Kickoff to Smartphone Season: MWC 2019

Kickoff to Smartphone Season MWC 2019

The best smartphones showcased at Mobile World Conference 2019 in Barcelona

Any discussion involving the word ‘Çongress’ lately is likely to invite polar political opinions. But there’s a Congress that just concluded that you might find easier to talk about: the “coalition” of all major smartphone manufacturers (except one that’s fruity), The Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

From foldable OLED devices to 5G handsets, this year brought a lot of movement in a space that has been rather stagnant recently. While many companies came in all guns blazing with their latest and greatest innovations, only a few caught all eyeballs and reigned supreme. Here are the best phones of MWC 2019.

Huawei Mate X

While Samsung thought it fit to jump the gun and announce their Galaxy Fold phone just days before MWC, Huawei wasn’t slacking and came quickly to bite at its heels with their Mate X.

An impressive 6.3-inch main panel that unfolds to unveil a massive 8-inch slate, this was the true manifestation of a smartphone-tablet hybrid.

Huawei’s magnum opus doesn’t have a notch, opting to mount cameras on a side grip panel, making it easier to grip in the vertical orientation and allowing someone on the other side of the device to view their picture while it is being clicked.

The phone is due for a summer launch, with the initial price tag of a whopping $2,600.

Samsung Galaxy S10 series

Revealed in the build-up to MWC, the Samsung flagship line-up comprising of the S10, the bigger S10+, and the lower-end S10E, is clearly a direct jab to the iPhone X lineup, butting heads with the XS, XS+, and XR respectively.

Samsung has been refining their design with every passing year and the 10th iteration seems like a fitting apex of the brand’s ethos.

Packing the Snapdragon 855, 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage on the base model of the S10 already ticks the box of prerequisites of a flagship 2019. With IP68 resistance, wireless and reverse wireless charging, a heartwarming 3.5mm headphone jack and the bells-and-whistles loaded Samsung One UI catering to the laser cut punch-hole display, Samsung cements the S10 as the new king atop the smartphone flagship throne.

Nokia 9 Pureview

Nokia 9 Pureview

Leaked and rumored for years, the Nokia 9 PureView was a long time coming. The Penta lens setup was hotly anticipated and by the looks of it, the phone delivers.

The Pure View’s three monochrome cameras mean it can capture an astounding amount of detail — almost three times more than a standard RGB camera sensor. This setup allows it to capture 1,200 layers of depth, compared to the standard three to seven captured in most smartphones, which means it could theoretically rival a traditional DSLR or mirrorless camera system.

Loaded with high-end specs, the simplistic Android One, and aggressive pricing, the PureView might be the crown jewel of HMD’s Nokia resurgence.

Sony Xperia 1

Sony is back with a brand new lineup. Out with the old XYZ naming scheme which it had a hard time selling, the company has developed a 4K 10-bit HDR display tuned by the Bravia team and a triple-camera system developed alongside the Sony Alpha team and bundled it with an extra long 21:9 aspect ratio display, to “reimagine” the media consumption experience on a smartphone.

While most online content is still 16:9, there has been a radical shift towards the cinema standard for a lot of content, even some on YouTube.

Sony is decidedly pushing the concept at full throttle, allowing the device to shoot photos and video in 21:9, as well as record in 24fps, the traditional standard for motion pictures. Sony might have found a niche: a consumer demographic looking for high-end content consumption and creation capabilities, all in their palm.

Mi Mix 3 5G

Mi Mix 3 5G

While Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 was announced about four months ago, the new 5G variant is exciting because of the precedent it sets for the cost of 5G devices. 5G is still new, and manufacturers are charging a premium for phones that support it. Xiaomi aims to live up the legacy it’s garnered, of low-cost, high-end devices with the Mi Mix 3 5G.

The new device also comes packed with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 chip while the baseline storage has been downgraded to 64GB from 128GB. The company is pulling out all stops to find every corner that can be cut to keep this phone as affordable as possible.

With decent cameras, a bezel-less slider display and now, lightning-fast 5G capabilities, the new Mi Mix 3 seems like an easy sell at $650.