The 10 Best Products From MWC 2016
By Alex Colon, PC Magazine, 25 February 2016.
By Alex Colon, PC Magazine, 25 February 2016.
The Mobile World Congress 2016 is wrapping up, and it's been one of the more exciting shows in recent memory. We saw some genuine innovation in the smartphone world, and it looks like 2016 can officially be called The Year of VR. With so many cool products competing for attention, PC Mag's MWC crew settled in for some heated discussion to bring you our 10 favourite gadgets from the show.
We were particularly impressed by the selection of phones this year, and the fact that manufacturers really seem to be going for something different. From modular designs to built-in thermal imaging, there was no shortage of creativity and imagination on display. The same goes for VR. What seemed like just a cool idea last year is really coming into its own, with exciting products coming to consumer hands (and heads) in the near future.
As you can imagine, coming up with this list wasn't easy. But we tried our best to pick a range of devices that encompass the epic scope of the show. You'll find everything from smartphones and tablets to VR and wearables here, along with some additional picks that might surprise you. Because there were so many impressive products, we'll be rounding up our favourite phones and tablets, wearables, and smart home devices, too.
Ultimately, this list represents the 10 products and technologies from the show that we are most looking forward to testing in PC Labs as they are released throughout the year. There's no guarantee that they will actually be good (or even see the light of day), but that's part of what makes the decision process fun.
1. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Big surprise, right? That said, we're giving this year's Best of MWC award to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, rather than the standard Galaxy S7. That's because the edges are wider than last year's model, so they place an extra row of icons at your fingertips. And Samsung has opened the edge SDK to third-party developers, which greatly expands its possibilities. If you're not into the edgy look, we still recommend that standard model just as enthusiastically.
2. LG G5
Samsung made a lot of noise at MWC this year, but the LG G5 is arguably more innovative than the Galaxy S7. A cool modular design lets you pull the bottom of the phone off and replace it with a number of accessories, like a camera grip with a dual-detent shutter button and a 4,000mAh battery, and a 32-bit DAC from Bang & Olufsen with its own headphone jack for higher-quality audio. If you're looking to break the mobile status quo, the G5 is worth serious consideration.
3. Huawei MateBook
This was a surprise. The Huawei MateBook is a slim, all-metal tablet with a cavalcade of cool accessories. From an attractive faux-leather keyboard case, to a dock that adds connectivity options galore, to a stylus that's also a laser pointer and a slideshow controller, the MateBook is this season's accessory for giving business presentations in style.
4. LG Rolling Bot
LG's Rolling Bot is a very unique spin on the home security camera. It's a camera-equipped robot that rolls around your home to give you a picture of what's happening when you're not there. It can also keep your pets occupied with a built-in laser beam.
5. Sony Xperia Agent
The Xperia Agent is like a cross between the Amazon Echo and Wall-E. It's a hub with digital eyes that look around, and it responds to your voice and gestures by using a built-in speaker and projector. It's only a concept at the moment, but it's one device that we're really hoping makes it to market at some point in the future.
6. HTC Vive Consumer Edition
The HTC Vive is the best VR device of MWC, period. At US$799, it's also probably the most expensive. But given the omnipresence of VR at the show this year, the impending consumer availability of the Vive in April could really push the technology to the next level.
7. LG 360 VR
The LG 360 VR is one of many accessories introduced for the new LG G5. But few phone accessories are this cool. The 360 VR is a slim and lightweight headset that connects to the G5 via USB-C to deliver a quality VR experience right from your phone. It's no HTC Vive, but it's not trying to be.
8. Oral-B Genius
We've seen some cool toothbrushes, but we've never seen one like the Oral-B Genius. It uses your smartphone camera mounted on your bathroom mirror to track what teeth you are brushing and where you need to pay more attention. Who would've thought an app a day can keep the dentist away?
9. Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 310
Not everything on this list has to be super-flashy or high-end. The Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 310 isn't the most exciting tablet we saw at MWC, but at US$229, it might just be one of the most affordable. In addition to a detachable keyboard, the Miix has a 10.1-inch touch screen, an Intel Atom X5-8300 processor, up to 2GB of memory, and 128GB of eMMC flash storage.
10. Oppo Super VOOC
Okay, so this isn't really a product, but it still deserves a mention. Fast charging isn't a new technology - companies like Qualcomm have versions of it - but what makes Oppo's Super VOOC unique is that it is low-voltage. The technology uses a pulse-charge system that allows you to charge a 2,500mAh battery up to 45 percent in five minutes. And you can reach a full charge in just 15 minutes. Although it will only be available in Oppo devices, this type of technology can completely change the way we charge all of our devices in the future.
[Source: PC Magazine. Edited.]