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.
Oppo 10x lossless zoom camera
Oppo wowed at MWC this year with its ingenious solution for solving poor smartphone camera zooming. Where most smartphones can offer an optical zoom no greater than 2x, with the rest done digitally and often ruining image quality, Oppo has developed a 10x optical zoom system.
It works by sending light through a lens on the back of the phone, as normal, but the light is then reflected by a 45-degree mirror, sending it down and through three more lens arranged perpendicular to the front of the handset. The light then hits the image sensor, creating the photo.
Oppo has only installed the camera system on prototype phones for now, but promises that a consumer model will go on sale in the second quarter of 2019.
While Google breaks new ground with the artificial intelligence of its Pixel phone cameras year-in, year-out, we're thrilled to see Oppo prove how good old-fashioned photograph hardware — lenses and mirrors — can be equally effective.