MWC 2016 is over and this time around biggest thing from the show was not a phone
MWC 2016 is now over, and the show gave us lots to talk about this year thanks to a number of announcements. We had a chance to see shiny new devices, a slew of accessories, IoT and Internet-connected devices, and new mobile technologies for the future including plenty of 5G talk.
From all the gadgets I would personally say most interesting stuff came from LG with brand new G5 that has a modular design that breaks the kind of stale state in which Android phone manufacturers were in. I don’t know about you but possibility of swapping out modules on the phone in order to get a high end audio amp or a camera grip with extra battery and controls is something unique that really extends the functionality of the phone.
Other manufacturers didn’t disappoint. Samsung revealed new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge with minor upgrades that cement it as a best all-around Android phone and Sony came with a bunch of interesting tech like Xperia Projector and Xperia Ear. Alcatel, Xiaomi and others came with great models that are starting to pose a real threat to more established manufacturers as we are moving more and more away from a subsidized model of buying a phone from a carrier.
Speaking about Xiaomi, it’s worth acknowledging that Xiaomi has truly created its own device this time around. Having built up a reputation for copying Apple’s products, Xiaomi is making its pitch to a truly global audience with a smartphone that is uniquely its own. Xiaomi Mi 5 debuted last at MWC but it might actually be the very first device from Chinese manufacturer that actually makes a big splash on Western markets with an incredible price of just over 260 USD.
Now, let’s get back to explaining the reasoning behind me saying this year phones don’t matter. If you took someone that was living under a rock and show him this image probably that person would think it’s a concept art from a dystopian sci-fi film. Billionaire walking with a big grin on his face, passing humans tethered to machines and blinded to reality, wearing plastic masks. Soon he will be in front of them, talking about the future and collecting praise from hundreds of people gathered to hear the plan for humanity, his plan, his singular vision.
But, this is not a sci-fi movie, its MWC 2016 and the guy is Mark Zuckerberg. Image above maybe looks weird and strange to some but it speaks about our near future and how much VR is important to companies that control the content, our interaction with others, relationships and so much more. This is the year all major players release their VR products and soon millions of people will not just be able to consume VR content but also create incredible things that will drive the industry forward and change our lives in such a big way. It’s hard to explain how much VR has advanced in the last couple of years to someone who has not tried on some of the latest headsets but trust me, once you plug in and try it, you will be hooked.
So, most important thing from MWC is not the latest Samsung, LG or Xiaomi phone, its Mark saying „VR is the next platform where anyone can experience anything they want. It’s going to change the way we live and work and communicate.” And I think he is right.