Nokia Bosses MWC as Gimmicks Dominate 2018 Smartphone Lineup

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Barcelona, Spain, February 25/26 — If anyone was optimistic about the smartphone market rising, the latest phones from MWC put that idea to rest. As sales fall, vendors scrape the bottom of the design barrel with gimmicks to attract upgraders.

Samsung and the camera that “changes everything”

Samsung’s Unpacked event managed to spring no surprises. It crams a dual-lens into the Galaxy S9 models, offering a super slo-mo option. If the user is in the right place at the right time. There’s also the opportunity for the user to be turned into a 3D augmented reality emoji to share with friends on social media. There’s also a set of exclusive Disney characters to play with because as there are highly popular with some of the buyer groups.

That first feature is so niche. How many people use the generic slo-mo or time-lapse features on their existing phones? And the second might not be that popular with a global audience. Here, buy a $720 plus phone and get your own animated character. The S9+ model starts at $840. On the positive side, Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor back to the center, fixing a major bugbear from last year’s model.

Sony rumbles into MWC

Sony has had a good couple of years, paring back previous losses from all divisions and turning a profit on mobile and the PlayStation 4 juggernaut. That means it can afford to take a different tack for brand loyalists and has come up with a rumble feature to the Xperia XZ2. That’s presumably borrowed from the PS4 DualShock controller to make moves and phone games more interactive.

Ssony Xperia XZ2 3D Selfie_girl crop

Slightly more impressive is an updated design with an 18:9 near-bezel-less screen and better speakers. The ability to record in 4K at HDR is a cool-sounding if storage sapping feature for any device. It also does slo-mo, now up to 960 fps. And to show, Samsung isn’t the only one running out of inspiration, it too has a 3D selfie mode.

Nokia plays it cool

How strange is it that Nokia is suddenly the cool phone company again. It’s reimagining of The Matrix phone from the 1999 Keanu Reeves movie. The new 8110 is available in black or the brightest yellow to really make a statement. Brand owner HMD is coming up with different looking devices to act as a second phone and surging ahead in sales.

With interesting dying fast in endless processor performance bumps, storage, and pixel count, having a device that looks different may be all it takes to win! Let us know what piques your interest as MWC rolls on this week.


YouTube: Nokia at Mobile World Congress 2018

Photo credit: HMD / Sony
Source: HMD press release / Sony press release / Samsung press release

I’ve been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.

Chris Knight

I've been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.