In Depth

Mobile World Congress 2018: all the big smartphone announcements

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 debuts and a movie icon is resurrected

The biggest event in the smartphone ind calendar kicks off today as Mobile World Congress (MWC) opens its doors in Barcelona.

The show, which runs until 1 March, will feature the unveiling of some of this year’s most eagerly anticipated handsets including Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 flagship and the Sony Xperia XZ2. 

Apple will not be present at the show, however, as the Cupertino-based company unveils its devices at its own private events.

With more product reveals due over the coming days, here are the biggest releases so far:

Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung Galaxy S9

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Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Samsung has finally revealed its highly anticipated Galaxy S9 smartphone following months of rumours and speculation. 

Although the S9’s bezel-free design is “suspiciously similar” to last year’s model, says The Daily Telegraph, the new mobile now sports a “dual aperture” lens that lets in more light than its predecessor. This should result in more detailed and vibrant images.

Samsung has also developed its own augmented reality (AR) emojis, the newspaper says, which allows you to layer computer-generated graphics over real-world images. The feature is similar to Animojis on Apple’s iPhone X, although according to the newspaper, Samsung’s version is easier to share with friends.

The Galaxy S9 and larger S9 Plus are available to order now from Carphone Warehouse, with prices starting at £739.

Nokia 8110
Nokia 8110

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Nokia dominated headlines last year when it resurrected its 17-year-old 3310 handset. Now the company has unveiled a new version of its 8110 sliding phone from 1999. 

The original 8110 became popular after featuring in sci-fi action film The Matrix and is often referred to as the banana phone owing to its curved shape. Despite its retro design, the new 8110 can run a handful of apps including Google Maps and Facebook, reports the BBC News website. 

It is due to go on sale in May for €79 (£69), The Guardian says. 

Nokia 8 Sirocco 

Along with its retro-inspired 8110 mobile, Nokia announced a new smartphone that it hopes will rival the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S9. 

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is equipped with a 5.5in QHD OLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, Tech Radar reports. The device’s body is “95% vacuum molded Gorilla Glass” surrounded by a stainless steel band, giving the smartphone “premium appeal and futuristic looks”.

It’s scheduled for release in April and will cost €749 (£660), T3 reports. That makes it £79 cheaper than the Galaxy S9 and around £40 less than the iPhone 8.

LG V30S

The LG V30 may only be six months old but that hasn’t stopped the Korean tech giant from launching an updated version at MWC.

The V30S is essentially the same at its predecessor in terms of design and hardware, says TechnoBuffalo, but LG has added in artificial intelligence (AI) features that “actively analyses the world around itself to understand sight and sound just like a human”.

This helps users take better pictures, with the AI algorithm enhancing images by scanning the environment through its dual-camera set-up. 

LG has yet to announce a release date for the V30S, but it is expected to arrive in Korea before making its way to international markets.

Sony Xperia XZ2
Sony Xperia

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Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Sony has released a handful of new smartphones at MWC, with the standout model being its range-topping Xperia XZ2. 

The new mobile comes with a 5.7in display boasting a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080, says Alphr, along with a 19 megapixel camera that can record slow-motion footage at 960fps. It can also record video at 4K resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) lighting effects, which bolster contrast ratios for a more life-like image. 

Pre-orders open on 22 March, the website says, although pricing has yet to be announced.

ZTE Blade V9

While Samsung and Nokia were stealing the headlines with their new top-tier smartphones, Chinese tech firm ZTE announced its new Blade mobile that’s targeted at the mid-range of the market.  

Despite its €269 (£195) price tag, CNET says the smartphone sports a dual-camera system comprising 16 and 5 megapixel lenses that are “better at taking lower-light shots” than a single lens. The dual-camera set-up also allows users to access augmented reality (AR) apps, which layer computer graphics over real-world images in real-time. 

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