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MWC 2016: 6 things we've learnt

Alphr logo Alphr 21-02-2016 Curtis Moldrich

MWC is here again, and although it’s only day one of the event, we’ve already learnt a lot about what LG, Samsung and Huawei have planned for 2016. The first day of MWC has seen the long-awaited unveil of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7, as well as the announcement of the utterly intriguing LG G5. Throw in the Huawei MateBook, a potential Microsoft Surface Pro killer and there’s already a lot to talk about. Here are 6 things we can already take away from Day one of Mobile World Congress 2016.

For more detailed analysis and reviews from MWC, be sure to check our dedicated MWC hub here

1. The LG G5 could be the best smartphone of 2016

LG G5 Hands up MWC review© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited LG G5 Hands up MWC review

Last year the LG G4 was close to being a great smartphone, but it fell short at a few key hurdles. This time round we expected LG to do more with the G5, but it’s delivered in spades. We knew the LG G5 would have improved specs and a more refined design, but we didn’t foresee modular capability, 6 intriguing ‘expansion devices’ and a removable battery. Simply put, the G5 is the most intriguing smartphone we’ve seen in ages, and if it can get the price right, it might be the best one we see all year.

FULL COVERAGE: MWC 2016

2. Virtual Reality and phones are best friends

It's the Samsung press conference shortly - there's a Gear VR on every seat! #TheNextGalaxy pic.twitter.com/rASDMKNcsW

— Jonathan Bray (@jon1bray) February 21, 2016

Virtual reality  has been on the horizon for years now, but it looks like it’ll be coming to our phones before our consoles or computers. Samsung is pushing VR hard this year, and says every customer who pre-orders an S7 or S7 Edge will receive a Gear VR headset for free. Samsung’s press conference also featured Gear VR headsets in a big way, with each journalist receiving one for attending. At the same time, LG also announced a VR headset as one of the G5’s six expansion devices, and it looks pretty impressive, too.

LG is also announcing a VR headset that plugs into the G5's USB Type-C socket. Looks neater than most rivals. pic.twitter.com/1qn3RsiB5C

— Jonathan Bray (@jon1bray) February 21, 2016

3. 360 cameras have arrived

Samsung Gear 360 from the front© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited Samsung Gear 360 from the front

Alongside VR, it appears that phone makers are also keen to help you record your own VR content. Although it’s only been a day, we’ve already seen two 360-cameras released - from LG and Samsung, and both make it easy to capture your own VR footage. Samsung’s camera is predictably called the Gear 360 and LG is calling its cam the 360 VR.

4. MicroSD card slots are back

We all love expandable memory, but in the past few years we’ve seen manufacturers take it away due to space or design issues. This year however, they’re back, with both the Samsung S7 and LG G5 sporting a MicroSD card as headline features. The implications are huge – for a start it’s not possible to buy a cheaper phone with less storage, and just upgrade it in the future. 

5. Huawei isn’t just good at phones

Huawei MateBook hands on review© Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited Huawei MateBook hands on review

When it comes to tablets, there’s been two clear choices - an iPad Pro or a Surface Book. That is until now. Huawei has taken all its experience producing great smartphones and released the MateBook; a Windows-running 2-in-1 tablet. Once you get past the unoriginal name, the MateBook isn’t just a ‘me-too’ device - it actually packs in some great features that should worry Microsoft and Apple. In 2016, it looks like the Surface Pro might not be the best Windows tablet after all.  

6. The iPhone 7 will have to be amazing

We know Apple the iPhone 7 has to be the best smartphone Apple has ever made, but MWC has already underlined that point. Although Samsung has gone for a more evolutionary approach this time round, all those tweaks have added up, making the  waterproof, water-cooled S7 and S7 Edge formidable smartphones. Throw in the intriguing, innovative LG G5, and Apple already has a big battle on its hands. Will the iPhone 7 be better than the best Android has to offer? We’ll find out this September.

MWC 2016: 6 things we've learnt© Alphr.com MWC 2016: 6 things we've learnt

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