From Old to New: The Mobile World Conference 2017

Mobile World Conference 2017

Full circle for the Nokia 3310 and Motorola?

The greatest attraction on the old front was the reinvention of the iconic Nokia 3310. It certainly doesn’t have the same features as newer models, but it is being made available in many countries, but not Australia. Its 2017 features don’t have a touch screen or a facility for downloading apps, but it does have one really sought after feature, missing from newer phones, which is a month of battery life.

Despite its weaknesses, there was far more interest in the 3310 than the newer Nokia 3, 5 or 6.

Lenovo has unveiled its Moto G5 and G5 plus, with their historic connection with the likely chance of reviving Motorola as a brand name which is a part of Lenovo. It also has 5 upcoming Moto Mods, which includes one that can turn a Moto Z into a new game controller.

Samsung didn’t have much to offer on the phone side

The Galaxy S8 was pretty much a no show at the MWC, but it still has a launch date later in March. However, Samsung did showcase an Android tablet and a 2 in 1 Windows hybrid. ,

5G is out and about but there’s no clear perspective on it just yet

5G is all about the craving for ever more speed using wireless technology. It’s not just the live-streaming on smart phones at breakneck speed that 5G is all meant to provide but it will open the doors for more virtual reality and the further development of such inventions as driverless cars. So far, the industry as a whole hasn’t been able to properly confirm when 5G will appear and how it’s going to connect.

Despite the uncertainty of 5G, Verizon and AT&T have got something up their sleeves, as they soon intend to trial it and anticipate that in certain chosen markets it will be a faster replacement for home broadband. Other companies have stated that they expect to see the first roll-outs taking place in 2019. An executive at the MWC representing Verizon indicated that at next year’s MWC he will be present holding a 5G phone.

‘Bezel-less’ slim line phones

Slim is definitely the favourite, but not just in terms of the phone’s thickness. Bezels are equally important too, with the LG G6 showcasing a slender border which helps to emphasise the phone’s face around the screen. The Huawei P10 Plus and P10 and the Sony Xperia XA1 and Ultra are showing off their slim frame configuration as well. Higher end phones are set to take up these features as they are invented.

Startups are showcasing gadgets

You increasingly have to pay attention to the start-up scene brewing at this trade show. There was a good demo put on by SkyGuru, which with the use of both weather and data, plus sensors in your phone to prevent you from being frightened while flying. It does this by guiding you as you fly by offering you explanations for unusual sounds and movements.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, showed how connecting to the web could make life far simpler for a beekeeper and more harmonious for the bees. A little known company called CarbonWorks came out with a super thin ultra-lite phone made out of composites.

Samsung hit by protests

Protesters interrupted a press conference with Samsung, demanding to know what plans the mega-company has for the for millions of Note 7 batteries that faced a recall.

Virtual reality (VR) wasn’t quite so obvious with its presence, especially in relation to hardware, even though at the Game Developers Conference which took place in San Francisco VR gear was clearly present especially from Microsoft, Qualcomm and LG.


Retro phones, slimmer bezels, 5G coming of age and technology giant Samsung’s keeping its head down pretty much sums up the 2017 Mobile World Congress. 5G seems to be the one to watch in the coming year as that will start to prepare the world for more remote devices that need big data to drive them in the ever increasing wireless world.


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.