camera with dual aperture technology. This is actually one of the first phones we’ve seen that has an actual variable aperture ranging from f/1.5 to f/2.4. You can actually see the mechanical movement of the lens when taking photos. Other specs for the camera include 4K video recording at 60fps, 1080p slow-mo video at 240fps and 720p slow-mo video at a staggering 960fps. You also get a new AR emoji feature which you can play around with.

The Galaxy S9 Plus does this on a larger scale

You still get the same processor. But you also get a bigger display, more RAM, and a dual-lens camera as well. You also get the AR emoji feature as well. Overall though, while the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus bring improvements in terms of the camera, the price they are both pitched at ($720 and $839 respectively) might not appeal to most people’s liking (unless you’re a hardcore Samsung fan). Both devices will be available globally on March 16th, 2018.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus (Image Credits: CNET)

Nokia is going Bananas

Ever since HMD Global acquired the rights to manufacture smartphones and feature phones under the Nokia branding, we’ve seen a lineup of interesting devices. Starting from the almost Google Nexus like Nokia 5,6 and 7, to the rebirth of the Nokia 3310, HMD Global has certainly been at work to revitalize Nokia and bring it back to its former glory.

Breathing life into another Nokia classic, HMD Global also launched the Nokia 8110. Made popular by the movie franchise “Matrix”, the original Nokia 8110 was launched in 1996 as the first of Nokia’s high end 8000 series phones. It featured a slider form factor where you would slide down a panel to reveal the number pad and other buttons as well.

The revamped Nokia 8110, unfortunately, isn’t as robust or sturdy as the original model though. It’s on the low end of the smartphone spectrum and is powered by the company’s Smart Feature OS. It’s actually the same specifications as the relaunched Nokia 331.

The revamped Nokia 8110 (2018)
Image Credits: People Net TV

Available in black and a bright yellow (gaining the nickname of Banana phone due to the curved body of the phone), the Nokia 8110 (2018) packs a 2.4” screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor, a 2MP rear camera, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. It also packs 4G LTE support and WiFi as well. Expect the Nokia 8110 to be priced at $97.

More Nokia Smartphones

On the other hand of the spectrum, HMD Global also launched the Nokia 8 Sirocco, the Nokia 7 Plus and the Nokia 1. The Nokia 8 Sirocco is not actually a rebadged Nokia 8, but rather an entirely new smartphone. The flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco packs a 5.5” pOLED 2560×1440 16:9 display. It also comes with an IP67-rated stainless steel body, thus reducing the thickness of the overall device. It’s also water and dust resistant.

Meet the Nokia 8 Sirocco

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the Nokia 8 Sirocco has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, expandable via a MicroSD card.It also comes with a 12MP wide sensor and a 13MP telephoto sensor with Zeiss optics and full manual controls as well. What it does lack, however, is a headphone jack. You will have to make use of the USB-C port or use a pair of Bluetooth headphones instead.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco

An upgrade to the Nokia 7

The Nokia 7 Plus is essentially a reworked Nokia 7. Sporting a 6” 18:9 display (hence the Plus), the Nokia 7 Plus packs a Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable. In terms of camera, the Nokia 7 Plus has a primary 12MP lens and a secondary 13MP lens that acts as a telephoto lens. It also packs a 3,800mAh battery with fast charging and pro audio features.

The Nokia 7 Plus (Image Credits: The Verge/HMD Global)

Taking the Nokia 6 and making it better

The Nokia 6 was HMD’s best-selling device of 2017. The Nokia 6 (2018) takes all that people loved about the Nokia 6 and ups the ante. It loses capacitive keys and the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of the device. It packs the same 5.5” display and has been upgraded to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor. The Nokia 6 (2018) will also feature face unlocking which according to HMD is almost as fast and accurate as unlocking via the fingerprint. Everything else is pretty much the same.

The Nokia 6 (2018)
Image Credits: XDA

Last, but by no means the least in Nokia’s lineup, we have the Nokia 1. This is the first Android Go device by HMD and Nokia and its specs and pricing clearly reflect that. Priced at approximately $85, the Nokia 1 packs a 4.5” display, a 5MP rear camera, a 2MP front camera, Android Oreo Go, a 2,150mAh battery and 8GB of storage, expandable via a MicroSD card.

The Nokia 1 (Image Credits: YouTube)

Sony is different, but the same

Over on Sony’s side of things, we see the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact smartphones. While it looks like Sony is trying to break away from the monolithic design that they have been accustomed to, they’re not quite there. The Sony Xperia XZ2 packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip along with 4/6GB of RAM.

You also get a 5.7” 18:9 ratio display, a 19MP rear camera, and a 5MP front-facing camera. The 3,180mAh battery is equipped with Quick Charge 3.0 to make sure you have the power you need to recharge quickly.

The Xperia XZ2 (Image Credits: 9to5google)

The Xperia XZ2 Compact takes all these features and packs it into a smaller footprint. Packing a 5.0” display with the same resolution and aspect ratio of the XZ2, the XZ2 compact packs 4GB of RAM, the same camera, the same amount of internal storage and a 2870mAh battery with fast charging.

Asus made an iPhone X

At first glance, the Asus Zenfone 5 Trio of smartphones look a lot like an iPhone X. They even have the same identical notch at the top of the display. That is until you realize it’s running Android 8.0 Oreo. The Zenfone 5Z is the higher end of the trio. Packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 along with variants of 8/6 or 4GB of RAM, the Asus Zenfone 5Z sports a 6.2” 18.5:9 ratio display. It also a 12MP camera coupled with an 8MP camera in the rear and an 8MP camera in the front. In terms of battery, you get a 3,300mAh battery with fast charging rated at 9v/2A 18W.

The Asus Zenfone 5Z (Image Credits: CNET)

The Middle brother: The Asus Zenfone 5

The Zenfone 5 is essentially the same, except for a bump down in the processor to a Snapdragon 636 and 4/6GB of RAM. The camera stays the same as the Zenfone 5Z and so does the battery except for fast charging where it drops down to 5V/2A 10W.

The Asus Zenfone 5 Lite is the baby brother of the trio.

It packs an 18:9 ratio display and either a Snapdragon 630 or Snapdragon 430 processor with either 4GB or 3GB of RAM respectively. Camera specs are yet to be finalized but we assume it will be a dual camera setup once again. It’s also supposed to have a dual camera setup for the front as well. You also get the same 3.300 mAh battery but without fast charging.

ZTE is running a sharp game

Although not popular in Sri Lanka for their smartphones, ZTE has made a name for their networking peripherals. That being said, the company’s Blade V9 smartphone is a mid-range phone fitted into a flagship design. Designed using glass and Aluminum, the ZTE Blade V9 is priced at around $400.

The ZTE Blade V9 (Image Credits: CNET)

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 and backed by 4GB or 3GB of RAM, the device packs a 5.7” 18”9 ratio display. It also has a 16MP + 5MP camera in the rear and an 8MP camera in the front. You also get a rear mounted fingerprint sensor and a 3,100 mAh battery, along with 64GB of internal storage expandable via a MicroSD card.

And there you have it

These are the smartphones we found interesting at MWC 2018. Overall, they all seem to be packing the same specifications when it comes to processing power and displays. Then again, since most of these are flagship devices, it is to be expected that device manufacturers will throw everything and the kitchen sink to entice users to purchase their products.

The latest flagship Qualcomm processor, an 18:9 aspect ratio display and fast charging seem to be 2018’s recipe for a flagship device.

What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below


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