Mobile World Congress 2016: 30 Products That Stood Out At The Show

Beyond Mobility: IoT, VR, And 5G

Mobile World Congress 2016, which took place this week in Barcelona, Spain, drew a crowd of around 100,000 attendees trying to get a rare glimpse at the world's newest smartphones and tablets all in one hall.

But this year is different -- while there were a handful of breakthrough smartphones announced before the conference -- including Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S7 and LG's G5 -- the focus on the showfloor took a different direction.

Companies demonstrated their platforms and solutions for the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and the fifth generation of cellular networking technologies, raising the bar with products like headsets, wearables, and IoT applications. Following are the 30 coolest products that stood out at Mobile World Congress this year.

Nurugo Micro -- A Smartphone-Microscope Hybrid

At Mobile World Congress, Nurugo launched the Nurugo Micro, a gadget that attaches to smartphones, transforming them into microscopes.

Nurugo's detachable device is a tool with a magnifier that blows up objects to 400 times their size.

This device, which will be released in May, is intended for education purposes -- instead of having to spend money for microscopes, schools can purchase Nurugo Micro devices and have children use their cell phones to look at specimen.

Nurugo Micro also contains patented lighting control technology and real-time video recording. All data will be instantly uploaded to Nurugo's companion app, NurugoBox, for sharing and saving data.

Sennheiser's Speakerphone Turns Your Phone Into A Conference System

Sennheiser has a solution for unified communications business professionals who use their phones for work. The speakerphone, a small circular device, connects directly to phones or tablets, transforming them into an effective conference system.

The Sennheiser SP 20 speakerphone, on display at Mobile World Congress' pre-show Showstoppers, contains high-quality sound features, as well as a clear microphone mute button, and call and volume controls. With the SP 20 variants, users can also merge mobile calls into one conference, allowing multiple participants to join the conference call at the same time.

SP 20 is also compatible with leading UC platforms, such as Skype for Business, Cisco and IBM. The speakerphone is currently available at $179.95 on Sennheiser's website.

Nurugo Derma Uses Mobility To Solve Your Skin Needs

Nurugo also showcased another product at Mobile World Congress, intended for healthcare professionals and medical applications -- Nurugo Derma. Like the Nurugo Micro, this device is also a detachable for smartphones.

The Derma attaches to the smartphone, allowing dermatologists to capture photos of skin, pores, wrinkles and scalps to diagnose skin conditions with high accuracy.

The Derma, which also utilizes lighting control technology, is compatible with existing skin-related apps. Regular users can also take photos of spots on their skin and send them to dermatologists for diagnosis utilizing this tool. The Nurugo Derma is currently on the market.

Acer Liquid Jade 2 Contains A Wild 1 TB Of Hybrid Storage

When Acer unveiled its Liquid Jade 2 smartphone at Mobile World Congress, one feature in particular caught everyone's eye -- the phone contains up to 1TB of hybrid storage.

When we tried out the Liquid Jade 2 at Acer's booth, we were impressed by the smartphone's camera -- a 21-megapixel main camera that contains phase-detection technology, allowing blazing fast auto focus.

On the outside, the Liquid Jade 2 has a sleek, elegant 5.5-inch AMOLED screen. While reflections on the screen were a little too prominent, the body of the phone itself was comfortable with a curved back that fits comfortably in the hand. Liquid Jade 2 runs on Android and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808. Pricing and launch details for the Liquid Jade 2 have not yet been announced.

Acer Cloud Professor Is A Development Kit Letting You Build Your Own IoT

Acer showcased its Cloud Professor Internet of Things development kit at Mobile World Congress. With the kit, users of all ages can utilize Acer's Arduino-based cloud technology in a "plug, play, code and make" starter kit to get a feel for how to develop for the Internet of Things. The kit contains an Adruino Uno board, a Grove-LED, a light and dust sensor, and a Grove-Button.

Using mobile devices, users can conduct an IoT remote control for powering robots by following tutorial kits from programming languages, including JavaScript, LiveCode and A/C++. Acer's IoT kit is currently available on the market.

ZTE Blade V7 Launched, And It Looks Just Like The iPhone

ZTE launched the Blade V7 and Blade V7 Lite at Mobile World Congress. We found that the 5.3-inch midrange smartphone's metal casing gives it a sleek, thin and light design and a look very similar to that of Apple's iPhone.

While the Blade V7 looks like a premium phone on the exterior, on the interior its specs are more comparable to that of a midrange phone. The handset packs a Mediatek 6753 processor and 2GB of RAM, as well as 16GB of storage (there is no microSD card included, so users who value storage should stay away). The cameras were also fairly average, featuring a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. ZTE has yet to announce pricing details on this phone.

LG's 360 Virtual Reality Goggles Are The Company's First Attempt At VR -- And They're Not Quite There

Along with its LG G5, LG released a 360-degree virtual reality camera (with a similar concept to Samsung's Gear 360 VR camera) as its first foray into the developing VR world.

The 360 VR connects to the G5 through a cable and simulates a 130-inch TV screen through its 360-degree camera, equipped with two 13-megapixel wide angle cameras.

In theory, the wide angle cameras and lightness of the headset (LG boasts its headset is one-third lighter than other VR devices) should make the goggles attractive. But when we tried out the headset ourselves, we found that the images were blurry and tilted, giving a feeling of dizziness to the user. The goggles were very small and let in exterior light, so we did not feel as fully immersed in the virtual reality experience as we did when we tried on the Samsung Gear VR headset, for instance.

SK Telecom's Wearables Are For Children's Safety

While the most mainstream wearables we all know about include the Apple Watch or Gear S, SK Telecom has targeted a different audience with its wearable -- children.

More specifically, SK Telecom's T Kids Phone JooN targets parents who want to keep safety tabs on their children -- this wearable is a 3G phone that can be worn as a wristwatch.

It offers features such as voice calling, SOS notification, real-time location tracking, and safe zone geo-location features, so parents can keep an eye on their children.

The watch itself has a bulky, bright look that is attractive for children, and is very simple and easy to use.

Dot Is A Smartwatch For The Visually Impaired

Korean startup Dot showcased its new smartwatch, but this wearable is different from the rest in a significant way -- it's for visually impaired users and features Braille capabilities.

The Dot smartwatch is based on haptic technology, which provides feedback or information in real time through touch. This smartwatch links to any Bluetooth device, such as the iPhone or Android devices, so it can pull text from applications like iMessage by using voice commands. The smartwatch went on sale in December and retailed for less than $300, according to Dot.

On the exterior, Dot has a slim, long face, similar to the Fitbit. The wearable features a messaging system, navigation functions, an alarm and a time piece as well.

HTC Displays The Consumer Version Of Its HTC Vive VR Headset

In addition to Samsung and LG, HTC also had some virtual reality news at this year's Mobile World Congress.

The company gave conference attendees a first look at the consumer version of its virtual reality headset, the HTC VR. This headset already has a price -- $800 -- and a release date of April.

The consumer version of the set has a Vive branding on the front, as opposed to the HTC branding seen on the Vive Pre. The headband design contains a cutout for keeping the Vive's cables in order. The lighthouse tracking boxes also contain a more high-end finish.

Oral-B Genius -- A Smart Toothbrush That Lets You Track Your Brushing On Your Phone

Oral-B debuted its first series of connected toothbrushes at last year's Mobile World Congress, and at this year's show, it unveiled the next generation of its product, called Genius.

Genius uses motion sensors, pressure sensors, and users' smartphone cameras to track how they brush their teeth, keeping tabs on pressure, different brushes in different areas of the mouth, and timing. The companion app then offers tips on how to improve oral hygiene.

While there is no indication of pricing for the Oral-B Genius yet, the smart tooth brush will be available in select areas in July, according to Oral-B.

Jacob Jensen -- A Smart Wearable That Makes You Feel Safer

Jacob Jensen debuted its Halo smart bracelet at Mobile World Congress, a wearable that combines style with safety.

Users who are wearing the Jacob Jensen bracelet can tap it three times or shake their wrist three times, and Halo will sent an automatic distress message to a friend or family member. The device will also automatically start recording audio on the users' smartphone when the distress signal has been activated.

These safety features come along with the bracelets' extremely simple and minimalistic design -- Halo features on thin band and a circular top, making it seem more like a bracelet than a connected wearable. The device comes in two models and is set for release in the summer. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Samsung Gear 360 -- For Creating Virtual Reality Experiences

Samsung first dipped into virtual reality with its Gear VR Headset, but now it wants to actually let users create their own virtual reality experiences with the Gear 360 camera.

This camera, which looks like a sphere with an eyeball-like front, allows users to shoot 360-degree video. The Gear camera shoots 360-degree images, which the user can then pull from the device and uses a companion app, available only on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, to upload. These files can also be viewed on Samsung's Gear VR for a virtual reality experience with different images. While pricing for this product was not yet announced, it will be available in the second quarter of this year.

LG G5 Has An "Always On" Screen, Camera Comes With Wide Angle Lens

LG's G5, unveiled at Mobile World Congress, has a fingerprint scanner and an anodized aluminum, 5.3-inch case, as well as high-resolution 2,560 by 1,440-pixel display.

Two features stood out on LG's new phone -- an "always on" screen that shows key notifications even when the phone is locked to save battery and help users seamlessly check their phones; and wide angle lens cameras, which allow users to take photos of an entire landscape even from a close-up viewpoint.

LG's phone also has 32GB of on-board storage as well as a microSD slot. The phone also contains a 2,800mAh battery and USB-C. The LG G5 will be available globally at the beginning of April.

Ideapad MIIX 310 -- Impressive Battery Life, Premium Look For Affordable Price

Lenovo's ideapad MIIX 310 was a featured at Mobile World Congress as a device that helps users for "working and playing on the go."

This platinum silver 2-in-1 contains a detachable keyboard and a 10-inch FHD display with 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolution. The ideapad MIIX 310 runs on Windows 10 and is powered by an Intel Atom X5 8300 CPU, with integrated Intel graphics. The device contains up to 4GB of DDR3L memory and up to 64GB of eMMC storage and will be available for $229 starting in June.

We played around with the ideapad MIIX 310 on the showfloor, and were impressed by the device's specs for its affordable price, particularly its 10-hour battery life.

Lenovo Connect -- Channel Partners Will Bring This Wireless Roaming Service To Market

On the enterprise side of Mobile World Congress is Lenovo Connect, a wireless roaming communication service that works across devices, networks and borders for customers in China and EMEA.

Lenovo Connect eliminates the need to buy a separate SIM card and provides a simple and cost-effective connectivity solution for companies of all sizes, Lenovo said. Lenovo will be working with channel partners in EMEA markets to bring Lenovo Connect to an array of ThinkPad devices.

Lenovo Connect will be available in China starting in February for select smartphones and later in the year for select tablets and laptops. In EMEA, the service will be available starting in the first quarter of 2016 for select ThinkPad laptops.

Huawei's MateBook Competes With Microsoft's Surface Devices

Huawei turned heads when it released the MateBook, a 12-inch Windows 10 2-in-1 competitor to the Microsoft Surface Book and iPad Pro.

The MateBook looks similar to Microsoft Surface, with its 12-inch screen, all-metal body, 2,560 by 1,400 pixel resolution, and detachable keyboard that folds around the back for quickly and seamlessly changing tablet stand positions. This tablet 2-in-1 is powered by a sixth-generation Intel Core M-series processor (users can pick between the M3, M5, and M7). The device is also compatible with a handy stylus that also functions as a laser pointer and presentation clicker.

The MateBook starts at around $700 for 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and its price goes up to $1,600 for 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The keyboard and stylus are sold separately.

Sony Xperia X Has Camera Upgrades, More Comfortable Build

Sony took the wraps off two new phone models at Mobile World Congress -- the Xperia X and Xperia XA. These phones have an array of improvements over previous models, including a better-looking curved glass display, camera upgrades, and better battery life.

The Xperia XA has a 5-inch display, a 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front camera, and a 64-bit MediaTek processor, as well as expandable MicroSD storage. The higher-end Xperia X model has a 5-inch display with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 CPU and expandable SD storage.

When we played around with the Xperia X on the showfloor, we were particularly impressed by the camera's Predictive Hybrid Autofocus features, where users can select a subject and the phone will predict its motion. The Xperia X Series will ship starting in the summer, according to Sony -- but exact availability and pricing have yet to be announced.

LG's Rolling Bot Unveiled For… Pets?

While Mobile World Congress had a broad variety of enterprise devices, such as mobile security platforms and 5G demonstrations, some products were on the silly side. LG's Rolling Bot, announced at the show, provided a fun break from the rest of the show's more serious products -- this device comes with camera functions, allowing users to check up on and play with their pets when they are out of the house. The toy also comes with a laser pointer, and can be controlled to roll around using the G5 as a pilot.

The Rolling Bot's 8-megapixel IP camera comes with other functions, as well, including home security -- users can keep an eye out for intruders when they are not home. Pricing and availability for the Rolling Bot has not yet been revealed.

Elite X3 -- HP's Productivity Phablet For Businesses

HP Inc. is showcasing its new mobile device, the HP Elite x3, at Mobile World Congress. This device is built for work with business-grade security, HP support, access to corporate apps on HP Workspace, and durability. The 5.96-inch display phone, which runs on Windows 10 mobile, also includes wireless charging capabilities and two high-resolution cameras. It packs a Snapdragon 820 -- Qualcomm's fastest processor -- and contains 4GB of onboard memory, as well as a USB Type-C port. HP's device will go on sale in the summer, and pricing has not yet been revealed.

ZTE Spro Plus -- Transforming Your Tablet Into A Projector

ZTE's newest device is not just a tablet -- it's a projector wrapped into a tablet. The Spro Plus, a tablet-projector hybrid, contains an autofocus feature that allows users to project images on any surface for clear views. The device uses laser technology to project images at 500 lumens and around 8-feet away from the projection surface.

The tablet itself runs on a customized Android 6.0 Marshmallow platform and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, which contains 3GB of RAM. The device packs 32GB of storage with microSD support for an additional 128GB of memory. Its battery provides up to four hours of projection, according to ZTE. This model will start selling in the summer, but its price has not yet been revealed.

SAP's Internet Of Things Collaborations Enable Digital Farming

SAP showcased its Internet of Things agricultural application -- the company is working with Luciad, a company that builds software components to allow businesses to deliver geospatial situational awareness applications, to enable digital farming.

Using IoT, the company works with farms to provide an analysis over a long period of time to enable forecasting and optimization strategies for the future.

SAP's solutions generate data-driven intelligence from connected devices, so farmers can connect to business networks, leveraging cloud, mobile, and analytics technologies to boost productivity. The application tracks when tasks are started and finished, how much fertilizer was used on various field locations, and the fuel consumption for every meter of plowing.

VIBE K5 -- Dolby Atmos Speakers For Affordable Price

Lenovo also used Mobile World Congress as a launching pad for its new smartphone, the VIBE K5.

This 5-inch phone combines high-end features, such as a premium aluminum casing and Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, with affordable $125 pricing. The VIBE K5 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and packs a 64-bit Snapdragon 415 processor, fairly typical specs for a low-end smartphone.

Under the hood, the VIBE K5 also touts 2GB of memory and a microSD slot that enables up to 32GB of additional memory, as well as a 2,750 mAh interchangeable battery with up to 15.1 hours of talk time on a 3G network. On the camera front, the VIBE K5 contains a 13-megapixel autofocus rear-facing camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The VIBE K5 will be available in March.

Tab3 10 Business For Employees On The Move

Lenovo showed off its enterprise smarts by lifting the curtain on the Tab3 10 Business, a tablet targeted for companies.

This Android tablet is optimized to support employees who need to be constantly on the move while they are working. The 10-inch tablet supports Android for Work, with an emphasis on security and manageability, and comes pre-loaded with Android for Work productivity apps. On the security front, the Tab3 10 Business uses hardware encryption software and policy control.

On the inside, this tablet packs a MediaTek processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, as well as options of 2GB or 3GB RAM and a 7,000 mAh battery with up to 12 hours of usage time. On the camera front, the tablet has a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and front-facing 5-megapixel camera. Pricing for this tablet ranges from $199 to $299, and it will go on sale in June.

Xiaomi Mi5 Delivers High-End Specs At A Low-End Price

Chinese company Xiaomi waited until Wednesday at Mobile World Congress to take the wraps off its long-anticipated new smartphone, the Mi5.

Xiaomi is known for delivering high-end specs at affordable costs, and it didn't disappoint with its newest 5.1-inch smartphone. The Android phone runs on a powerful quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor with an Adreno 530 GPU.

The Mi5 is also loaded up with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, as well as a 3,000 mAh battery comparable to Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy phones.

The biggest part of the Mi5 is its price -- the low-end model costs only $306, while the high end model costs $413. The Mi5 goes on sale March 1.

Infineon's Solution For Multicopters

Infineon displayed its solutions for multicopters at this year's Mobile World Congress. Infineon categorizes multicopters as home entertainment products, and the company provides the technology to power these drone-like flying devices.

The company touts a comprehensive portfolio of components, such as XMC-controllers, iMotion motor control, and magnetic sensors.

These components have GPS, Bluetooth low-energy and inertial measurement, and authentication uses. Also offered are 3D time-of-flight sensors, radar sensors, and 3D magnetic sensors.

Intel Recon Jet Is A Headset That Tracks Exercise

Intel showcased Recon Jet, a headset that tracks exercise, at Mobile World Congress. The Recon Jet headset looks similar to Google Glass, and contains GPS, gyro sensors, and Bluetooth technology to track the users and show information during the workout.

The headset, powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor, displays the pace, distance and duration of the workout. These notifications are shown on an embedded display attached to the headset. The Android-based glasses are currently available for $500.

Also at the show, Recon Instruments, a division of Intel, announced it has joined forces with APX Labs to develop smart safety glasses for field service, maintenance, and manufacturing-based enterprise clients.

Mio Slice -- A Wearable That Tracks Your Heartrate, Not Your Steps

Showcased at Mobile World Congress this year, Mio's Slice is the latest wearable in the company's band lineup.

While other health bands track fitness through footsteps, Mio's Slice tracks activity through a new method called the PAI index. PAI, which is personal activity intelligence, is an index based on research that found a correlation in longevity and activity.

Through statistics on the user's age, gender, and heart rate, the Mio companion app offers an array of activities at various intensities to improve health. The PAI app is currently offered for free on iTunes, but Slice, the company's new, thin band, will be available later in the year for $100.

Shoulderpod Mobile Accessories

Shoulderpod, a Barcelona-based company that makes smartphone equipment "for mobile creatives and visual storytellers," presented its newest products right in its headquarters city.

One of the company's new products is the S1, a professional smartphone grip designed for photographers, filmmakers, and journalists. This accessory serves as a tripod mount, a filmmaker handle, and a traveler stand so users can make professional-looking photos and videos all with their smartphone. Meanwhile, the R1 Go is a multi-functional rig for adding external batteries, microphones and lights to the user's mobile camera. This accessory is compatible with the S1 for taking mobile photos and films.

Vectu Pro Tracks Your Car From Your Phone

The Vectu Pro, an installed vehicle tracker, allows users to track their vehicles from their phones. This tracker is a good solution, for instance, for parents who have lent their cars to their children.

This product, showcased at Showstoppers, can be hard-wired to vehicle batteries so that users can locate their cars at all times from an app on their smartphones. The tracker's unique features enable the user to create a geofence and receive alerts when the Vectu leaves that area, or set a speed limit and receive alerts when that limit has been exceeded. The Vectu Pro is currently available at $139.99.