5 of the biggest announcements from Mobile World Congress

Earlier this month, Mobile World Congress wrapped up in Barcelona, Spain, concluding the 2023 edition of the planet’s single largest exhibition and trade show for cell phone manufacturers, wireless carriers and just about every other major player in the mobile device business. And as usual, the more than 2,400 exhibitors from 202 countries had a lot to announce at the week-long showcase.

While many of the world’s largest brands such as Apple and Samsung did not have much to reveal at MWC this year — they typically curate independent events solely dedicated to their products — many others made groundbreaking announcements and unveiled cutting-edge tech. So in case you missed it, here are 5 key headlines from Mobile World Congress 2023.

A foldable Motorola Razr is coming this year

A new version of the foldable Motorola Razr — one of the most popular cell phones of the 2000s that was recently revived by the brand — will launch later this year, Yuanqing Yang, the CEO of Chinese technology giant Lenovo, which now owns Motorola, confirmed to CNBC. Like the original, the new Razr retains its folding feature but instead of using a hinge, the updated version’s screen is made with a unique flexible glass that can bend, allowing the phone to fold. Motorola will launch the next version of the foldable phone “very soon,” Yang said at MWC.

Get ready for the metaverse

“Metaverse hype was hanging like a multicolored fog over the Mobile World Congress (MWC) connectivity trade show in Barcelona this week,” TechCrunch writes, with the conference’s organizers pitching attendees into a smorgasbord of metaverse-themed discussions — most of which seemed designed to generate maximum FOMO, as a parade of tech evangelists took to the stage in Spain, armed with a new generation of acronyms and luridly colored slide-decks, urging the audience not to sweat the detail of whatever this metaverse thing is (or isn’t). And just focus on monetizing it before someone else does. But one thing’s for sure: many of the world’s largest tech companies appear to be fully onboard the metaverse bandwagon.

Phone charging in under 5 minutes is now a reality

Redmi’s fast-charging technology just got even more ridiculous. In a post on Chinese social media site Weibo, the Xiaomi-owned phone maker showed off its new 300W fast-charging technology that can power up a phone in just five minutes flat, The Verge reports. Although Redmi touts its charger as capable of charging up to 300W, it only hits about 290W during the charging process — a nonetheless impressive figure that still manages to top the fast-charging speeds of other Chinese phone makers such as OnePlus and Realme, which take between 10 and 20 minutes to reach a full charge.

Expect big things from Huawei in the near future

Huawei Technologies has once again proved that despite being at the center of the ongoing geopolitical battle between the U.S. and China for years, the Chinese technology giant is a force to be reckoned with, writes TechWire Asia. Exhibit A: Huawei occupied MWC’s largest exhibition space, filling 9,000 square meters near the entrance with a footprint expanded by 50% compared last year, and continued to dominate many MWC conversations with its new “5.5G” wireless connectivity innovations, versatile and growing cloud operations, and its brand new Huawei GT Cyber smartwatch — though the company has since come under fire for allegedly tracking attendees at MWC 2023.

Nokia unveils a new smartphone — and a new logo

Nokia unveiled a brand new, budget-friendly Android smartphone at Mobile World Congress that was developed in partnership with iFixit and will allegedly allow customers to perform simple fixes on the phones at home, such as replacing depleted batteries or cracked display screens, according to Euronews. The iconic Finnish telecoms firm also unveiled a new logo at MWC that’s designed to focus on the fact that Nokia is no longer just a manufacturer of smartphones. “In most people’s minds, we are still a successful mobile phone brand, but this is not what Nokia is about,” Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark told Bloomberg.