Technology special: Jaw-droppers at the Mobile World Congress
The Mobile World Congress, an annual event that takes place in Spain and is a hotbed of mobile devices and technologies, turned into a roaring giant showcasing futuristic innovation. This week, I’m going to take you on a journey of pure jaw-dropper devices. Next column, well, more of the same.
Camera phones can do many, many things. They still can’t zoom into a far away object without screwing it up. Even phones with multiple lenses can at best snap into 2X mode, but that doesn’t do much. Oppo makes that happen with the world’s first lossless 10X optical zoom technology with its triple lens camera on a phone. And it works like magic. While what was shown was a prototype, an Oppo phone with this tech should be available soon. My prediction: you can zoom into things far and away in another four months.
Samsung did it and Huawei did it right after, but very differently. The Huawei Mate X is a 6.6-inch phone when closed and unfolds to an 8-inch tablet size when needed. The difference from the Samsung Fold is that the Mate X actually uses the same outer screen to unfold to a bigger one using a flexible OLED panel and something they call a ‘falcon wing’ mechanical hinge. The one thing it does share with the Samsung Fold is that you need to unfold a lot of money to buy it, nearly Rs.1.75 lakhs is what I think.
There were lots of smartwatches at the MWC, but none could do what the Nubia Alpha Watch could. It’s a foldable watch with a flexible OLED display. Nubia has its own OS and has most Android phone features. A phone on your wrist, it also includes a heart rate sensor!
Nokia finally did what it’s been threatening to do ever since it was reborn. Showcase a phone that was so far ahead of the competition that it had most people gasping. Some even referred to it as ‘penta-ing’ the competition, with five-rear cameras on the Nokia 9 PureView phone. The five lenses are non-obtrusive with no camera bump and each has the same aperture and field of view. A 5.9-inch 2K screen, in-display fingerprint scanner, thin bezels, no notch and a Snapdragon 845 round off Nokia’s big one. I expect it to come to India under Rs. 50K.
For LG, unfolding isn’t the only way to make your screen bigger, snapping can do it too. The LG V50 ThinQ already has a large 6.4-inch screen, but you can attach one more screen to it that connects with pogo pins and is powered by the main phone’s battery. This runs on a Qualcomm 855 chipset, is 5G ready, has dual front cameras and a triple rear camera. It’s not a seamless experience like a foldable screen, but costs less.
Sony didn’t have a foldable phone, so it went the other way with a startling new aspect ratio for a phone. A 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED CinemaWide display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. And that is a shocker. Due to this ratio, it can work in a new multi-window UI, plus play games and movies with no black bars on top and bottom. I expect the price to be around Rs. 50K.
How many ways can you unlock your phone? Face, finger, pattern, password, passcode and veins. The LG G8 ThinQ is embedded with ‘Hand ID’. To unlock the phone, stick your hand out and it will recognise the veins of your hand. You can also use hand gestures for other controls such as answering or rejecting calls or opening an app or controlling media content. The G8 has a 6.1 OLED screen and the all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset.
More MWC awesomeness in my next column.
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
Techilicious appears every fortnight
From HT Brunch, March 17, 2019
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