With everything going on in the world, you might not have been aware of the big tech conference in Spain this week. But Mobile World Congress 2022 did happen and brought some exciting products to look forward to alongside concepts we wish already existed.
150W wired fast-charging on the horizon
The race for introducing faster charging speeds rages. OPPO plans to leap from 80W to 150W through its sub-brand, OnePlus. The brand announced it would bring 150W SuperVOOC flash charge to the next OnePlus flagship phone coming out in the second quarter of the year. The technology allows it to fully charge a 4,500mAh dual-cell battery in 15 minutes. A quick five-minute charge gets you back up to 50 percent.
OPPO optimizes this fast-charging technology with Battery Health Engine (BHE), claiming to double its lifespan (up to 1,600 cycles before reaching the 80-percent battery health deterioration). It has a dedicated battery management chip, smart battery health algorithm, and a form of battery healing tech, which should improve cells’ electrolyte formula.
Another BBK Electronics-owned company will also introduce 150W UltraDart Charge technology, which should get you similar charging times as OPPO’s offering. realme will be using the upcoming GT 3 Neo to introduce this technology with its UltraDart Charging Architecture (UDCA).
It’s described as the “world’s first 100W-200W smart device charging architecture.” It uses Multi Boost Charge Pumps to boost the charging current and allow phones to charge faster while doing that safely and offering improved battery longevity.
The hottest flagships
We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the big smartphone launches at the show. We’ve already featured the OPPO Find X5 Pro. But we have to talk about some exciting things coming from brands like POCO and Honor.
The POCO X4 Pro 5G beefs up the X series line with features like its 108-megapixel sensor (a first for POCO); 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display (another first) with 120Hz refresh rate and up to 700 nits of brightness; and a glass back in POCO’s signature blue, yellow, and black options.
It also gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of expandable storage, and a 5,000mAh battery with 67W fast charging support (with the 67W charger in the box!). The X4 Pro 5G even offers hi-res audio certification and a 3.5mm headphone jack for audiophiles. In the Philippines, it’ll retail at PHP 16,990 for the 6GB +128GB and PHP 17,990 for the 8GB + 256GB.
Honor wants us to know it’s serious about its flagship game. It launched its new Magic 4 series, intending to take the fight to the Samsung Galaxy S22 series. One of its best features is it offers 100W wired and wireless charging in the Magic 4 Pro, getting its 4,600mAh battery to 50 percent in 15 minutes and then a full charge in another 15 minutes.
It comes with a triple camera array, including a 50-megapixel main, 50-megapixel with a 122-degree field of view, and a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera. Honor wants to emphasize its Multi-Camera Fusion computation photo tech, which blends photos from each of the lenses to create sharper, better pictures. It also promises cinema-quality video perfect for hobbyist filmmakers.
The Magic 4 Pro runs on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, Adreno 730 GPU, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and Android 12-based Magic UI 6.0 software. It also has a 6.8-inch LTPO OLED display that can dynamically adjust refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz. And it gets a feature called AI Privacy Call that can change the volume of your call depending on ambient noise, so it can boost the volume to help you hear better in noisy environments or dial it down if you’re in a quiet area. The Honor Magic 4 Pro’s pricing starts at EUR 1,099 (around PHP 62, 814 converted).
Huawei MatePad Paper
The e-reader gets a performance boost with the Huawei MatePad Paper. It’s an e-reader x tablet hybrid that supports the company’s stylus. You might appreciate this tablet if you love to annotate in e-books or write on documents. Huawei refined the sensitivity of the textured display to 26ms to make it better to scribble on the matte e-ink surface.
It has a 10.3-inch grayscale screen with an anti-glare, reflective display, so use in different environments shouldn’t be an issue. In case you wanted to know, it can reproduce 256 shades of grayscale for displaying text, images, and even video (because why not) and offers 32 levels of backlighting.
The MatePad Paper has relatively slim bezels for an e-ink device, with an 86.3 percent screen-to-body ratio and a book spine-inspired design for easy holding with one hand. Huawei plans to sell the MatePad Paper with the M-Pencil and folio cover included for EUR 499 (~PHP 28,520).
TCL’s foldable concepts
TCL loves to bring its foldable concepts to big tech shows, and MWC is no different. It showed off the 360-degree Ultra Flex, which gets a 360-degree hinge mechanism to let you close the 8-inch AMOLED screen on the inside or outside.
There’s also the Fold n Roll, which kind of gives away what the foldable can do. It is actually a concept the company introduced first in April last year. Not only does it fold as the typical foldables available on the market, but its left side can roll out horizontally to offer extra screen real estate.
It offers three modes: a 6.87-inch smartphone mode with the folding parts tucked in, an 8.85-inch phablet mode with the screen is unfolded, and a full-blown 10-inch tablet mode with the rollable side extended.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13s Gen 1
There are a couple of notable things about this business laptop. It’s the company’s first true business Windows running on a Snapdragon chip (Qualcomm 8cx Gen 3), which it says gets an 85 percent CPU and 57 percent GPU upgrade from last-gen chips. It’s also expected to offer fantastic battery life, getting you up to 28 hours on a single charge.
It is designed to run more like a phone than a typical laptop. It has a fanless design with a thin 13mm body made from 90% recycled magnesium and weighs under 2.4 pounds. It also offers a 5-megapixel webcam, an IR camera for face recognition, Wi-Fi 6E, and support for 5G mmWave or sub6. Pricing starts at USD 1,099 (~PHP 56,562), with shipping starting in May.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360
If you want to use an S Pen with a Samsung laptop, then there’s the new Galaxy Book2 Pro 360. This 2-in-1 laptop can be folded into a tablet, thus making the stylus a handy addition. The stylus doesn’t have Bluetooth support, but Samsung reduced latency over its predecessors for a better drawing and writing experience. Samsung Note also gets better handwriting recognition, hyperlink support, and sync with Android-powered Galaxy devices.
It has a 1080p AMOLED screen (13.3-inch or 15.6-inch screen sizes), Intel 12th-gen processors, up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 63Wh (13.3-inch) or 68Wh (15.6-inch) batteries with up to 21 hours of battery life. And we love that the Burgundy option is available here. The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360’s starting price is USD 1,250 (~PHP 64,341), and it’ll hit the shelves in April.
Somewhat unrelated, but Samsung’s smartphone chief Roh Tae-moon also confirmed at MWC that the “Galaxy Note will come out as Ultra,” effectively killing the Galaxy Note brand. It’s the confirmation we knew was coming, but we just wanted to hear from them.
Honor Earbuds 3 Pro
You might already be using infrared ear thermometers to check your temperature; why not use your earbuds? Honor introduced the Earbuds 3 Pro alongside its flagship phones. These wireless buds come with built-in temperature monitoring, which they can monitor throughout the day or be activated via a tap. From what we understand, you can even receive alerts for abnormal temperature changes.
As with many devices that offer some kind of medical feature, Honor wanted to remind us that it isn’t meant for medical purposes. It’s more for demonstration purposes, at least until the company decides to bring it into compliance with related regulations.
As a pair of buds, they offer features like adaptive noise cancellation, an 11mm dynamic driver with improved sound details and bass, and up to 24 hours of battery life with the charging case.
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