MWC 2016: Best New Phones with New Technology
The Mobile World Congress 2016 is at an end now and the 4-day event has seen some incredible new technology with groundbreaking advancements. On the smartphone front, some spectacular flagship devices and other phones were on display with next-gen specifications and technology. Here’s looking at the best new phones with new technology that were unveiled at the MWC this year.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
It was at MWC’s Unpacked event on the 21st of February that saw some of the biggest technological unveilings. The unpacked event saw Samsung unveil its flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The next Galaxy devices come promising spectacular design language and next-gen performance and specifications.
The 5.1-inch S7 Super AMOLED display with quad HD resolution. Two SoC configurations are offered – one being the new Exynos 8890 and the other being Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820. The device comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage as well as a MicroSD card slot this time around and the battery is 3000mAh. A fingerprint sensor is housed in the home button.
The S7 Edge comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with quad HD resolution. A Snapdragon 820 processor powers the device along with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and 3600mAh battery pack.
New Technology – The Galaxy S7 brought with it a brand new Dual Pixel technology for its rear camera. The Dual Pixel, essentially, is an improvement or a natural evolution from the Phase-Detection Auto-Focus technology used by many other smartphones. Firstly, Samsung downgraded from 16MP found in the S6 to 12MP in the S7. The decision to do this was to focus more on quality rather than quantity. The 12MP sensor brings 56% bigger individual pixels with1.4um pixels as compared to the S6.
To understand Dual Pixels one needs to first wrap their heads around PDAF. PDAF traditionally uses less than 10% the total number of pixels equipped with focusing photodiodes and uses it strategically in the sensor area to focus on a subject. This requires more time for focusing. Dual Pixel, on the other hand, uses a 100% of the pixels for extremely precise and fast focusing. Using the whole of the pixels also allows more light in.
Undoubtedly, the award for the most innovative new smartphone has to go to LG for its modular G5 handset. LG went ahead of Samsung at the Unpacked event and quite surely ‘dropped the mike’ on stage with its spectacular G5 flagship. The G5 has a full metal body and comes with impressive specifications but the what sets the phone apart from its competition is the fact that it comes with modular attachments which for now can be utilised to enhance the camera and battery of the phone.
On the specifications front, the LG G5 comes packing a primary 5.3-inch QHD LCD display with 3D Arc Glass on top. It also has a cool Always-on feature that lights up the display for access to important updates. The phone’s construction is full metal unibody and is powered by a Snapdragon 820 chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable by upto 2TB with microSD cards.
New Technology – Next-gen specifications aside, the G5 is and will be about its modular design. The modular nature of the phone exists for what LG calls ‘G5 and Friends’, that are modular attachments to enhance the camera and battery of the phone.
Most interesting of the lot was the LG Cam Plus module which can be attached to the G5 through the battery slot giving the user “comfortable grip and convenient control of a DSLR” for better imaging and also adds to the battery of the phone taking the capacity up to 4000mAh.
Next is the Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play module. This is a Hi-Fi DAC audio player which is perfect for audiophiles. It can also play high-definition audio files encoded in 32-bit at 384KHz.
Xiaomi Mi 5
Xiaomi yesterday unveiled its own flagship Mi 5 following Samsung and LG and still managed to impress all. The Mi 5 comes packed with top-of-the-line specifications and a pretty attractive design language with a 3D glass or ceramic back option, all at an impressively low price of RMB 1,999 (approx. Rs 21,000) for the base model.
The device sports a 5.15-inch Full HD IPS display, a 1080p resolution, ultra-bright 16-LED backlighting with 2.5D curved glass on the front and Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It is powered by the Snapdragon 820 chipset and Adreno 530 GPU. No surprises there. It packs 3GB of RAM and up to 32GB of flash storage, while the Pro variant features a 4GB RAM and 128GB flash, however, there is no MicroSD card slot to be seen. Both variants feature a fast LPDDR4 RAM for a snappy user experience.
New Technology – The Mi 5 comes with a 16MP Sony IMX298 sensor with PDAF, DTI image enhancement and a new 4-axis OIS technology. It is in the 4-axis OIS that Xiaomi really delights itself. The rear camera promises to capture great images and videos with superior focus. This holds true thanks to its new OIS technology that uses 4-axis rather than the traditional 2-axis that most other smartphones currently use.
The 4-axis OIS basically gives you more stability under shaky conditions. While traditional 2-axis OIS can work around rotational movements, the 4-axis can handle transversal as well, because shakiness comes in all directions.
The 4-axis OIS technology corrects shake in close shots and can capture accurate movement in distant shots as well. All of this translates into smoother, sharper and blur-free images and videos even in low light. Check out some of these camera shots to know just how well the Mi 5 camera works under various settings.
As big name brands set themselves to launch their latest and greatest phones at the Mobile World Congress 2016, a brand which makes relatively niche products, Cat, stole the limelight with an offering that might not give any of the flagships a run for their money in terms of specs, but lacks behind none in terms of innovation.
The Cat S60 is a 4.7-inch 720p display device powered by Snapdragon 617 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage. The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and offers 4G LTE connectivity. It also comes with a 13MP main camera, 5MP front camera. A massive 3,800mAh battery powers the device.
New Technology – The Cat S60 comes with two very unique features – a FLIR thermal imaging camera and the first waterproof rating to a depth of 5 meters for up to an hour on this rugged phone.
The handset features a military-grade thermal imaging C2 camera module from FLIR. This is the same technology used in the Intel-powered Daqri smart helmet, enabling the Cat S60 to show temperature changes.
The sensor is the smallest of its kind, and can measure surface temperatures from a distance of up to 100ft. It can see through obscurants such as smoke, and is aimed at building professionals, utility workers, and outdoor sport enthusiasts.