Another Mobile World Congress in Barcelona came and went and we’ve gathered the more memorable developments from this year’s edition. The two biggest announcements from the event came from Samsung and Qualcomm.
The South Koreans detailed their One UI Watch interface which is now based on Google’s Wear OS and will debut on the Galaxy Watch4 series sometime next month. It brings a seamless experience for Galaxy phone users with simultaneous app downloads sync with your phone, a larger app portfolio and improved watch face designs.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Plus is the latest flagship SoC set to power all upcoming top-tier offerings in the Android realm from the likes of Asus, Motorola, Xiaomi, Honor and vivo. It’s an incremental upgrade over the SD 888 with a Kryo 680 core overclocked to 3Ghz (2.995 GHz to be precise) and an improved AI Engine said to offer 20% gains.
Lenovo brought its Yoga Tab 13, Yoga Tab 11 and Tab P11 Plus to the global stage. The 13-inch Pro model brings a Snapdragon 870 chipset paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, a kickstand, microHDMI port and a 10,200 mAh battery for €800/$680. The 11-inch Yoga brings a toned down Helio G90T chipset, JBL speakers and a 7,700 mAh battery.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 (left) and Yoga Tab 13 (right) • Yoga Tab 11 hanging out
Elsewhere, TCL announced two affordable Alcatel-branded smartphones with the 1L Pro and Alcatel 1 (2021) alongside a kids smartwatch dubbed MOVETIME Family Watch 2.
Alcatel 1L Pro and Alcatel 1 (2021)
We also got the chance to see the company’s Nxtwear G wearable display. The premise is that you need a device to plug in via USB-C and you can enjoy your content on a 140-inch 16:9 display projected straight to your eyes. The device is said to launch in Australia next month.
TCL also teased (but did not announce) an affordable 5G phone part of its 20-series and also hinted an affordable 5G tablet coming soon.
Glimpses of the upcoming affordable 5G phone from TCL
Last but not least, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra was crowned Best Smartphone with the Global Mobile Awards (GLOMO). The shortlist for the best phone of the year included the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, OnePlus 9 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra.