MWC is all about slabs with screens – and this year's Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona was packed with head-turning smartphones, tablets, and a fair bit more to boot.
LG unveiled its long-awaited G6, a massively promising return to form after last year's experimental G5, while Sony's Xperia XZ Premium wowed us with high-end tech and Nokia seemed to equally delight and perplex by reviving the stone-cold classic 3310 dumbphone. Seriously!
True, MWC isn't the end-all, be-all for early-year announcements, as Samsung will showcase the Galaxy S8 later this month and HTC surely has something afoot, but it's still ground zero for a lot of the big tech that we'll fondle and admire throughout 2017.
We've already handed out our best-of-show awards, but if you haven't been paying attention the past few days, here's everything you missed.
LG: Back with the G6
It was hardly a surprise, but LG unveiled the G6, its latest take on the Android smartphone – and this year's version is a lot more compelling than last year's. The LG G5 had a lot of strong elements, but modular accessories didn't really catch on, and it wasn't worth the various trade-offs seen elsewhere on the phone.
Luckily, the G6 is clearly a return to making a really solid and ultra-refined handset, with sleek, premium design, high-end tech, and a beautiful new 18:9 Quad HD display. That extra-tall screen takes up nearly all of the phone's front, minimizing bezel across the board, and even has stunning mobile HDR capabilities.
Be sure to read our extensive hands-on review for our first take on the LG G6, plus we've done a matchup against the G5 for good measure. LG also announced the X Power2 handset at MWC, but aside from its ultra-beefy 5,100mAh battery pack, it's not quite as enticing as the G6.
Nokia: Blast from the past
It seems awfully silly, but it's true: the Nokia 3310 was one of the most talked-about devices at MWC in 2017. Debuting 17 years after the original, the new Nokia 3310 keeps the fundamentals of the original super-tough, world-conquering feature phone, albeit with a modern makeover.
That makeover doesn't extend too far into the tech: it still doesn't do Wi-Fi or notifications, and the only apps come from the Opera Store. But it has Snake, naturally, and this "dumphone" sure mines a lot of nostalgia along the way. It's also super cheap, at €49 (about RM230), and could serve as a reliable backup for the glovebox… or a way to avoid staring at a smartphone all day.
In terms of more current tech, the company also showcased its mid-range Android phone, the Nokia 6, which we found to be solid but unlikely to topple the OnePlus 3/3T. Meanwhile, the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 are even cheaper and less-capable options. It seems Nokia is aiming more for the mass market with its return to phones, rather than high-end flagship lovers.
Sony: High-end goes even higher
All the big Android phones do pretty much the same things, right? Well, maybe not for long with Sony's extravagant Xperia XZ Premium. Sony has struggled to make handsets that really stand above the competition, but this time around, they've gone all out.
The Xperia XZ Premium is the first phone we've actually seen to feature the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip within, although the Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to feature it as well. More notably, it has the first-ever 4K HDR display on a smartphone – overkill, maybe, but is too much ever really a bad thing?
We'll find out once we get a load of the price tag, but add in 960-frames-per-second slow-motion video recording and we can't help but marvel at all of this tech. In fact, our editor-in-chief says it's the phone that might get him to finally ditch his annual iPhone addiction. It also earned our best-in-show honours.
Sony also had a few other devices on hand, such as the massive 6in Xperia XA1 Ultra, which is actually a mid-ranger despite the size. And the Xperia Agent home robot returned, although it's still just a concept device… and an adorable one, at that.
Elsewhere, we saw the super-cool Xperia Touch, which projects an Android tablet experience onto any surface, giving you a Minority Report-esque experience. However, it's crazy expensive – enough for you to just buy regular tablets for every member of your family instead.
And did you see the new Xperia Ear concept? Sony's buds use bone induction to pump tunes into your skull without fully plugging your ear holes, making them real-world friendly… but also very, very curious and kind of amazing. They also have a built-in A.I. assistant to help you here and there, although we'll see if this concept actually gets made.
BlackBerry: One last shot
Since going all-in on Android, BlackBerry has seemed to be on an upswing – and the KeyOne is its most compelling device in a long time. Like 2015's Priv, the KeyOne is packing a full physical keyboard, but now in a slab design as opposed to a slide-out style.
Elsewhere, the KeyOne aims to be a bit more modest on specs, with a mid-range Snapdragon 625 paired with a stellar camera and impressive styling. At £499 (about RM2800), it won't undercut today's top flagships by much, but anyone still hankering for a keyboard might take the plunge.
The KeyOne is the last handset that BlackBerry designed in-house, with Chinese company TCL handling manufacturing, although TCL will continue the brand's legacy with its own BlackBerry handsets in the future. For now, though, the KeyOne has our attention. Be sure to read our hands-on review from the show.