Mobile World Congress 2016 has just come to a close in Barcelona, with the best in smartphones and fancy new concepts going before the thousands of eager visitors.
It’s always a mix of major manufactuerers and plucky start-ups, all vying to make an impression to the world with their clever concepts and refinements on familiar brands. We’ve dipped into the full experience to bring you a roundup of the biggest and best and weirdest from the show floor.
LG G5 and Friends
One of the biggest surprises of the show came from LG. We were fully expecting the announcment of a new smartphone and got one in the form of the LG G5 but it was the extras which were most interesting.
The G5 is one of the first ever modular phones, which means it can be changed and enhanced by adding new components after you’ve bought it. That starts with something as simple as an extra battery but these other elements include a special audio enhancer and even an advanced camera grip to help take better photos.
There are also other accessories in the works, including a 360 degree camera, a VR headset and a very cute Rolling Bot which can wander your home and play with your cat.
The Chinese phone manufacturers came out with something different this year, a 2 in 1 device that’s taking at the Microsoft Surface.
With a 12 inch screen the Matebook wants to be both a fancy tablet and a high spec laptop and early reports are that it works great as both. The device is stylish and as slim as the MacBook Air and comes with a snap on keyboard/cover.
There’s also a handy stylus which doubles as a presenting tool plus a high res screen and plenty of options when it comes to storage, processor and price.
You’ve probably heard of 4G by now, you might even be using it, but the latest emerging technology is even faster and comes under the imaginative title of 5G.
This emerging tech was big at Mobile World Congress, despite the fact that it isn’t likely to be in regular use until at least 2020, and much later in some countries. And that’s because planning for a major overhaul takes a lot of money, and time to do right.
The benefits are huge – not just faster download speeds but near instantaneous communication between networks with lower latency and even low power offerings which could boost battery life. The bottom line, it could be at least 100 times faster than the best 4G speeds offered today.
2016 is the year of VR and Mobile World Congress was a good place to start. Many phone companies now have smaller VR headsets and we’re inching closer to the launch of products from the major players in the field like Oculus Rift.
One of the biggest VR moments of the show came when attendees at the Samsung event were each given a Gear VR to wear. Then they emerged from that virtual world, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had magically appeared on stage and the crowd went wild!
He was there to talk about Facebook and the future of VR – he wants to redefine how we interact with each other online and the possibilities are endless.
At the rather weirder end of things, Oral-B came to MCW with a new electronic toothbrush that will also keep a beady eye on you to make sure you’re brushing properly.
This smart brush syncs with an app on your phone to monitor how well you’re hitting every area of your mouth. You get a graphic to show your progress in various locations and even a warning if you’re pushing too hard on your delicate gums.
Daily progress is collated so you have an idea of how good a job you’re doing and you can mount the phone to the side of the mirror to keep an eye on things. Good for getting scolded by your smartphone.
Samsung Gear 360
This cute little guy may look unassuming but its actually a powerful 360 degree camera that will help you to make the videos of the future.
With full coverage for audio and video you can set it down on its tiny little tripod and shoot away. The footage can be instantly assembled in a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone and uploaded so that you can look in any direction.
There’s even a tiny screen for basic information and the ability to live preview how it’s going to look. Did we mention it’s really cute!?