Mobile World Congress 2018 Wrap-Up

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The GSMA has announced that the Mobile World Congress 2018 was a huge success. Hosted in Barcelona, Spain, the event attracted 107,000 visitors from 205 countries. Over 2,400 companies were represented.

The major topics at this year’s Mobile World Congress were 5G, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT). Let’s take a look at some of the notebook and other mobile-related technologies, concepts, and products announced at the event.

Huawei Announces MateBook X Pro Ultra-Slim Notebook

Huawei MateBook X Notebook

Huawei has announced its latest notebook, the MateBook X Pro. It features a 13.9-inch display with a 3K (3,000×2,000 pixels) screen resolution and a nearly borderless design. The screen has an amazing 450 nits maximum brightness and 100 percent sRGB color coverage.

The MateBook X Pro weighs just 2.93 pounds and is only 0.57 inches thick.

Huawei MateBook X Notebook

Under the hood, this notebook uses an Intel 8th generation Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U quad-core processor, Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB graphics, and a 57.4Wh long-lasting battery pack. Huawei says the notebook has up to 12 hours of battery life.

Sound-wise, the MateBook X Pro has a Dolby Atmos sound system and quad microphones. The latter are supposed to pick up sounds from up to four meters away.

The MateBook X will be available in the United States in Q2 2018. The base model will start at about $1,800, making it one very high-end product indeed.

Huawei Product Page

Samsung Announces Galaxy S9 and S9+ Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Smartphones

Samsung has announced its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and S9+. A key feature of the new phone is its dual-aperture lens that allows for better low-light performance and super slow-mo video. Other features of the phone include AKG-tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos and a refined edge-to-edge display.

Another feature of the camera is Bixby, Samsung’s intelligence platform. It offers real-time object detection and recognition, putting information right on top of what the camera is pointing at. Foreign languages and currencies can be translated in real time, as well.

Preorders for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ begin March 2, 2018. The phones will be available in stores starting March 16, 2018 from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Xfinity mobile. The unlocked Galaxy S9 will be $719.99, and the unlocked S9+ is $839.99. Samsung is offering a trade-in credit up to $350 with a qualifying trade-in.

Asus Announces ZenFone 5 Series Smartphone

Asus ZenFone 5 Series

Asus announced three models of its all-new ZenFone 5 series smartphone. Its key design feature is a 6-inch or 6.2-inch display with a very small bezel. Asus says the phone is comparable in size to traditional smartphones with just a 5.5-inch screen.

The base model is the ZenFone 5 and the 5Z. The ZenFone 5Z is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine. Asus says it’s the first smartphone to be based on that platform. For wireless connectivity, the phone uses the Snapdragon X20 Gigabit LTE modem, and has 2×2 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 5. Internally, the phone packs 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage.

The standard ZenFone 5 is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 mobile platform. Like the ZenFone 5Z, the ZenFone 5 is a dual camera smartphone. The cameras have advanced features, such as wide-angle lenses, four-axis optical image stabilization, and AI scene detection.

The ZenFone 5Q ups the ante with four cameras. It has a rear-facing 20 megapixel camera and a front-mounted 16 megapixel camera. It also has secondary cameras at the front and rear with 120 degree wide viewing angles. The ZenFone 5Q is based on the Snapdragon 630 mobile platform. Its other features include a 3300mAh battery, triple-slot SIM/microSD card holder, rapid face unlock, and fingerprint recognition.

The ZenFone 5Z will be $499 when it launches in North America. When exactly that will be, Asus didn’t say, but we think it will be in Q2.

ZTE Announces $79.99 Tempo Go Smartphone

ZTE Tempo Go Smartphone

ZTE announced what it says is the first Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphone to be based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform. It’s sold unlocked for GSM/UMTS/LTE networks for $79.99. You can buy it from the company’s website here. (Currently it says it’s sold out.) 

The Tempo Go features a 5-inch screen, 8GB of storage, a 5MP rear and 2MP front camera, plus a 2,200mAh battery. ZTE says the battery should last all day. For $80, we’re not going to complain about much.

Western Digital Announces World’s Fastest microSD Card

Western Digital just announced what it’s calling the fastest microSD card. The 400GB SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC card has data transfer rates up to 160 megabytes per second. That’s up to 50 percent faster than existing SanDisk Extreme UHS-I cards. This type of performance is ideal for RAW continuous burst mode, 8K video capture, and super slow motion. The write speeds are up to 90 megabytes per second.

SanDisk Extreme 400GB microSDXC memory card

The SanDisk Extreme microSDHC and microSDXC cards are shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and X-ray proof. Western Digital hasn’t yet announced availability, but don’t expect a top-end card like this to come cheap. The current 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC was going for $249.99 on Newegg as we typed this.

SanDisk Product Page

Western Digital Announces New NVMe SSDs

In addition to the microSDXC card mentioned above, Western Digital also announced new NVMe SSDs. Both are designed for a range of solutions, including mobile/notebook.Western Digital SN520 and SN720 SSDs

The SN270 is an M.2 2280 (80mm) format SSD. It will be available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. The company says sequential read and write speeds will be up to 3,400 and 2,800 megabytes per second, respectively. The drives will carry a 5-year limited warranty.

Western Digital Product Page.

The SN520 is the more mainstream SSD. It will be available in a wider variety of formats, including M.2 2280, M.2 2242, and M.2 2230. The available capacities will be 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The read and write performance is up to 1,700 and 1,400 megabytes per second, respectively.

Western Digital Product Page.

Both the SN720 and the SN520 are sampling now and expected to be available in mid-2018.

Two-Thirds of Mobile Connections to be 4G/5G by 2025

Mobile Economy 2018

The GSMA’s latest Mobile Economy report forecasts that 4G wireless networks will be 53 percent of global mobile connections by 2025. 5G networks will account for another 14 percent. The first commercial 5G networks are expected to launch later in 2018.

In addition, the report stated that the number of cellular and non-cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connections will increase threefold between 2017 and 2025. The total number in 2025 is predicted to be 25 billion.

Take a look at the full report here.



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