These aren’t the official awards (those are slightly fuddy-duddy). This is my take on how the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona truly fared. With about 1,50,000 people attending, more than 3,000 companies taking part and literally millions of products being showcased, it’s important to recognise the best and weed out the worst. Without further ado, the awards for MWC 2017.
Best press conference of MWC
Easily, the Nokia relaunch event. With a melodramatic venue, the brand name in large white cutouts (the wind even blew the K and A away twice), a live choir that performed a rendition of the classic Nokia ring tone, extreme expectations and the right mix of nostalgia and products on stage – this one easily stood out.
The standout phone
In a world of dull and similar, the Alcatel A5 LED is a total stand -out. Nice-looking and well-priced, the back of the phone is all LED and you can customise the pulsating lights with whatever you want. Appearing soon at a nightclub, rock concert and a bhangra wedding party near you.
Leaves you breathless
Goes to Sony for the XZ Premium. This is a phone so far ahead of everything else that it leaves you breathless for a while. Excellent ergonomics, first 4K HDR screen on a phone and then the absolute shocker. It can record 960 frames per second for slow motion. Even professional rigs can’t do that.
Best laptop of MWC
There weren’t too many, but the ones that stood out were from Samsung, one from Porsche design (stunning but too expensive), Lenovo and Alcatel. Serious horsepower, can multitask anything, beautifully built and a better Surface book than Microsoft itself, the winner is the Samsung Galaxy Book.
Best new optics on a phone
No contest here. The best optics on a new phone were on the Huawei P10. Leica optics front and back (twice on the back) and a really nice looking phone to boot. This surge forward on optics is the best thing to happen to a camera phone.
Combo of all things we want
Gionee went out and spoke to thousands of customers as to what they really want. Turns out that they want a phone that looks good, slim, over the top battery life and a camera that can do it all. So no compromises here. It takes pictures and lasts all day too.
We broke the Internet
The reboot of a 15-year-old phone won this hands down. The New Nokia 3310 is a sleeker version of its granddad. It also broke the Internet by creating euphoria around it. It offers the Snake game, Nokia’s classic ringtone and a 30-day battery life!
Best tease of tech
Oppo wins this one by a distance. It gives you 5X optical zoom with stabilisation without any telephoto lens protruding out of the phone. Only the tech is out for now.
The stunner of MWC
Fantastic design, great lines and best use of different materials. The BlackBerry Keyone is easily the best looking phone in a long time. It has some serious tech too including a fingerprint scanner in the space bar of the keyboard.
The best phones
Multiple winners here. The LG G6 for reinventing borderless phones and introducing a new screen ratio (18:9) in a gorgeous-looking phone. The Nokia 3 for having the perfect mix of looks and features for a ground breaking economy phone and the Huawei P10 for taking optics to a whole new level.
Best con job of MWC
No Uber, No Lyft and thus a world that can charge a bomb. Taxis in Barcelona at the time of the MWC are impossible to get. Someone at MWC needs to work on this.
Most insensitive decision
Early press conferences. Some of them at 8am. Hardworking journalists that party till 4am can’t be expected to wake up at 6am to make it to your bright and early press conferences!
Villains of MWC
Let’s understand this. All the European airlines know that the MWC is on, right? That it happens every year, right? And more than a 100,000 people will fly in, right? No extra flights, terribly short connecting flight timings and absolutely horrible baggage and people handling. They need to get their act and flights together.
That’s it folks. The Rajiv Makhni Awards for MWC 2017. See you next year!
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, March 12
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