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Four flagship smartphones from Mobile World Congress to look out for this year

March 3rd, 2017 | by Nigel Chen
Four flagship smartphones from Mobile World Congress to look out for this year
Cellphones
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The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the biggest mobile show of the year industry came to an end yesterday, and many of the big smartphone manufacturers unveiled their latest and greatest offerings.

Eager Samsung fans will be disappointed to know that the Korean company was absent at this year’s event. Instead, Samsung will be unveiling the Galaxy S8 at a standalone event later this month.

Still, there is still much to be excited about the phones that were announced at MWC. Here are some of the most exciting phones that will be arriving over the next few months.

LG G6

The LG G6 has curved display corners and minimal bezels. PHOTO: Handout

After a poor showing by the LG G5, the company has decided to return to basics with its new G6 phone. Gone are the removable battery and modularity that distinguished the G5 from its rivals. Instead, the G6’s body is now made out of aluminium and glass, and is also waterproof.

The most noticeable changes are at the front. LG has managed to significantly reduce the bezels on the top and bottom of the phone, giving the G6 a massive 5.7-inch display despite being smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus and the 5.5-inch Google Pixel XL. This allows the G6 to be better handled in one hand.

The quad HD (2,880 x 1,440) resolution display is also unique, sporting a 18:9 screen aspect ratio that allows for more viewing space when watching videos or playing games. The edges of the display are also curved, and LG says it helps to disperse the impact if the G6 is dropped and lands on the corners, thereby minimising the damage.

With a Snapdragon 821 processor, a 3,300mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, and 32/64GB of storage depending on the market region, the G6 is looking to be a very attractive smartphone for people looking to upgrade this year.

No pricing and release date have been provided thus far, so fans will have to hope that LG’s latest offering turns up in Singapore soon.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium features a 4K display and a Motion Eye camera system capable of taking 960 fps videos. PHOTO: Handout

Sony announced a total of four smartphones at this year’s MWC, and the Xperia XZ Premium, quite literally, shines the brightest among them all.

Despite sporting a very similar design to past Sony phones, the Xperia XZ Premium attracted plenty of attention with its exquisite glass loop surface which reveals a mirrored effect on the back when turned over.

Crowned the “Best New Smartphone at MWC 2017”, the Xperia XZ Premium is the first ever smartphone that is capable of capturing 960 frames per second super slow motion videos, thanks to its 19MP camera and a new Motion Eye camera system.

Sony also incorporated bleeding edge specifications into the Xperia XZ Premium. Running its engine is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, which Qualcomm claims to be 27 per cent faster while consuming 40 per cent less energy than the previous generation (the Snapdragon 821).

In addition, the Xperia XZ Premium features a 5.5-inch 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution display, a first in any smartphone. With waterproofing, a 3,230mAh battery, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it will attract uses who clamour for bleeding edge technology.

Sony says the Xperia XZ Premium will be available globally from late Spring 2017, although no pricing has been revealed yet.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus comes in an array of colours. PHOTO: Handout

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are the successors to Huawei’s P9. The P10 and P10 Plus are visually identical, sporting a very Apple-esque design. The main difference between the two are their screen size and battery.

The P10 comes with a 5.1-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution screen and a 3,200mAh battery, whereas the P10 Plus sports a 5.5-inch quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution display and a 3,750mAh battery. Both phones are powered by the Kirin 960 processor.

The Leica dual-camera setup makes its return on Huawei’s new phones in the form of a 20MP monochrome sensor and a 12MP RGB sensor. The P10 Plus camera setup however, is the Pro edition that has a larger f/1.8 aperture compared to the f/2.2 aperture on the P10, which allows it to capture more light.

The P9’s camera performed very well against other flagship phones in our camera shootout last year, and the P10 and P10 Plus’ cameras should be an improvement overall, with a 3D facial detection technology that promises more accurate facial recognition.

The most obvious difference between the P10 and last year’s P9 is the fingerprint sensor, which has replaced the navigation bar at the front. The fingerprint sensor also supports multiple smart touch navigation gestures.

The P10 and P10 Plus will be available this month. The 64GB/4GB P10 will cost €649 (S$968), whereas the 64GB/4GB P10 Plus will cost €699 (S$1,042), and the 128GB/6GB version will retail for €749 (S$1,117).

Lenovo Moto G5 and G5 Plus

The Moto G5 Plus is sporting a much more premium body than its predecessor. PHOTO: Handout

Motorola has updated its budget Moto G series with the G5 and G5 Plus with a more premium metal design. Just like the Huawei’s P10 and P10 Plus, the G5 and G5 Plus look almost identical. The G5 Plus, as its name suggests, has a bigger display and battery.

The 5.0-inch G5 has a full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution screen and a 2,800mAh battery. The G5 Plus’ display is 5.2-inch and has the same full HD resolution, and its battery is slightly bigger at 3,000mAh.

The G5 and G5 Plus are powered by a Snapdragon 430 and a Snapdragon 625 processor respectively. Both processors are pretty efficient and, compared with their battery capacities, should provide long lasting battery life on both phones.

Camera wise, the G5 has a 13MP camera, whereas the G5 Plus has a 12MP camera. Do not let the numbers fool you. The G5 Plus’ camera has a larger f/1.7 aperture with compared to the f/2.0 aperture on the G5, which should mean brighter photos on the G5 Plus.

For people who do not want to shell out large amounts of cash for the latest and greatest smartphones, the G5 and G5 Plus look to be sufficiently capable and very budget friendly.

Both phones will be available this month in various countries. The 16GB/2GB Moto G5 starts at €199 (S$296). The Moto G5 Plus costs US$229(S$324) for the 32GB/2GB model, and €279 (S$416) for the 32GB/3GB model.

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