Mobile World Congress 2019 Highlights

After waiting patiently for a whole year to go by, MWC19 finally descended on Barcelona last week turning the city into the global hub of the mobile industry. I was lucky enough to attend so I’m here to share my Mobile World Congress 2019highlights.

It had been a busy year full of rumours about upcoming mobile trends and technology so we weren’t sure what to believe or expect as we walked the floor at MWC! I did, however, have several questions that I wanted to find answers for. These included:

  • Were foldable devices, that could convert a smartphone into a tablet with ease, about to be released into the wild?
  • Are smartphones with long-lasting battery on the way?
  • Is my dream smartphone, with multiple high-quality rear cameras, ever going to be a reality?
  • Is 5G ready yet?

I, thankfully, found all of the answers at Mobile World Congress 2019! Here’s a selection of my highlights from the event.

The Huawei Mate X

Foldable devices

As you may have gathered from our post on how to develop Android apps for foldable devices, we’d been anticipating the announcement of future foldable tech at MWC19.

Two foldable mobile devices were announced this year — Samsung’s Galaxy Foldand the Huawei Mate X. There’s something incredibly exciting about having the opportunity to carry a tablet in your pocket!

We had hoped that we’d be able to hold the devices to get a feel for the way they move. The devices, however, were kept under wraps in a glass box meaning we could only formulate our thoughts based on what we could see at a glance. From what we can gather from the very limited time we spent stood at a distance from them, they both have extremely high-quality displays.

We’ll be waiting on their official release to gauge what they’re like, what we can expect from their performance and see how we can develop them efficiently.

Energizer smartphone

If you miss the brick-like structure of the first generation of mobile phones, you’ll love the look of the new Energizer release! The Energizer Power Max P18K Pop is a smartphone with a battery of 18.000mAh!

The device, unlike every other smartphone on the market, is able to stay awake for 50 days, reproduce 2 days of video without pause or 100h of music. As impressive as that may be, users are going to have to determine whether they’re looking to trade in practicality for battery life.

Would you prefer a thick phone with strong battery power or a slimmer device in need of regular charging?

Multi-camera smartphones

Multi-camera smartphones seem to be having a bit of a moment thanks to the increasing demand for top quality phone cameras.

Mobile World Congress 2019 saw the announcement of the Nokia 9 Pureview. A smartphone with five rear lenses that all work together to produce a much more detailed image. It also comes with a Live Bokeh mode, much like Apple’s Portrait Mode, which eliminates the need to manipulate the image using image editing software.

As smartphone photography continues to grow in popularity, I imagine we can expect more announcements like this in the future!

5G at Mobile World Congress 2019

One of the stars at MWC this year was 5G!

After years of hearing all about 5G and how it could result in data arriving in real time, MWC19 saw many vendors sharing their 5G supported products and services.

To give some perspective, with 4G we currently have 100Mbps and with 5G we’d have access to more than 1Gbps of internet. 5G thus has 10x more velocity than 4G technology!

What would this mean for us?

  • We’d be able to have connected cars that could communicate with one another in real time to help you while you’re driving and make your commute more secure.
  • We’d be able to make advancements in robotics. For instance, surgeons would be able to operate on someone from another part of the world all through the power of 5G technology!
  • Perhaps most importantly for some people, we’d be able to watch our favourite Netflix series’ in an instant. No more waiting for things to load! No worries if you click on the wrong thing or change your mind!

ZTE Robot Musicians

Robots were another big trend at MWC19.

We saw a lot of robots at the event and they all had different responsibilities, from giving free hugs to providing quality assurance, from paper-plane flying to performing in a band with fellow robot musicians?!

Yes, you read that right! Robot. Musicians. The ZTE robot musicians were armed with musical instruments and were playing surprisingly well!

BMW

We also had the opportunity to view the latest BMW 5G connected cars and trucks at Mobile World Congress. These vehicles work with the latest 5G technology to assist the driver in order to improve safety and communication.

BMW also introduced its Natural Interaction technology which allows drivers to interact with vehicles using voice commands, gestures and their gaze. If drivers have questions about particular features, they’ll be able to simply point to the feature and the car will give them more information. If drivers want to open windows or the sunroof, they’ll be able to use their interaction combo of choice to complete the command without having to physically do it themselves.

Christopher Grote, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Electronics, explained that the Natural Interaction technology is also an ‘important step for the future of autonomous vehicles when interior concepts will no longer be geared solely towards the driver’s position and occupants will have more freedom’.

Making it easier to hijack your driver’s horrible music taste in order to switch it for the playlist of your choice!

Qiio’s ‘Beer Station’

Last but not least, let’s take a look at one of the most life-changing innovations that we were lucky enough to interact with at MWC19. Technology that could truly transform the way we live.

We found the beer equivalent of the Nespresso machine at Qiio’s Beer Station. Beer brewed from capsules. Let’s just let that sink in for a second…

This IoT technology has been adopted in some Nordic countries with fantastic results so we, of course, felt compelled to try it…for work-related reasons. Remarkably, it tasted really good!

Forget about all the fancy mobile devices, the promise of 5G, elaborate cameras and cars, we’re excited to finally be able to brew our own beer at home with minimal effort! What a time to be alive!

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That’s a wrap on our highlights from Mobile World Congress 2019! Did you attend this year? If so, what were your highlights? What announcements were you most excited about (regardless of whether or not you attended)? Tweet us at @WeAreMobile1st and we’ll retweet your responses.

We Are Mobile First is a digital product agency based in Barcelona. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Medium to be notified of our future posts and company updates. We share weekly posts on everything from the benefits of Open Source software to our top tips for using Androd Studio.