Mobile World Congress 2016: 10 Flagship Smartphones Unwrapped So Far

Smartphone Madness

Mobile World Congress officially kicked off Monday in Barcelona, Spain -- but smartphone companies such as Samsung and LG already had taken the wraps off their newest phones even before the show began.

While the Internet of Things and virtual reality are playing a big part in the show this year, vendors are also pushing the limits this year on smartphone features with innovative technology, such as wireless charging capabilities, flashier displays and improved cameras.

Among the new flagships unveiled, at both the premium and the midrange affordable levels, were Samsung's Galaxy S7, the LG G5 and Lenovo's Vibe K5 series. Following are 10 new smartphones showcased so far at Mobile World Congress.

Lenovo's Vibe K5

Lenovo used Mobile World Congress as a launching pad for its 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 midrange smartphone.

Under the hood, the Vibe K5 also contains 2 GB of RAM and a microSD slot that enables up to 32 GB of further storage, 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 has a 13-megapixel autofocus rear-facing camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Vibe K5 will be available in March.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus

Lenovo's Vibe K5 Plus, unveiled alongside the Vibe K5 at Mobile World Congress, is the higher-quality companion phone. Starting at $149, this 5-inch smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 616 with better performance.

Other than its processor, however, the Vibe K5 Plus contains similar features to the Vibe K5 -- including 2 GB of memory with a microSD card slot allowing up to 32 GB of extra memory, a 2,750 mAh interchangeable battery, and a 13-megapixel autofocus rear-facing camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Vibe K5 Plus, which runs on the Android Lollipop OS, will also be available in March.

Alcatel Idol 4

Alcatel, a smartphone company owned by TCL, took the wraps off the next generation of its Android-powered phone at Mobile World Congress -- the Idol 4 and Idol 4S.

Both the 5.2-inch Idol 4 and 5.5-inch Idol 4S run on Android Marshmallow and contain 3 GB of RAM with a microSD slot. However, the phones differ in performance, display, and storage capacity -- while the less-expensive Idol 4 packs a Snapdragon 617 processor and a full-HD IPS liquid crystal display, the Idol 4S is powered by a speedier Snapdragon 652 and features an AMOLED screen with 1,440 by 2,560 resolution, as well as 32 GB of storage capacity over the Idol 4's 16 GB.

Both phones also contain a hardware addition dubbed the "Boom Key," a button that performs various tasks such as music, photo and video functions. The phones are available in gold, dark gray, rose gold and metal silver. The Idol 4 sells for $250, while the Idol 4S is priced at $400.

LG X Screen

In addition to the LG G5, LG took the wraps off the X Screen as part of its X Series at Mobile World Congress.

While the X Cam's best features are its cameras, the X Screen excels in its display -- the phone contains a 4.93-inch HD touch screen with a 1.76-inch ’always-on’ second screen that is taken from the design of LG's premium V10 phone. This screen allows users to easily access frequently used apps, answer calls, or play music.

The X Screen also runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, packs a 2,300 mAh battery, and touts a quad-core chipset with 2 GB of RAM. The phone has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. This phone will be debuting next month in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

LG X Cam

LG also took the wraps off the newest product in its X series, the X Cam, which the company will showcase at Mobile World Congress.

The X Cam, a 5.2-inch device, has enhanced dual rear-facing cameras -- which are 13-megapixels and 5-megapixels -- and a front-facing 8-megapixel camera. While prices on the phone were not disclosed, its 2,520 mAh battery and 2 GB of RAM suggest that it may be in the midrange market -- LG states that the phone is ’designed for customers who do not want or need all the bells and whistles that come with today's high-end phones but still desire a great camera or advanced display.’

Behind the display, the X Cam packs an octa-core chipset clocked at 1.14GHz, and the phone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The X Cam will be debuting in markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America next month.

Bullitt's Cat S60 Smartphone

Some smartphones at Mobile World Congress will have long battery life, and others will have crystal-clear displays, but Bullitt's phone will have a unique feature -- a thermal integrated camera.

This phone, the Cat S60, will have an embedded thermal camera from FLIR, the leader in thermal imaging technology. This phone has an array of applications, including detection of heat loss around windows and doors, spotting moisture and missing insulation, identifying over-heating electrical appliances and circuitry, and seeing in the dark.

The 4.7-inch Cat S60 is also waterproof in depths up to 5 meters for one hour, so it can be used as an underwater camera, and is drop-proof to 1.8 meters. This Android phone comes with a Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor, 3 GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel main camera with a dual flash and underwater capabilities.

HP Elite x3

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 4 GB of onboard memory.

The mobile device will go on sale in the summer. Pricing is not yet available, according to HP.

Galaxy S7

Samsung revealed the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge -- the next renditions of its popular Galaxy flagship -- and Mobile World Congress.

Both the 5.1-inch Android-powered Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge feature a new ’always on’ display, similar to that of the LG G5. This means that users can take short, quick peeks at notifications on their phones without having to turn off their phone when putting it back in their pockets. Both phone models are also water resistant and dust resistant. Both also contain 4 GB RAM and microSD card slots.

In addition to wireless charging capabilities, the Galaxy S7 smartphones have boosted battery capacity -- The Galaxy S7 contains a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge features a 3,600 mAh battery. While pricing has not been revealed, Samsung said its new flagships would be available beginning March 11.


LG also showed off its new Android flagship, the LG G5, at Mobile World Congress. This phone, launched along with an array of accessories, contains a modular design similar to Google's Nexus 6P. The smartphone has a fingerprint scanner and an anodized aluminum case, as well as high-resolution 2,560 by 1,440-pixel display.

LG hasn't revealed many details about the 5.3-inch G5, but the company did say the phone has 32 GB 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.

Sony Xperia X-Series

Sony took the wraps off its newest Xperia phone series -- the Xperia X -- at Mobile World Congress on Monday morning. This phone has a bunch of improvements over previous models, including a better-looking curved glass display, camera upgrades, and better battery life.

Sony showed off two phones in its series. 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.

The Xperia X cameras contain a feature called Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, meaning that 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.