For the last few days we’ve been sweating and swearing our way around Barcelona, getting our grubby mitts on some seriously smart new mobile tech at MWC 2018. Here’s a few of our favourite devices that we went hands-on with, complete with our first look videos.
And if you don’t want to watch our individual hands-on reviews, check out our super-quick compilation of the best MWC 2018 tech below.
Sony Xperia XZ2
The Xperia XZ2 is one of our favourite phones launched at MWC 2018. Sony’s revamped design language is a natural and aesthetically pleasing evolution of that classic rectangular candybar chassis – now with a sleek glass finish. Those massive bezels have slimmed right down, with rounded corners for a more comfortable grip.
Most notably however, this will be the first UK smartphone to rock a Snapdragon 845 chipset. That not only offers blistering general performance, but also a serious step up in energy efficiency compared with older models – here’s hoping we get some impressive battery life from the XZ2. And in addition, it supports peak download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps.
Movie fans and gamers are well catered for with the likes of the new rumble feature and a spot of Remote Play, while wireless charging support is another first for a Sony blower.
And then there’s that camera tech, which can now shoot up to 4K HDR video – not to mention super slow motion footage at Full HD resolution. Snazzy.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
We’re massive fans of Sony’s Compact devices, so we were super chuffed to see a new one launched out at MWC. This 5-inch handset may boast a bigger display than usual, at 5-inches instead of 4.6, yet the colourful little chassis is only a smidgen larger. Compared with all of the 6-inch smartphones we’ve handled out here, it really does feel great in the hand – especially thanks to that new curvy rear.
Once again, you get a Snapdragon 845 chipset powering the show. And the majority of Sony’s new premium features have travelled across to the XZ2 Compact, including that excellent camera tech.
Samsung Galaxy S9
That old mantra, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ certainly rings true with Samsung’s new flagship blower. The Galaxy S9 looks and feels just like last year’s S8, except with all of the specs updates you’d expect. However, this sexy looking smartphone is all about the camera tech – namely the smart dual aperture lens which can switch on the fly to capture better low light shots.
And of course, you can now capture yourself in emoji form. Huzzah.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Samsung also launched a new Plus-sized model here at MWC, as we all expected. This is the first S-series handset to boast a dual lens snapper, again packing that smart aperture tech to suit all conditions. And with a telephoto lens on board, you can get up close and personal with your subject when needed.
Like the S8 Plus before it, this beastly blower somehow crams a gorgeous 6.2-inch display into a body that’s still quite comfortable to clutch. And besides that, it’s basically the same handset as its 5.8-inch sibling.
Asus Zenfone 5
One of the biggest surprises of the show was a new smartphone from our chums at Asus, and not too long after rather good Zenfone 4 hit the UK.
Lazy journalists will spot the Zenfone 5’s screen notch and make Instant comparisons with the iPhone 10. However, this handset has bags of personality to help set it apart from rivals, and it’s gonna be a lot more affordable than Apple’s device when it hits the UK later this year.
That beautiful 6.2-inch screen is backed by some strong software; Zen UI really has evolved a lot in recent times, clearing the crud while adding an impressive amount of customisation to Android. Plus that dual lens camera tech is shaping up nicely, offering a wide-angle view on demand. Not to mention smart scene detection, for slick-looking results.
Nokia 7 Plus
Another surprise highlight of MWC 2018 came from our great mates Nokia, but no – we’re not talking about the bright yellow 8110. Nokia’s 7 Plus is a great value Android handset, boasting some snazzy design work and solid specs for just €399. Despite that affordable asking price, you get a handset that looks not too dissimilar to Google’s Pixel 2 XL – complete with a lovely bit of copper edging. The 6-inch Full HD+ screen is punchy and crisp, while you get a vanilla version of Android Oreo – no clunky overlays here.
And if you want a more premium device, the new Nokia 8 Sirocco also looks the biz – although those edges are probably sharp enough to chop up vegetables, or take out anyone on the tube who’s invading your personal space.
LG V30S ThinQ-oooh
LG had a really quiet MWC this year, instead concentrating on the budget end of the smartphone market with the V8 and V10 2018 editions. However, the Korean company did also update its gorgeous V30 phone, launched at IFA last year. The new V30S model comes with its smarter ‘ThinQ’ software stashed on board, which most notably changes up the camera experience. Beyond that it’s premium specs as usual, plus an absolutely stunning display that once again fills the front panel.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Although it’s not a smartphone, the MateBook X Pro is still one of our favourite devices launched out at MWC 2018. This Macbook-style Windows laptop boasts premium specs and a super-slender design, just like Apple’s legendary devices. It’s impressively slim and that 13-inch display fills the lid, with almost no bezels to speak of. If you’re after a portable Windows machine for media editing or gaming, this looks like a solid choice.
Check out our full unboxing and hands-on tour with the MateBook X Pro below.