Flashback Friday: What we learnt from Mobile World Congress 2017

March 3, 2017 : TECHFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Nokia revives 3310 to steal the show at MWC 2017

With Samsung pulling their flagship smartphone launch outside of Mobile World Congress for the first time in years, it’s no surprise that the usual hype surrounding the annual tech fair was somewhat diminished in 2017. Samsung have chosen to launch, what we believe will be, the Galaxy S8 on March 29th in New York; the tech giant did announce two tablets and a new iteration of their VR headset in Barcelona, though.

Mobile World Congress 2017

Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona every March | Photo credit: CNET

What with the usual Samsung hysteria having dispersed for this year’s show, it was Nokia who stole the headlines. With wide speculation prior to the event, we finally saw what we’d all been waiting for: the re-released Nokia 3310. The smartphone manufacturer announced three other phones, the Nokia 6, 5 and 3, all with the prototypical smart features you’d expect from modern-day mobiles, but it’s the mobile which can do almost nothing which captured the interest of our audience. Brought back to the commercial market after its initial release some 17 years ago, the Nokia 3310 – Snake included – is back. And it’ll set you back just £40.

New Nokia 3310

Nokia re-releases the iconic 3310 model | Photo credit: TechRadar India

In the spirit of nostalgia, the theme which seemed to dominate this year’s event, TCL revived the BlackBerry brand with the BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone. Based on Android and running additional BlackBerry software, the smartphone adds some unique characteristics which you wouldn’t find on another Android phones – notably, the signature physical keyboard, capable of launching 52 shortcuts. Positioned at the higher-end of the market, the device will face tough competition from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6 and Google Pixel smartphones.

BlackBerry KeyOne

BlackBerry is back with the revived KeyOne smartphone | Photo credit: PC Magazine

As Samsung kept tight-lipped on the smartphone front this year, LG, Sony and Huawei were left to battle it out when showcasing their new high-end mobile models. What we learned this year, though, was that high-end isn’t always the be-all and end-all, and that’s where Moto missed a trick. Lenovo, who is pioneering the revival of the Motorola brand, unveiled the all-new Moto G5 Plus, a higher-end metal smartphone which boasts a budget price tag. But what really captured our attention was the multiple Mods announced by the company’s executives. From battery packs to a gaming accessory, Moto could’ve stolen the show. Instead, they rushed through their speech and had none of their new toys on display, resulting in the news quickly dissipating, being replaced by the Nokia 3310 hype.

Moto Mods

Click to watch The Verge discussing Lenovo’s experimental Moto Mods

Smartphone models aside, the top trends talked about at this year’s Mobile World Congress included bezel-less phones, a phone which has minimal border around their display, seen on the LG G6 and Samsung Xperia XA1 at the show. What with phones becoming increasingly more thin, it’s no surprise that we’re equally obsessed with the minimalist, sleek design of bezel-less smartphones. Of all the bezel-less smartphones, it’s the Xiaomi Mi Mix which offers the most luxurious in displays but, unfortunately for us, this model is currently only available in China. We’re therefore eagerly awaiting the Samsung Galaxy S8; especially as its Samsung who pioneered the commercial movement of bezel-less phones with the screen-wrapping display seen on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge sports a curved, wrap-around display | Photo credit: BGR

And lastly, we can’t help but get more than a little excited by the whispers of 5G becoming a reality. The fifth generation of wireless technology promises ridiculous high-speed connections that’ll put your fibre-optic broadband packages to shame. With 5G having the power to unlock the potential of the gadgets of the future – from virtual reality to self-driving cars – the new technology is hotly-anticipated. Despite companies showcasing the hardware capable of operating at these speeds, there’s still some serious hurdles the industry must overcome, including getting the necessary airwaves to power the new networks. Perhaps we’ll have a better understanding of what the future of 5G looks like by next year’s Mobile World Congress – until then…