The Annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) held at the end of February in Barcelona often provides an early look at the newest smartphones set to hit the market this year. Two popular trends at this year’s MWC were foldable phones and 5G, but those are not the only new technologies that companies are adding to their latest smartphones. Here is look at the unique features that some of the biggest phone companies are adding to help convince you it is time for an upgrade.
Samsung: Foldable is Officially a Trend
After Royole FlexPai presented the first foldable phone at CES in January, both Huawei and Samsung showed off their own at MWC. The Galaxy Fold will feature a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, which can fold to a compact device with a cover display. The phone is built for multitaskers—three apps can be open at the same time on the main display. And apps will transition seamlessly between the cover display to the main display when you open up the phone. In addition to the Galaxy Fold, Samsung also introduced the Galaxy S10 5G—its first 5G phone.
Sony: Cinema-Style Smartphone
Sony touts the Xperia 1 as having “a multitude of professional-grade features for creative entertainment experiences.” For one, its 21:9 CinemaWide 6.5” 4K HDR OLED display delivers a cinema aspect ratio and accurate color reproduction. Another feature is the world’s first Eye AF (Auto Focus) in a smartphone’s camera that provides sharp focus exactly to the level of eyes. And the new cinema recording function Cinema Pro “Powered by CineAlta” helps you create the intended mood by choosing from one of eight different expressions based on various color pre-sets.
HTC: Blockchain Comes to Smartphones
When HTC introduced its blockchain smartphone the EXODUS 1 ($699) at the end of last year it was only available to be purchased with cryptocurrency, but at MWC the company announced you can now use cash, too. But the larger purpose of a blockchain phone is to provide more security and control over data. For instance, rather than using regular apps managed by large corporations that collect your data, you can download decentralized apps (known as “Dapps”) and decide if you want to sell your data to third-party companies.
Nokia: Cameras to the Fifth Degree
The Nokia 9 PureView ($699) features the world’s first five camera array with ZEISS Optics. The five cameras simultaneously capture the image and fuse it together into one 12MP photo in order to give it greater dynamic range and depth of field. Photo enthusiasts can also take uncompressed raw images in a “DNG” format and edit them right on the phone with Adobe Lightroom.
LG: Giving Your Palm the Power
Instead of putting power in the palm of your hand, LG is giving your palm new power. The LG G8 ThinQ will be the world’s first smartphone with advanced palm vein authentication. More secure than fingerprints, LG’s Hand ID identifies owners by recognizing individual characteristics of the veins in palms. Furthermore, your hand comes in handy again with new Air Motion controls that let you answer calls, take screenshots, switch apps, control the volume, and more, by simply waving the hand or pinching the air—all without touching the phone.