Last week the red carpet was rolled out; the stage was set.

 

Lights, camera, action. No, we’re not talking about the 91st Academy Awards. We’re talking about something more important and way cooler, an event for all the tech heads, the 2019 Mobile World Congress.

Held in Barcelona, the annual event is without a doubt the biggest smartphone focused conference globally and already tongues were wagging after the first day which saw Microsoft announce a new HoloLens mixed-reality headset. “HoloLens 2 adapts to you,” HoloLens chief Alex Kipman said. “It evolves the interaction model by significantly advancing how people engage with holograms.”

Samsung of course had released their Galaxy Fold just before the conference but they were more than keen to show it off.

 

Not to be outshone, Huawei unveiled its own foldable smartphone, the Mate X which has a 6.6-inch display when folded, and an 8-inch OLED display real estate when unfolded—in comparison to the Galaxy Fold’s display measures (4.6-inch and 7.3-inch). The Mate X is 5G enabled, with a 4,500mAh battery and triple rear cameras – check mate Samsung?

There is no doubt that foldable phones were all the rage at this year’s conference , even TLC got in on the action, exhibiting several different options.

The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Intelligent Connectivity’ – the term used to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

Taking the theme on board was LG who figured that using face, fingerprint and eyes to unlock your phone were just so yesterday. So they announced that their G* ThinQ will use Hand ID instead. Basically, it works by sending a pulsing infrared signal when you palm touches the phone. This helps it to map your veins based on how the haemoglobin in your blood absorbs the infrared signal which then allows you to unlock the phone. Why the palm? According to LG claims there’s a one in a billion chance of someone having the same vein formation as you.

If that sounds quite over the top, then just wait until you hear what Nokia unveiled. Forget stuffing three cameras inside a smartphone, Nokia has five! It’s new 9 PureView device has two colour cameras and a trio of black-and-white sensors, all of which fire for every shot.

Whilst the conference certainly was one for the ages, it’s clear there is still some time to wait before the realities of the exhibited 5G and foldable phones will be realised. Until then, why not listen to this roundup podcast by VergeCast to hear some more about the wonderful and the wacky from this year’s MWC.

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