I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: 2019 could be the year smartphones get fun again. After years of similar form factors and slight improvements, the back of the mobile industry is against the wall.
For the first time, sales are down, due to economic factors and slower refresh cycles. Most people who want good phones have had access to them for a while, and smartphone makers are providing fewer compelling reasons to buy new.
With their backs to the wall, phone makers are getting creative. We’ve already seen some early fruits from companies late last year and last month at CES. But CMM will really be your time to shine. It is a much larger mobile program, and all parties know that everyone has the big guns.
This is what we hope to see in Barcelona from February 24 to 28.
Huawei: The company appears to have a lot on tap for the event, in part because the North American-based CES is something of a no-starter. CEO Richard Yu has hinted at a foldable phone and a 5G phone, which could very well be the same phone. More mainstream are the P30 and P30 Pro. The company has done a good job of keeping it a secret, but rumors about three or four rear lenses have made the rounds.
LG: As is its move, LG has already announced the G8 ThinQ. We know that the new flagship will feature a Time of Flight sensor front camera that offers potential tricks like face unlock, along with AR apps. The V50 is reportedly available as well, which could bring 5G along for the ride.
Microsoft: A surprise addition to this year’s show, Microsoft already announced an event for February 24, where we expect the company to showcase the HoloLens 2. The next generation of headphones will arrive when the rest of the hardware and software world is finally ready to embrace. augmented reality seriously.
Motorola: The recent launch of the G7 may have blown the wind out of CMM’s sails, but rumors of a foldable Razr reboot are circling.
OnePlus: We know a 5G phone and the OnePlus 7 are in the pipeline, and maybe the same? There is also talk of a closed-door event at the show, but most don’t expect big presentations from the company.
Samsung: Don’t expect a ton from Samsung this year. The company is (inconveniently) holding its big event a few days before. Expect the S10 and all of its iterations to receive a big discovery that week in San Francisco, along with a preview of the upcoming foldable venture. That doesn’t leave much for the CMM, but maybe we can take a look at the world of portable or PC devices.
Sony: While Xperia phones have long been a loss leader, the electronics giant has always put on a great show to launch flagship devices. Those, in turn, have long been a launching pad for some cool camera tricks. This year, the Xperia XZ4 seems to be available for the event. The phone seems to be interesting, with a 21: 9 aspect ratio screen and a 4,400 mAh battery.