Nostalgia rife at Mobile World Congress
Attendees at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona would be forgiven for thinking they’d stepped back in time to the early noughties, with two classic mobiles making a reappearance.
The home of Nokia phones, HMD Global unveiled a brand new 3310, while BlackBerry made a resurgence with the KEYone through Chinese smartphone maker TCL Communication.
The launches kicked off the three-day showcase, which, while lacked the usual excitement that comes from Samsung announcing its newest mobile (the brand postponed the release until the end of the month), still featured an array of exciting new products. Here are our biggest takeaways:
Let another generation of Snake aficionados begin
Appealing to consumers who are craving simplicity in an increasingly high tech age, HMD Global have brought back the 3310. Stripping away the apps, the new Nokia 3310 takes mobile phones back to their original use, allowing users to make phone calls (revolutionary!), send texts, search the web (slowly) and, most importantly, play Snake. The downside? It uses the 2G network, which will cease to exist in Australia by September – so it’s unlikely the retro device will launch on our shores.
BlackBerry holds on to the physical keyboard
Formerly the professional’s mobile of choice, BlackBerry is back with the KEYone (although it will run on Android) and while it features a large touch screen, it also has the brand’s well-known physical keyboard. This will be music to the ears of users who battle daily with the temperamental touchpad keys that feature on current smartphones. The downside? Sore thumbs and a decrease in hilarious autocorrect fails.
Telstra to deliver premium content directly onto customers’ phones
Telstra together with Ericsson and The Fox Innovation Lab are working on a content delivery solution that could see customers gain instant access to premium movies tailored to their interests on their mobiles, with no impact to their plans. Announcing the one month pilot program at the congress, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said it’s part of Telstra’s strategy to: “offer customers a truly distinctive video customer experience”.
AI-powered virtual assistants are the hot trend
Once the pioneer, Siri’s now got some tough competition in the virtual assistant space with a host of brands launching their own models. From Sony to LG and Motorola, many of the new smartphones launched at the congress included virtual assistants, with Google also announcing that it would be expanding its Google Assistant, which was previously exclusive to its Pixel and Pixel XL, to a range of Android devices.
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