What were the most exciting consumer devices announced at MWC 2021?
No, you’re not mistaken, it’s July and yes, we’re talking about MWC Barcelona (formally known as Mobile Word Congress) because the event took place later than usual this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The biggest trade show for the mobile industry usually runs in February every year, but it was pushed to the end of June this year to increase the chances of it actually being able to go ahead as a physical event.
MWC 2021 was held in a hybrid format, accommodating less than a third of its usual attendees in Barcelona and a significant audience online. Despite being smaller than usual, we still saw some incredible innovations showcased which you’ll be able to put your hands on very soon.
New Software for Samsung Galaxy Smartwatches
Although not present at the physical event, Samsung still made a big reveal via a virtual keynote about the software for its new Galaxy Watch wearables. Called One UI Watch, the interface will be overlaid on the current Wear OS the company helped Google build. This means that Galaxy watches will have access to Wear OS apps through the Google Play store.
This new software will come with other functionalities such as improvements to sensor reading for health and fitness services and reduced battery drain when measuring your heart rate. Furthermore, it will allow apps to start on your device 30% faster than they do now.
For those of you who are looking forward to seeing the new Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung also revealed that it will be announced later this summer.
New Tablets and Smart Home Tech from Lenovo
Chinese computing company Lenovo was present at MWC and used the platform of the show to introduce a number of new tablets. These include the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 and Yoga Tab 11, both of which feature a built-in kickstand. The company also announced three lower-end Android devices – Tab M7, Tab M8 and Tab P11 Plus, with the latter having the functionality to be attached to an optional Lenovo Keyboard Pack.
The company also introduced its latest smart home device – the Lenovo Smart Clock 2, a voice-controlled alarm clock that includes access to Google Assistant. The second generation of the smart clock features improved speaker design, new charging dock accessory (which you can use to charge your smartphone) and a 4-inch display.
New Smart Glasses and kids’ fitness tracker from TCL
Just days before MWC 2021 officially kicked off, TCL announced its smart glasses which you can connect to your phone to have videos displayed on them. Called NXTWEAR G, the smart glasses operate like a secondary display. Want to watch YouTube videos on a bigger screen? Just plug your glasses into the USB-C port of your phone, tablet or computer, and you’ll be able to use it as the equivalent of a 140-inch display. TCL’s glasses don’t have a battery, which makes them very light, but require a cable for power.
TCL also announced a new 4G smartwatch designed for kids. Named the TCL MovieTime Family Watch 2, this wearable device lets children make calls and send messages, allowing parents to keep track of their whereabouts. It also features a built-in front-facing camera, making it the first kids’ smartwatch capable of making video calls. In addition, the MovieTime Family Watch 2 includes more accurate GPS positioning and improved battery life for parents’ piece of mind. It also has the capability for setting up geofenced zones, meaning that parents will get alerts if their children stray outside a defined area.
These are some of the innovative technologies we spotted at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.
And here’s a little reminder of the tech that was announced at previous MWC events: