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The 8 Hottest Devices At Mobile World Congress 2018

Vendors including Samsung and Lenovo are using MWC 2018 to show off newly announced products, such as smartphones and convertibles.

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Gadgets Galore

The return of Samsung's annual Galaxy S launch to Mobile World Congress is just one of the highlights of MWC 2018 in Barcelona. Cool new smartphones, tablets and laptops -- from the likes of LG, Lenovo, Sony and Nokia -- are among the other big debuts at MWC this year. With all of the product announcements, we wanted to narrow down the field a bit to the most exciting and important new devices that've gotten unveiled. So in the following slides, we offer our picks for the eight hottest devices launching at MWC 2018.


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Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung is using MWC 2018 to unveil the top-of-the-line model in its 2018 smartphone series, the Galaxy S9+. The 6.2-inch smartphone features a dual-camera system, a curved edge-to-edge QHD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm's latest mobile processor (the speedy Snapdragon 845) and 6 GB of RAM. The device's pair of 12-megapixel rear cameras offer new features such as a dual-aperture for automatic adjustment to different lighting conditions and improved slow-motion video capture. The Galaxy S9+ also includes stereo speakers, expandable storage (up to a total of 464 GB) and a faster type of biometric authentication called Intelligent Scan, which combines facial recognition and iris scanning.

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is priced unlocked at $840. Pre-orders begin on March 2 and shipping starts March 16.


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Samsung Galaxy S9

The smaller companion to the S9+ unveiled at MWC 2018, the Samsung Galaxy S9 comes with a 5.8-inch QHD Super AMOLED display and shares many of the key features of the larger model -- such as the Snapdragon 845 processor, stereo speakers and Intelligent Scan authentication. The S9 only has a single rear-facing camera, of 12 megapixels, but it does offer dual aperture and the other new camera features of the S9+ camera system. The S9 also has less RAM, at 4 GB, but the same ability to expand storage to up to 464 GB.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is priced unlocked at $720. Pre-orders begin on March 2 and shipping starts March 16.


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Samsung DeX Pad

One of the novel features that Samsung introduced last year was the ability for the Galaxy S8/S8+ to turn into a desktop, by connecting to Samsung's DeX dock (sold separately). DeX connects to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and provides a desktop interface for key Android apps -- offering the possibility of just using your phone as your computer wherever you are. Now, alongside the Galaxy S9 and S9+ at MWC 2018, Samsung is debuting a second-generation DeX model called the DeX Pad. This time, DeX lets you lay your phone flat on the dock rather than propping it up on the dock, as in the original version. The DeX Pad also allows you turn the phone into a trackpad for operating the desktop mode.

Samsung has not disclosed pricing or availability for the DeX Pad.


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LG V30S ThinQ

LG is using MWC 2018 to debut a new version of its well-received V30 smartphone. The LG V30S ThinQ is so named because it's part of LG's new ThinQ-branded artificial intelligence push. Key AI features of the V30S ThinQ include improved camera capabilities such as AI CAM, which analyzes photo-taking conditions and recommends an optimal shooting mode. The V30S ThinQ also aims to offer better voice-controlled functionality through the new Voice AI feature (which works alongside the Google Assistant). Additionally, while retaining key elements such as the V30's 6-inch OLED edge-to-edge display, the V30S ThinQ moves up to 6 GB of RAM (from 4 GB in the V30) and to 128 GB of internal storage (from 64 GB on the V30).

Pricing and U.S. availability for the LG V30S ThinQ have not been disclosed.


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Lenovo Yoga 730

At MWC 2018, Lenovo is looking to up its game on combining power and portability for its Yoga line of convertibles. The new Yoga 730, which will be available in 13-inch and 15-models, will offer eighth-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7) and optional Nvidia discrete graphics for the 15-inch model (GeForce GTX 1050). A UHD/4K display is also available, and the laptops are now 13 percent lighter than the previous generation (2.5 pounds for the 13-inch model, 4 pounds for the 15-inch model). Even more unique in the laptop field: the Yoga 730 is now integrated with Amazon's Alexa assistant for handling many voice-controlled tasks.

The 13-inch Yoga 730 has a starting price of $880, and the 15-inch model starts at $900. Both models are scheduled to be available in April.


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Sony Xperia XZ2

Sony is using MWC 2018 to launch a new flagship smartphone, the Xperia XZ2, which features a 5.7-inch FHD+ display with reduced top and bottom bezels from previous models. The Xperia XZ2 also comes with a 19-megapixel camera that supports 4K HDR video recording; Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor; 6 GB of RAM; and a new "fluid 3D glass surface" design for the body. For entertainment purposes, the device supports HDR content along with some audio improvements, including stereo speakers and Sony's "Dynamic Vibration System" (which gives vibratory feedback when playing games and watching movies).

Pricing and U.S. availability for the Sony Xperia XZ2 has not been disclosed.


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Huawei MediaPad M5

At the CRN Test Center, we enjoyed trying out Huawei's previous iPad Mini-esque tablet, the MediaPad M3. So we're glad to see the company updating the lineup with the MediaPad M5 (even if we can't tell you why it's not called the M4). The MediaPad M5 comes in a second size, 10.8-inch, in addition to the 8.4-inch model. The tablet includes a curved glass 2,560 x 1,600 display, a metallic body, speakers tuned by Harman Kardon and sizable batteries (5,100mAh for the 8.4-inch model and 7,500mAh for the 10.8-inch model). Additionally, the 10.8-inch MediaPad M5 supports Huawei's M-Pen digital stylus.

Huawei hasn't disclosed U.S. pricing for the MediaPad M5. The tablet is expected to launch in the spring.


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Nokia 8110

In keeping with the tradition of launching throwback phones at MWC -- last year it was the Nokia 3310 -- Nokia brand licensee HMD Global this year is showing off its revival of the Nokia 8110 "banana phone." The Nokia 8110 -- remembered in part for its appearance in "The Matrix" -- remains a slider phone but now offers access to Android apps such as Google Maps, Facebook and Google Assistant. Importantly, the Nokia 8110, which runs a Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform processor, also includes a new version of the retro game Snake.

The Nokia 8110 will cost just €79, or about $97, and is scheduled for release in May.

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