New Phones Make Debut at Day 1 of Mobile World Congress
The first day of Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017) in Barcelona today saw a slew of new phone announcements from BlackBerry, Huawei, LG, Nokia and Sony, including a retro reboot of the classic Nokia 3310 that first came out in 2000.
Running this week from Feb. 27-March 2, MWC is the largest annual conference and expo for the mobile industry. Organized by the GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association), this year's event features more than 2,200 exhibitors and is expected to draw more than 100,000 attendees.
In addition to seeing some of the world's leading mobile device makers unveil their latest phones, tablets and other gadgets, MWC attendees will hear industry leaders talk about new developments, tech trends and future challenges. Today's opening keynote, for example, featured CEOs from the Softbank Group, Telefonica and KT Corp. discussing the road to 5G, the Internet of Things and the impact of mobility on society.
Nokia 3310 Blast from the Past
One of the new devices making a big splash in Barcelona this year is a feature phone, rather than a smartphone: the Nokia 3310 (pictured above), an homage to the iconic device first launched by the Finnish company in 2000. Described as "a modern classic reimagined," the updated version of the Nokia 3310 will be priced at 49 Euros (about $52) and will come in four colors: dark blue, gray, red and yellow.
The original Nokia 3310, which had a reputation for being virtually indestructible, sold around 126 million models until it was discontinued in 2005. Since then, Nokia itself has experienced something of a reboot. After losing its number one position in the mobile phone market to Samsung in 2012, Nokia was sold in part to Microsoft, which then sold the company last year. Licensing for Nokia devices is now held by a new Finnish brand, HMD Global Oy, a partnership that includes Nokia, Android OS developer Google and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of the Foxconn Technology Group.
With a release date yet to be announced, the new Nokia 3310 will feature a curved 2.4-inch screen, 2G connectivity, a stripped-down version of the Opera Web browser and a 1200 mAh battery that Nokia said can provide up to 31 days of standby power. The device also includes a 2MP camera, MP3 player and FM radio.
Lots of New Androids
In addition to its retro feature phone, Nokia also announced the launch of three new Android smartphones at MWC: the 5.5-inch Nokia 6, priced from $242 to $315; the 5.2-inch Nokia 5, priced at $199; and the 5-inch Nokia 1, priced at $147. The new devices are expected to hit the market in the second quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry partner TCL Communication has launched the BlackBerry KEYone, priced at $549 and due for release in April. Built on Android 7.1 Nougat, the 4.5-inch KEYone will feature a 3505 mAh battery that BlackBerry said can reach a 50-percent charge in 36 minutes. The KEYone also sports a physical keyboard and is the first smartphone to come out through BlackBerry's new brand- and device-licensing strategy.
LG was on hand at MWC to announce its latest smartphone, the 5.7-inch G6, also powered by Android Nougat. Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and a 3300 mAh battery, the LG G6 is expected to hit the market in March and will be priced starting at $797.
Sony is also showing off a new smartphone in Barcelona: the Xperia XZ Premium. Sony said the Xperia XZ Premium is the first smartphone to support super slow-motion video with its new Motion Eye camera system. The 5.5-inch Android-powered device is expected to come out in late spring. Sony hasn't yet announced the price of the phone.
Huawei also launched two new Android smartphones: the 5.1-inch P10 and 5.5-inch P10 Plus. Both are set to hit the market in March and will be priced starting at $685 for the P10 and $738 for the P10 Plus.