With the biggest annual mobile event in the world coming to a close, it’s the perfect time to provide our MWC 2019 recap. I’ve looked back at the biggest announcements to come this year and have provided my thoughts on them in this article. If you haven’t been keeping an eye out on the news over the past few days, this is the one article you’ll want to read to catch-up with what’s happening in the mobile world.
5G, 5G everywhere
The futuristic world of 5G is now within our grasp. We got to see a variety of 5G enabled handsets at MWC from some of the biggest manufacturers in the world. Samsung announced a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, LG has a 5G powered V50 ThinQ ready to release to the masses, and even Xiaomi are pushing a 5G variant of their Mi Mix 3.
ZTE also announced a powerful new 5G flagship called the Axon 10 Pro 5G. The promotional version had a beautiful sea blue colour scheme that perfectly reflected the 6.47 inch teardrop notch style display. The camera specs were interesting - a triple camera primary setup lead by a powerful 48 megapixel primary snapper. And, the device features an in-display fingerprint sensor.
OnePlus also showcased a prototype of their upcoming OnePlus 7 5G smartphone, too. HTC was quiet in the smartphone space this year, but they did announce a brand new 5G powered router that could support up to twenty devices at once. Qualcomm also made a strong presence at MWC, and they made a great blog explaining the benefits of their 5G powered Snapdragon 855 which is almost in every 5G handset out there right now.
The mind blowing foldable phone race
During Samsung’s Unpacked event, they unveiled the Galaxy Fold, their very first foldable smartphone. It will be available to purchase later this year. Huawei also held their own event and showcased their foldable Huawei Mate X. During all of this craziness, Apple also quietly published their very own foldable phone patent. What an exciting time to live in.
Many people are comparing the two devices, both of which have drastically different designs despite sharing a similar concept. The Galaxy Fold display can fold inwards and the Mate X display folds outwards. The result is that the Mate X looks, in many people’s eyes, far prettier. But on the other hand, the Galaxy Fold has more durability potential. Either way, both devices are marvels of modern day technology. They won’t come cheap, though. Prices are starting at $2600 (£1988) for the Mate X and $1980 (£1514) for the Galaxy Fold. Emerging tech like this never is cheap, but here’s to hoping future generations of this technology will be more affordable.
Budget handsets are winning this year
The great thing about MWC is that you get given some inspiration about what new smartphone to pick up. Thankfully, not all new phones showcased at MWC 2019 were eye wateringly expensive. In fact, there was a strong trend towards marvellous mid-range devices that are far more affordable.
Sony, Nokia, and even Samsung dropped some impressive new devices at MWC 2019 to appeal to the budget buyers. For us UK folk, we can expect to get our hands on the following devices relatively soon:
Xperia 10 - UK price £299
Xperia 10S - UK price £349
Samsung A10 - Price unknown, potentially India exclusive
Samsung A50 - UK price expected to fall between £250-£350
Samsung A30 - UK price expected to fall between £170-£270
Nokia 3.1 - UK price unknown. US price is $139
Nokia 4.1- UK price unknown. US price is $169
This star studded mid-range lineup is headlined by the beautiful Samsung A50. At an expected £250-£350 price range, this smartphone offers more than you’d ever expect at this price, especially coming from Samsung. The A50 has a stunning teardrop notch style 6.4” display, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a powerful 25 megapixel triple camera setup. The selfie camera is also 25 megapixels.
For slightly less, the A30 is also a reasonable buy. It shares the exact same display, but the specifications are cut down to 4GB RAM instead of 6GB, a slightly cheaper Exynos processor, and there’s just a dual 16MP+5MP camera on the back.
The A10 offers a different experience entirely, and it may be exclusive to India. No confirmation yet. The display is smaller at 6.2 inches and the resolution is worse at 720x1520 as opposed to the 1080x2340 resolution on the other two. The A10 also has 2GB RAM, which is a little lacking in 2019.
Thankfully, Nokia also announced two more affordable smartphones with 3GB RAM each. The Nokia 3.2 and 4.2 also feature teardrop notch style displays. Both have a 720x1520 resolution display, too. The 3.2 is 6.26 inches and the 4.2 is 5.72 inches.
Finally, Sony dropped a powerful set of budget devices to support their new Xperia 1 flagship. All three devices have unique 21:9 super-wide cinematic displays. They look a little odd, because they stand far taller and far thinner than the competition. I see the Xperia 10 range being perfect for those that want a good viewing experience, but have smaller hands, making wider phones not as usable.
The full MWC 2019 phone list
I’ve covered all of the major highlights above, but before I sign off, here’s a full list of all of the smartphones that got revealed during or before MWC 2019.
Confirmed for the UK:
Honor View 20 (with 60fps support for Fortnite)
Huawei Mate X
LG G8 ThinQ
LG V50 ThinQ
Nokia 9 PureView
OnePlus 7 5G (Only a prototype)
Oppo Find X 5G (Only a prototype)
Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S10e
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung Galaxy Fold
Vivo V15 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 9
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
Xperia 10 Plus
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
Potentially exclusive to the Indian market:
What are your thoughts on my MWC 2019 recap? Which smartphones are you the most excited about? And, most importantly, which of the new foldable phones do you think is the best? And if you want to learn more about what happened during the MWC read out these other articles I’ve written: