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Best of MWC 2019: GearBrain names the hottest new mobile tech devices

Folding phones and 5G dominated the headlines at Mobile World Congress 2019

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This year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), held in Barcelona, had two huge themes — folding smartphones and 5G.

The former, folding phones, is the first draft of an answer to years of steady smartphone stagnation. The latter, 5G, is worshipped by many who believe it will revolutionize not just phones, but cars, smart home devices, and everything in-between.

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As ever, Mobile World Congress is a show more suited to the largest companies than the smallest. While there are halls full of small tech firms striving for recognition, they often offer services at the enterprise, or business, level. Others are companies not quite ready for consumers, or do not have confirmed plans for entering the U.S. market.

But the bigger names, and a couple of old faces, made a return to MWC to show off what we think will impact your life in the coming year. Here are GearBrain's favorite devices from Mobile World Congress 2019.

Hover over the image below and click the blue arrows to navigate through the slideshow.


Microsoft HoloLens 2

GearBrain

The new HoloLens 2 has double the field-of-view of its predecessor

It wasn't just smartphones at MWC this week, as Microsoft used its first visit to Barcelona in several years to announce the HoloLens 2.

The company's second-generation augmented reality headset, the HoloLens 2 has a field of view which is double that of its predecessor (which should mean 70 degrees, but Microsoft hasn't disclosed an exact figure just yet). The headset uses carbon fiber to keep the weight down, and the front now flips open to make talking with colleagues more convenient.

We say colleagues and not friends, because Microsoft is sticking to its guns here and continues to market the $3,500 HoloLens as an enterprise device. And so it should; Google Glass crashed and burned as a consumer product after failing to deliver a sci-fi experience for everyone to play with it.

A broader field of view is joined by a new set of gestures, letting wearers of the HoloLens 2 press and slide elements of the virtual interface by reaching out with their fingers. If Microsoft can make this feel natural and intuitive — more so than using a hand controller — then it will be on to a winner.

HoloLens 2 — in one instance at MWC shown off attached to a construction worker's hard hat — knows what it is, and the direction it should take to be a success.

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