Mobile World Congress

For those of you who don’t know, MWC (Mobile World Congress) took place last week in Barcelona. At this event, many companies showed off products from phones, VR, and much more. In this post, I want to highlight what I were most prominent from the event.

Apple’s biggest competitor, Samsung, hosted their Unpacked Event where they showed off the Galaxy S7. What’s new with this year’s model you may ask? To start off, probably the biggest change would have to be that it is now, basically, waterproof. Another well accepted hardware change would have to be the return of the micro SD card slot. In the Galaxy S6, Samsung removed the slot in favor of a set storage size. The improved camera is absolutely stunning. The high pixel density, and blazing fast auto focus allows for one to capture that astounding shot. One change that I wasn’t quite as thrilled about, though, would have to be the exclusivity of the edge display to the 5.5” S6 Edge model. People such as I don’t want to attempt to cram a large phone into our pockets, instead, we want one that is reasonably sized, and offers all of the best features.

In addition, Samsung has also made further advancements in the field of VR (Virtual Reality). A new orb shaped camera was unveiled that allows for the capture of 360 videos. Because this technology is still pretty new, this camera is going to run you a pretty hefty price. However, if you would like to dabble with some VR tech, some stores, such as Target, are running a promotion that if you pre-order the Galaxy S7, you get a free Samsung Gear VR. With this headset, which has been around for quite some time, you can view VR clips in a comfortable, well designed, and intuitive unit.

Next, I want to talk about a phone that will only cost $4. Wait, did you just say $4? Yes, there is now a company who promises to produce phones for a low cost to the consumer. The phone is referred to as India’s Freedom 251. You may think this is too good to be true. You would be correct. This phone is currently still being tested, and is currently being backed by Kickstarter. Pre-orders start in the next few months. The quality is not that great, and the capabilities are very limited. It is still an interesting concept, but I would rather continue using a well-known company that I know I can trust.

Another phone that caught my eye was the Nextbit Robin. What is unique about this phone? It would have to be the storage capabilities. Many smartphone users will admit that they have multiple applications that they never use, but leave on their phones which takes up valuable space. The Nextbit Robin hopes to change that. The intelligent OS is able to tell if you haven’t used an application in a long time, and to free up space, it will delete it, but the application will still remain on your screen. What if I want to access that app you may ask? All you have to do it tap on the greyed out application, and it is downloaded back to your device. It’s an interesting concept, but for me personally, it would kill my data allowance, and it would just take up a lot of time.

Saving the best for last, the company who stood out the most at MWC would have to be LG. At their keynote, LG unveiled their G5 and a new pair of VR glasses. Glasses? Don’t you mean headset? Nope! What LG has decided to do is to allow a user to plug their phone in externally through the USB type C connector. This way, a user would not have to put their phone right up to their face, and weigh the head down, ruining the VR experience all together. How do they accommodate for the lack of a screen? They use OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) which offer clearer picture quality then regular LEDs. Now, to experience VR, all you have to do is put on a pair of glasses instead of a large and clunky headset.

However, what probably stood out amongst all of that would have to be the LG G5. This phone takes a whole new approach to customization. Instead of being one unit, LG has made it possible to attach different accessories to you phone. All you have to do is pull from the chin of the phone, and the battery comes right out. At their keynote, LG showed off a few of the new accessories you can swap right in. One accessory, for example, allows for a user to have a physical shutter as well as a zooming dial. This is a wonderful concept, and I hope other companies take a hint from LG, and begin incorporating that kind of innovation into their products.

What do you think of my list? If you saw anything from MWC, what caught your eye the most? I would be interested to hear what you have to say about the next steps in the mobile world. 

Read more about: Assistive Technology