Alphr’s best products of MWC 2017

Most shows have a couple of standout products. Mobile World Congress – or MWC, as everyone calls it – is different, and thanks to the importance of mobile technology, the spread of innovative and amazing things isn’t matched by any other week of the year.

It is tough, then, to choose the best of the best, but choose them we have to for this year’s Alphr Best of MWC Awards. Here’s our selection of the things that delighted us, and that we think will go on to delight you too.

Best smartphone: LG G6

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LG has always made lovely phones, but the LG G6 is evidence of a company that’s at the top of its game. Beyond the excellent 18:9 screen, there’s nothing here that’s genuinely innovative. Having this kind of screen sounds crazy, but it’s built for the next generation of software, where split-screen apps will start to be much more common. But what LG has done overall is simple: it’s executed every detail exceptionally well, creating a high-end phone that looks great, performs brilliantly, and delivers everything you want from the most important computer in your life.

Best tablet: Samsung Tab S3

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 may be no more, but if you want a sleek Samsung beauty with a pen in the box, then the Galaxy Tab S3 is very nice indeed. Android tablets have sometimes struggled simply because Android itself isn’t a perfect operating system once it moves beyond the phone, but Samsung’s Tab S3 finally takes the concept to the next level. You’re looking at a quad-core 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, backed by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage, with a microSD slot to up that by an extra 256GB if you need more. A 6,000mAh battery means it will last 12 hours of video playback and you can get a model with included 4G if you need internet access on the move.

Best innovation: Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s Motion Eye Camera

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Some are calling the Sony Xperia XZ Premium an “ultra flagship” phone, and the Motion Eye Camera is a big part of the reason for that. It’s a pixel-packing 19-megapixel camera, but that’s only part of the story. Not only has Sony worked hard to reduce the latency between pressing the camera button and taking a shot to a miniscule 0.2 seconds, but the camera is also smart enough to understand when you’re taking a picture of a fast-moving action shot: it grabs four images instead of one, so you don’t miss out on exactly the right picture. Add in a super-slow-motion mode that captures images at an astounding 960 frames per second and you have a worthy winner for our Best Innovation award.

Best use of VR: Samsung Gear VR controller

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Yes, other VR headsets have always offered better-quality images, but the original Samsung Gear VR probably did more to get VR into the hands of the masses than any other headset. It always had one glaring missing feature, though: the lack of a controller, allowing you to interact with the VR world. With the new Gear VR, Samsung has put this right – and that’s huge for many reasons. Not only does it mean that developers can finally rely on a large audience having controllers – thus letting them create richer, more interactive worlds – it also means that users will get a much better experience. Oh, and it will work with handsets going back to the Galaxy S6. We think Samsung will sell a lot of them.

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