Every year mobile manufacturers reserve some of their most exciting new releases for February. The reason is the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. During the days of the conference, companies try to outshine each other by presenting their latest products to the public. This year was no different and as always held some surprises. We put together a selection of some of this year’s best releases.
Every surface become a touchscreen
Sony made an impressive start. The company introduced its new flagship phone, the Xperia XZ Premium. It convinces with some impressive specs like the 5.5-inch 4K HDR display as well as advanced camera technology. Special is the design, though. The XZ Premium has a so-called “glass loop” surface. That means Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is wrapped all the way around the device, with metal caps on only the top and bottom. But Sony has more to offer this year. It also presented the Xperia Touch. That is a projector turns virtually every flat surface into a touchscreen. This is possible thanks to a sensor that registers movements happening on the surface in front of it. The Xperia Touch can create an up to 23-inch capacitive touch screen with built-in gesture functionality.
BlackBerry is not dead
One of the biggest surprises of this year’s show was probably the release of the BlackBerry KEYone. The phone is a result of a licensing deal between BlackBerry and the low-cost Chinese producer TCL. With a Qwerty keyboard, the new product surely looks like a BlackBerry. This keyboard is also gesture-responsive and doubles as a trackpad, though. TCL promises an all-day battery with fast charging. The KEYone has a Qualcomm 625 processor and runs the Nougat 7.1 version of Android. With a little bit of luck, this might be the phone that brings BlackBerry back into the consumers’ focus.
The Nokia 3310 is back
But the release that clearly stole the show at this year’s Mobile World Conference was clearly the comeback of the legendary Nokia 3310. Similarly to BlackBerry, Nokia sealed a licensing deal with the Finnish startup HMD Global. Together they now brought back the indestructible 3310. The reboot is a phone with super slim specs like a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and limited web support. But HMD promises the phone’s battery to last for 22 hours of talk time (which is 10 times as much as the original). Once on the market, the phone will sell for just 49 €.
The collaboration of Nokia and HMD also resulted in three smartphones. They are Android-based and draw attention through decent specs with an affordable price tag. The Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 are priced at 139 €, 189 €, and 229 € respectively.
You want more details on the releases and highlights of the Mobile World Conference 2017. Then head over to CNET’s special on the conference.