The top 5 announcements at Mobile World Congress Shanghai

The top 5 announcements at Mobile World Congress Shanghai [Image: Easyturn via iStock]

This year’s second Mobile World Congress (MWC) is currently underway in Shanghai, continuing until July 1st. It follows the first conference, held in Barcelona in March.

It has seen a number of mobile innovations, which have just launched or will be integrated into devices in the near future. But what have been some of the most notable announcements made at the show?

Samsung Galaxy S8 named best smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy S8 – and its bigger sibling the S8+ – has been one of the most innovative devices to come to market since the smartphone was first created. With its minimal bezels, ‘infinity display’ and fast processing power, it’s consistently been voted the top smartphone of 2017 so far by tech reviewers and critics.

At MWC Shanghai, the company was rewarded for its innovation, with its latest flagship being named the ‘Best Smartphone’. It is real validation for Samsung, which was facing a crisis after its Note 7 flagship was discovered to have exploding batteries. Whether new releases in the second half of the year will dethrone the Galaxy S8 remains to be seen, but for now, MWC Shanghai considers it the best phone money can buy.

Vivo demonstrates in-display fingerprint sensor

Chinese tech firm Vivo used MWC Shanghai to demonstrate a working prototype with a fingerprint sensor under the display. It follows Qualcomm announcing the next generation of ultrasonic fingerprint scanners.

According to Engadget, the new technology seems promising. It works by registering the user’s fingerprint when placed on a marked area of the screen, in much the same way existing scanners do. The prototype currently offers a limited recognition area, but Vivo has said that, in theory, it could work on the entire screen.

Samsung’s ISOCELL sensors

The crowning of the Galaxy S8 hasn’t been Samsung’s only notable moment at MWC Shanghai. The company also revealed its new ISOCELL sensors. ISOCELL is the brand name for Samsung’s range of CMOS image sensors. Their design is based on a technology that can deliver improvements in light capture.

The new range consists of the ISOCELL Bright, Fast, Slim, and Dual. ISOCELL Dual is a strong hint that the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 will come with a dual camera option, something other manufacturers have delivered. Samsung’s offering features two 13MP sensors, one RGB and one black and white.

Sony demonstrates 3D facial recognition

Sony has announced it is seeking to improve current mobile facial recognition technology, which can often be tricked by a photograph. The company is set to demonstrate the system, which features a 3D depth sensor from Sony-owned SoftKinect and facial recognition software made by the Swiss company KeyLemon.

There hasn’t yet been an announcement on when the first device featuring this technology will be released, but experts are hopeful all will be revealed by the end of MWC Shanghai.

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 450

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 450 Mobile Platform, which has been designed for mid-range smartphones and tablets. The company said it is the first in its tier to use 14nm FinFET process and will deliver significant improvements in battery life, graphics and processing performance, imaging and LTE connectivity over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform.

Kedar Kondap, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, said the company wanted “to deliver the most advanced mobile functionality at the best possible value, and the Snapdragon 450 Mobile Platform is another realisation of that vision”.