MWC 2023 took place this week in Barcelona, Spain, and it's always a big deal for companies looking to make a place with their new product announcements. There were many products unveiled at the event, from actual phones to just concepts that may never reach store shelves. However, for various reasons, some products from the show caught our attention more than others.
Here are some of our favorite phones, concepts, and technologies that were showcased at MWC 2023.
Best Concept: Motorola Rizr
There were a few concept devices shown off at MWC, but none were as interesting as Motorola's rollable smartphone concept. The phone is dubbed the Motorola Rizr, after the old slider from the days of yore, and it's a working rollable phone concept that many MWC attendees got some hands-on time with.
Kicking off #mwc2023 with @Moto *working* rollable smartphone concept. Double click power button to raise/lower the display OR… pic.twitter.com/xdZZQDD0fmFebruary 26, 2023
The phone extends its display from a relatively small 5.4 inches to a tall 6.5 inches, using a mechanism that pushes the display from the rear and the bottom. It can do this with the press of a button or automatically, depending on the content being displayed. And when you need to take a selfie, the display will shrink even further to reveal the hidden selfie camera and speaker.
It's a cool device, and we hope it will make a commercial debut sooner rather than later.
Best Phone: Xiaomi 13 Pro
The Xiaomi 13 Pro made its global launch at MWC, and it's clear that Xiaomi is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to challenge Samsung in global markets. The 13 Pro has a gorgeous design with a ceramic back, and it includes the latest Qualcomm hardware along with a large battery and 120W wired and 50W wireless charging.
But the biggest differentiator is the camera; Xiaomi is offering a massive 1-inch camera module here, and it takes phenomenal photos. In his review, Harish Jonnalagadda called it one of the best overall camera packages available right now, and that's down to the modules along with the Leica tuning — a first for the brand in global markets.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is set to retail for €1,299 in the coming weeks, and while that's a lot, it still undercuts what Samsung is charging for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, giving it a slender advantage.
Best Value: Realme GT3
Many of the best Android phones are pushing the needle when it comes to charging speeds. OEMs can only squeeze so much battery into a phone, so faster charging rates can help make up for any battery life shortcomings. Many OEMs, particularly Chinese brands, have already hit charging speeds of over 100W. Realme's latest phone just proved that it's now the new charging king.
The Realme GT3 is a rebranded GT Neo 5, packing a 4,600mAh battery that can get a full charge in just nine minutes thanks to the 240W charging support. That's incredibly fast, especially compared to phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which takes roughly an hour to charge. Imagine waking up to a dead smartphone, plugging it in while you get ready to leave for work, and unplugging it with a full charge.
This flagship phone also has other impressive specs and features, and it's powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which isn't the latest and greatest chip from Qualcomm, but it's still plenty powerful. On the back, you also get a cool RGB light that can alert you of notifications or act as a status indicator for battery level, charging, and more. And the best part is that it will launch in select markets outside Chine for roughly $649.
Best Budget Phone: Nokia G22
One of the most annoying things about breaking a phone (besides breaking a phone) is trying to get it repaired. Smartphones aren't known for being super easy to fix, but Nokia is trying to change this with the new Nokia G22.
Following companies like Google and Samsung, the company partnered with iFixit to provide genuine Nokia parts for anyone who wants to try to repair their device. But beyond that, Nokia says that starting with the G22, the company will focus on making its phones much easier to repair so that you can easily swap out batteries, charge ports, or screens.
It goes a long way toward making a phone last longer and reducing e-waste, and we'd love to see more Android OEMs take this same approach when building their phones.
Best Foldable: Honor Magic Vs
Since Honor broke away from Huawei, the company has been making moves, launching not one but two foldable phones. The Honor Magic Vs is the latest from the company and its first to ship globally. If you're in the market for a foldable phone, this might be one to consider over the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
In his Magic Vs hands-on, Harish Jonnalagadda came away quite impressed with what Honor was able to achieve. The hardware is just as premium as what you'd expect from a Samsung or Xiaomi foldable, and it's been tested to withstand 400,000 folds to prove its durability. And like the Z Fold 4, you can hold the display at any angle while you're working, watching videos, or on a video call.
Also, like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the phone isn't exactly cheap, retailing for €1500 when it goes on sale in Europe. Still, it's nice to see more OEMs giving Samsung competition in the foldable space.
Best Foldable Value: Tecno Phantom V Fold
Speaking of foldable competition, one company we didn't really expect to see enter the race is Tecno. The company is known for its large presence in Africa but has spread to more regions and released fairly impressive flagship phones like the Phantom X2 Pro. Now, the company has its own foldable, and it seriously undercuts the rest.
The Phantom V Fold has a large 7.85-inch "crease-free" display folding display and an external 6.42-inch display, both with 120Hz refresh rates. It's powered by the flagship MediaTek 9000+ with 12GB and 256GB of storage, and on the back is a 50MP triple camera setup.
The phone is rather impressive and can seemingly hold its own against the best foldable phones. However, priced at roughly $1100, the phone is much cheaper than most large-screen foldables and may be a good entry point for many consumers who are tempted by the form factor.
Best Feature: Chameleon Coloring Technology
Tecno didn't just come to MWC 2023 with a value foldable. The company is no stranger to giving its phones unique color-changing properties, as demonstrated by the Tecno Camon 19 Pro, but took things up a notch with its latest announcement at MWC. the company also showed off its new Chameleon Coloring Technology, which lets users change the back cover of their phones based on various factors, such as running apps, battery life, air temperature, and more.
The technology utilizes sub-micron prism material to achieve full-spectrum color rendering, supporting up to 1600 colors and allowing users to customize their device just how they want, whether it's to fit their mood or match their style.
Unfortunately, Tecno did not announce a new phone with this technology, but given the limited color options we get with smartphones these days, Tecno's new technology sounds pretty enticing.
Best Wearable: Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition
There were more than just phones at MWC, and with AR/VR growing in popularity, Xiaomi took to the show to unveil its new AR glasses. The Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition glasses are powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 and are compatible with the Xiaomi 13 Pro and other Snapdragon Spaces devices.
The glasses are lightweight at just 126g and are equipped with bright MicroOLED displays. They also feature built-in hand-tracking cameras for gesture control, allowing users to interact with virtual and real-world objects.
But beyond the cool tech, the glasses just look cool and are bound to turn some heads whenever Xiaomi decides to release them. Unfortunately, the glasses shown off at MWC 2023 were just a prototype, but hopefully, the final product looks just as cool.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.