MWC 2019 – the key take outs

Last week - hot out of Mobile World Congress - our director of tech research, Imran Choudhary, posted the key take-outs of the latest and greatest devices and trends that we can look forward to in 2019.

You can read the full post on LinkedIn or just skim the highlights below:

Folding fever

  • The FlexPai from Royale launched at CES, taking most people by surprise - and giving us a good indication of things to come. At MWC, we had Samsung displaying their Galaxy Fold, and Huawei launching the Mate X
  • For those lucky few that managed to get some hands on time with the Huawei Mate X, feedback was positive, which bodes well for the future. 
  • The price tag associated with these devices is definitely going to price them out of the mass market for now… only the Leading Edge Consumers are likely to spend the money needed to get hold of these early devices. 
  • It will be interesting to see how quickly, if at all, app developers begin to develop apps to take advantage of this additional screen real estate. 

Hi-five for 5G?

  • OEMs like Samsung, ZTE, Oppo, LG and Xiaomi had 5G devices on display, but didn’t have anything to display on them that showcased the 5G benefits.
  • Networks and others did become more innovative in displaying broader 5G benefits. The Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo displayed a 5G hologram during a music performance, and ZTE had a musical display powered by 5G.
  • What really stood out with 5G was the large focus this year from networks, OEMs and third parties on how 5G is going to help the enterprise sector. It is going to have to work with AI, IoT and cloud based solutions to bring new cost savings and innovations to many verticals. 

Challenger brands, challenging the status quo

  • The challenger brands were showing a whole lot of smartphone for lot less than you would expect. 
  • Xiaomi were showing their Mi Mix 3, which comes to us with 5G in May, retailing at a sub €600 price-point. They also launched the Mi 9, boasting a 48MP rear camera (our research reveals that the rear camera is still one of the most important drivers to purchase for consumers) and much quicker wireless charging than most others. With the Mi 9 set to retail at €449, this delivers a very compelling proposition. 
  • Oppo displayed a prototype 5G device and talked around their lossless zoom technology, which works through a triple camera setup allowing you to zoom a lot further without losing clarity. 
  • Oppo and Xiaomi are a timely reminder that, whilst they are challenger brands in the mobile space in the UK, they are already established brands in Asia, and have some serious resource to leverage to drive rapid European growth. 

The best of the rest…

  • Nubia’s Alpha Smartwatch: The flexibility of the screen and the sheer size opens up new opportunities around how effective the Smartwatches can be when there’s more screen to operate with. Retailing at €449 with eSIM capability, you can make and take calls via this device directly. 
  • Nokia 9 PureView: A device with five 12MP Zeiss lenses on the rear that work in unison to capture 60MP per image. It also offers some pretty nifty post picture editing capabilities. The lenses shoot at different exposures, which allows for greater detail capture.