These new smartphones are calling out to your wallet

One of the biggest tech events in the world, the Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona every year. MWC is a mammoth catwalk for mobile manufacturers to strut their stuff, and this year has already seen some announcements of really cool gadgets you need in your life right now. Here’s our pick of the lot.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Last year Samsung wowed the world with the technological marvel, the curved edge Galaxy S6 Edge. Giving the world one of its most beautiful phones to date is a feat that even Apple has a hard time keeping up with. Now, the much-awaited Galaxy S7 has launched, retaining that same design but giving you an even slimmer phone and with a big 3600 mAh battery and MicroSD Card support. It’s a given that the phone will be bristling with the latest processors from Snapdragon and Samsung’s own Exynos with 4GB of RAM. The screen is a big beautiful 5.5 inch display. The cameras are a 12-megapixel unit with something they call DualPixel autofocus technology for fast shots. Also, it’s capable of taking motion photos and moving panoramas. The front camera is a 5-megapixel shooter with a few nifty features, like the screen lighting up for a flash, wide selfie and a Spotlight mode that can enhance your features by highlighting parts of your face. The S7 Edge is fantastic, and if the edge is not your thing, there is a smaller S7 without the edge available with the same specs.

Xiaomi Mi5

The freshly launched Mi5 is a true coming-of-age for Xiaomi. It’s the company’s flagship smartphone that rivals all the giants out there. With a beautiful design, that’s curved at the back, it comes in metal and Gorilla Glass 4.0. The higher-end version comes in ceramic. The specs put the Mi5 as one of the speediest devices out there. It’s got a new 64-bit Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM that’s faster than the usual RAM used and a very fast 128 GB storage. The screen is a 5.15 inch display with impressive sunlight readability. The phone has a 16-megapixel 4 axis optical image stabilised Sony camera on the back with a 4-megapixel ultrapixel camera out front for clear selfies in any light.

Xiaomi Mi5


One of the biggest tech reveals this MWC came as a big pleasant surprise from LG. The company revealed the LG G5, the world’s first modular phone. The phone also offers add-ons which they term as friends. For instance, there’s a Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi audio digital to analog converter that can be placed in the phone. Plus, the phone can interface with a 360-degree camera and other companions. The phone itself is beautiful, with a 5.3 inch IPS Quantum display that is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage. The back sports an interesting dual camera setup. Either you can shoot using the 16-megapixel camera or you can switch to the 8-megapixel wide angled camera for a larger view. The front selfie camera is an 8-megapixel shooter. LG with the G5 has opened up new possibilities in technology and it would be interesting to see which other friends they present to expand your mobile experience.

The LG G5

G5 Friends

You can pull out the bottom of the smartphone which holds the battery so you can swap in a bigger one. That bottom unit can be replaced with an LG Cam Plus camera module that gives you a pro cam feel or a B&O hi-fi unit for good music. The friends are also companion tech, like a 360 VR camera and a cool looking goggle. The best part is the rolling bot to keep an eye on your pets remotely and worry them by moving it around remotely.

Sony Xperia X Series + more

Sony’s Z series are no more. Say hello to the new X series of smartphones. The Xperia X Performance, X and XA. The XA is more budget, but the X and the X Performance are the ones that stand out. Sony takes their signature design to a new level with curved glass and premium metals. The tech comes in the form of a whopping 23-megapixel camera with what Sony calls a Predictive Autofocus, that predicts your subject’s next move and tracks them. Both sport five inch screens but the Performance sports a Snapdragon 820. Like LG, Sony has also brought along a few friends. The stand out one is a device called Xperia Ear, which is a Bluetooth headset that functions as your personal assistant. Then there’s also the Xperia Eye, a wearable camera with a 360-degree spherical lens to capture a natural view. There’s the Xperia Projector is a mini projector of sorts, while Agent is a home-automation system, both of which are in concept stage now.

HTC Desire Range

The HTC Desire series.
Breaking away from the power players, HTC has gone another route, launching a new range of their Desire smartphones, focusing on design and style. The new 825, 630 and 530 all have decent specs. What stands out though is the unique speckled paint backs, as well as the colourful styling. The biggest one, 825 features a 5.5 inch display with Boomsound speakers and Dolby. The 825 and 630 feature a front 5-megapixel selfie cam that can take great photos and put on virtual makeup. The back one is a 13-megapixel unit. The 530 has the 5-megapixel front camera, but the rear is an 8-megapixel. While it may not be fighting the specs war, the phones do look fantastic.

HTC Vive

While HTC Vive is not a smartphone, it’s a Virtual Reality device that’s a collaboration between HTC and Valve. While we have been seeing the Vive for some time, the version announced at MWC is a proper consumer one that comes at a staggering $800. For this price, you get the VR unit, which looks sleeker that what we’ve seen, with circular indentations for sensors looking very cool and cyberpunk. You also get a pair of controllers and sensor-base stations you can place around your play area to detect your movements. The controllers themselves have 24 sensors to detect movement with haptic feedback. The HTC Vive looks like a lot more attractive a package than the Oculus Rift. But even though you pay more, you definitely get a complete package.