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MWC 2022: Rollable phones, Metaverse platforms and 5G notebooks

MWC 2022: Rollable phones, Metaverse platforms and 5G notebooks
4 Mar, 2022
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The 2022 edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that was held as a physical event at Barcelona, Spain concluded on March 3 after four days of unveiling involving new products and technologies that telecom, electronics and chip companies plan to launch in the market over the course of the year. Here are the key takeaways from one of the biggest electronics and telecom trade shows in the world.

Foldable smartphones with rollable screen

Any initial doubts about foldable phones have been truly put to bed by Samsung and others. At the event, several foldable devices including Xiaomi’s Mix Fold, Oppo Find N and Huawei’s P50 Pocket were on display. The most notable foldable device, however, was TCL’s ‘Fold n Roll’ prototype that has a foldable screen and a hidden rollable screen that can roll out from the edge to offer an 8.8-inch screen. TCL also showcased another foldable smartphone that has a 360 degree hinge allowing the foldable screen to bend backwards.  

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New platforms that will boost Metaverse adoptions 

MWC 2022 saw several companies talk about their upcoming metaverse hubs and devices. Facebook parent Meta, for instance, announced plans to set up an innovation hub in Spain to test devices and use cases to accelerate adoption of metaverse. HTC Vive unveiled plans to launch a VR ready smartphone that will work with the company’s metaverse network. Indian IT major TechMahindra also unveiled a platform called TechMVerse to help businesses offer immersive experiences to customers.  

5G notebooks for hybrid workers 

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Notebooks with in-built SIM connectivity have been around for some time. At MWC, a new crop of 5G ready notebooks aimed at hybrid workers were unveiled. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Book 2 Pro series of notebooks, some of which support 5G. Lenovo also launched a ThinkPad X13s notebook that supports 5G and runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor. 5G on notebooks will be a huge boost for workers looking for an always on connectivity with lower latency.

5G modem that leverages AI 

Qulcomm has unveiled a new Snapdragon X70 modem that uses an artificial intelligence (AI) processor to improve 5G performance on smartphones. The modem has a 5G AI suite that can tune mmWave connections, optimise transit paths for antennas,  resulting in better experience and lower power consumption. Qualcomm claims the modem can muster up to 10Gbps download speed and up to 3.5Gbps upload speed.  The modem also supports every commercial 5G band in the world. It is also expected to be used in future Apple iPhones.  

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New leap in fast charging  

Fast charging technologies have made a huge difference in the charging experience, cutting the time taken to charge a smartphone to a few minutes. Oppo’s new 240Watt fast charging tech, unveiled at the MWC is the highest power wattage yet for smartphones. Oppo claims it can charge a 4,500mAh battery in under 10 minutes.  

Huawei’s ebook reader with tablet like features 

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When it comes to ebook readers, book lovers have limited choices. Amazon’s Kindle series is the only option in most markets including India. Huawei is set to change it with the new MatePad Paper, an ebook reader with a 10.3-inch e-ink touch display that can also be used for taking notes using a stylus. It runs on Harmony OS and has a microphone for voice recording. 

6G roadmap 

Telecom stakeholders have started preparing the roadmap for the 6th generation technology standard for mobile broadband connections. At the MWC, South Korea’s Science and ICT Minister said her government is aiming to commercialise 6G services by 2028. NTT Docomo, Nokia and members of European Commission participated in sessions at the event to discuss the roadmap for development and deployment of 6G standards in the future.   

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