We can’t believe we have crossed the half way mark of this year’s Mobile World Congress already. With the former half of the event dominated by some long-awaited phone releases by the big players, we thought it was worth giving a mid-week round up of one of the world’s biggest mobile events.
Nokia goes back to the future, part 2
When the first is that popular, you can be sure to expect a sequel.
The release of the Nokia 3310 at last year’s Mobile World Congress made such a big splash, it increased the brand value by 62% according to research from Brand Finance. So, we are not totally surprised to see the re-emergence of another retro mobile classic this year from HMD Global: the banana phone. A reboot of the classic ‘Matrix phone’, the €79 phone will be available in a range of colours, including a bright banana yellow, with some additional features such as access to FM radio, a 2-megapixel camera and most importantly, Snake. We wonder what classic Nokia phone will get a makeover next year…
A camera out of this world: Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+
At first glance, the new Samsung phone looks similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy S8, but there’s a reason why it was arguably the most anticipated mobile hardware release of Mobile World Congress 2018: its camera. A focal point of Samsung’s marketing efforts leading up to the event, the S9 and S9+ is the first smartphone with a camera that can boast dual-aperture capabilities. This means the camera is able to shift between f/2.4 and f/1.5 depending on the available light, to capture quality images both during day and night.
A software release that has had mixed reviews is the AR Emoji feature. Whilst it is reminiscent of Apple’s recent Animoji feature release, Samsung have taken it one step further. Using machine learning you can create a 3D model of your face, and similar to bitmoji, bring your avatar to life and customise details like hairstyles and outfits. Some love it, some find it ‘horrifying’.
Bye-bye bezels: Vivo Apex Concept
The next is interestingly not a release, but a smartphone teaser from Vivo. The concept phone offers some futuristic features like a bezel-less body (a 98% screen to body ratio) and an in-glass finger print reader. With no space taken by a front facing camera, Vivo hides a pop-out selfie camera, a questionable feature that could make the selfie process a little arduous. Aside from this, the concept phone is pretty impressive, and it may not be long before we see its official release. AndroidHeadlines state that new reports allude to the company sending invitations to a launch event on March 5th in Hangzhou, China, where the phone is expected to be released.
Google Assistant goes multi-lingual
Google Assistant can now understand a total of 16 tongues, with 7 languages added to Action on Google, with an expected 30 languages by year end. This has expanded the demographic of users who can interact with apps through Google Assistant, and also means multi-lingual users can speak to Assistant in more than one language, giving Google Assistant an edge in the world of voice assistants.
MarTech at Mobile World Congress 2018
The advance of MarTech is relentless, with over 200 mobile advertising platforms, networks and agencies attending Mobile World Congress this year, many of whom have grown impressively over the past year. We noticed last year that many of the traditional networks were no longer there, and it was even more apparent this year. Instead we noticed the representation (and the clear demand for) analytics, attribution, A/B testing, and mobile engagement tools, as imperative solutions to mobile and app growth, such as Apptimize, Leanplum, mParticle, Global App Testing, Braze and many, many more. It sure is fun seeing some of the creative and fun stalls in App Planet Hall 8.1!
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