Every year, Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona becomes the venue for many exciting announcements in the tech world. This year was no different.
From smartphone flagships, to laptops, to new wearables, this year’s MWC did not disappoint. Here are our picks for Best of MWC 2018.
Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 is not only stunning on the outside, it’s also a power-packed on the inside. What Samsung has been able to pull off with the Galaxy S9‘s Dual Aperture camera is a feat of engineering that only techies might fully understand, but anyone who loves to take photos can fully appreciate. The S9 was the marquee feature of MWC 2018 and it’s set the bar high. New features like AR Emoji and super slow-mo video sweeten the deal, and make this a solid upgrade.
Nokia 7 Plus
The Nokia 7 Plus, crafted from a single block of aluminum, is a definite looker. Easily one of the best-looking phones at MWC, and proof that you don’t need a borderless screen to look good. It feels good too, with a soft textured back that doesn’t pick up smudges. Add a pair of Carl Zeiss lenses, a pure Android experience, and sub-EUR 400 price tag, and you have the best value-for-money phone so far this year.
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
ASUS’ newest line wowed at MWC but one device in particular caught our eye — and not just because it comes in beautiful red. With four cameras (including two in front), and the same all-glass design as the higher-end ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5 Lite is our favorite ZenFone of the bunch, and our new favorite selfie smartphone.
Land Rover Explore
We loved the Land Rover Explore because it represents the active lifestyle like no other Android phone we’ve seen. The phone is drop proof, ice proof, and rain proof. But what makes this rugged phone an adventurer’s dream is its modular approach, with kits for bikers and mountain climbers in the works.
To be a great phone, you just need to cover your bases and be great at them. Nokia goes back to basics and is amazing at it — proof that a smartphone doesn’t need all the frills to be a great device. Not only is the Nokia 1 the best budget smartphone of MWC, it’s probably the best sub-US$ 100 Android phone.
Is the future of smartphones borderless? In a sea of notch-full smartphones Vivo’s Apex concept easily became the must-see tech of MWC 2018. When many announcements are purely iterative, we appreciate innovation. The Vivo Apex has a fully borderless display, a pop-up selfie camera, and a fingerprint sensor that covers the entire half of the screen.
LG V30S ThinQ
Technology is moving towards artificial intelligence and LG will not be left behind. If LG’s philosophy is to be believed, there’s nowhere to go but up. Instead of releasing a new phone, LG introduced their own artificial intelligence technology on an already existing premium flagship. This AI allows the device to recognize shooting scenarios and improve on the photos based on this information. The LG V30S ThinQ is a true testament to LG’s continued commitment to improvement and excellence.
Nokia 8110 4G
The Nokia 8110 4G is the throwback feature phone we’ve all been waiting for. The nostalgic device, once featured in the movie The Matrix, is back and it’s gotten some 2018 upgrades. It also comes in a bright yellow version — fitting for a device dubbed “banana phone.”
Huawei MateBook X Pro
The borderless race doesn’t only apply to smartphones and it’s amazing that a laptop is leading in this category.
The world’s first FullView laptop comes in the form of Huawei’s MateBook X Pro. This beautiful device accomplishes what a lot of laptops have only attempted. Sheer ingenuity allowed for almost non-existent bezels on this machine — the camera is tucked away in the keyboard.
Lenovo Chromebook 300e
Lenovo’s Chromebook 300e is the perfect notebook computer for students. It can flip around like a Lenovo Yoga and be used in tablet mode. Our favorite feature though is being able to use a regular pencil as a stylus!
Sony Xperia Ear Duo
Sony’s MWC releases were not limited to phones. The Xperia Ear Duo is unlike any other headset; it reimagines how you listen to music giving you a more ambient experience and allowing you to still interact with signals from the world around you. These unique earbuds generate sound behind the ear and come with Google Assistant.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 700
Qualcomm’s newest processor is technology we’ve all been waiting for. It bridges the gap between midrange and premium processors. Bringing top-tier functions like artificial intelligence to more markets, and more people. Considering most major smartphones rely on Qualcomm SoCs to power their phones, this was an easy pick for us.
Best of 2019: Our favorite cameras
Carefully curated for your camera needs
Just like any other consumer product, asking for the best product of all time is a lot. Various products were made to cater to the needs of different people. Even though smartphone cameras are fast-evolving, cameras are slower to develop but are far from being obsolete.
Here’s a list to help you decide the next best camera for you.
Best cameras for vlogging
Portability and flip screens — two among the many features that vloggers and content creators want to have in a camera.
Sony RX100 VII
If you want to have the lightest and most compact camera for vlogging, the RX100 VII is your best pick. Unlike other cameras in the list, it doesn’t feature interchangeable lens. Don’t worry, it’s equivalent to a 24-200mm f/2.8-f/4.5 lens, giving you the flexibility to shoot photos and videos on-the-go. It features real-time eye AF and tracking, a 180-degree flip screen, and 4K 30fps video shooting, as well as 960fps slow-mo shooting.
If you’re already invested with Sony’s E-mount lenses, this new camera is for you. It’s one of the few cameras from Sony with interchangeable lenses that also has a flippy screen. It features a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, higher ISO expandability at 102,800, and even a weather-sealed body.
Canon EOS M6 Mark II
Successor to the EOS M6, Canon brings the M6 Mark II to the table with a larger 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor, faster shutter speed (together with the electronic shutter), higher ISO sensitivity range, and more AF points. It now features 4K 30fps/1080p 120fps shooting, a huge bump up from the old video resolution settings. Forget the lack of optical viewfinder! The 3-inch tilting LCD is helpful enough to make it an ideal vlogging companion.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of IFA 2019
Everything from your work to your home
IFA has always been home to some of the best tech releases each year and IFA 2019 is no different. This year we got a device that’s the first of its kind, machines for creators, and plenty of smart things useful for your home.
Here are the best of the bunch.
The follow-up to our favorite from last year, the Nokia 7.2 continues HMD Global’s tradition of building excellent, affordable, premium smartphones.
Veering away from the usual aluminum unibody in favor of a polymer composite, the Nokia 7.2 maintains durability while keeping the weight down to make room for a larger battery.
The phone is headlined by a 48MP camera sensor along with two other lenses: one that’s ultra wide and one that’s a depth sensor. Nokia developed new camera software to go along with the usual Zeiss hardware. This makes for photos with stunning image quality.
The Nokia 7.2 is in every respect what a flagship killer needs to be — combining the best of what the brand is known for, excellent hardware, pure software, and top-notch optics.
Samsung Galaxy Fold
The Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s new Pièce De Résistance, a device that gives users a taste of the future today.
After a major setback following its initial launch, Samsung went back to the drawing board to work on a fix. And if there’s any company that knows how to jump back up after a crisis it’s them. At IFA, the Galaxy Fold made its global return, the new and improved Fold is tougher and more resilient than ever, and most likely, THE foldable phone to beat!
Samsung BeSpoke Refrigerator
Have you ever wished to have a fridge that fits exactly with the design of your new home? There’s nothing more customized than Samsung’s BeSpoke Refrigerator.
Customization is king for this fridge. You can choose your refrigerator size, the number of doors, and a multitude of color combos. Name it, and Samsung will build it. That’s more control than you ever thought was possible with refrigerators.
Thinking about what to have for dinner and actually preparing it can be cumbersome. But it doesn’t have to be with the Bosch Cookit.
You can think of it as either an all-in-one food processor with cooking function. Or an all-in-one cooker with the slicing and dicing built-in. But perhaps the best thing about it is how you can connect it to the Home Connect App for a step-by-step guide on a variety of dishes you otherwise probably wouldn’t even think about preparing yourself.
Being able to prep and cook in the same machine is exactly what we need, where do we sign-up?
ASUS ProArt StudioBook One
There are laptops for creators, and then there are machines for those who need even more power. Engineers, industrial designers, video editors working for video production houses.
For all these users and then some there’s ASUS ProArt StudioBook One — possibly the most powerful laptop in the world today.
Powered by the latest Intel Core i9 processor, and the new NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics card it can literally handle anything you throw at it — rendering 8K videos, 3D graphics and animation, you name it, this beast of a machine can handle it.
Lenovo Yoga C940 14 and 15
For many years, Lenovo’s Yoga line has set itself apart as the premier 2-in-1s, and this year’s Lenovo Yoga C940 14 and 15 are no exception.
Easily our favorite laptops from IFA 2019, they come with up to a 10th generation Intel Core i9 processor, supercharging workflow and performance. You can even get it with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 to boost overall graphical performance if you need that extra oomph for video editing.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 is a powerhouse 2-in-1 designed for creators and creative professionals.
Lenovo Smart Display 7
We’ve been fans of Lenovo’s lineup of smart displays since they were first launched a year ago. But because of its size, the Lenovo Smart Display 7 has got to be our favorite. The device is petite enough to squeeze into an already cramped bedside table, or in a corner of your kitchen counter.
And for the uninitiated, a smart display is Google Assistant on steroids. It can show and tell your schedule, answer your questions, entertain you with music, videos, and music videos, and keep your hands-free when you’re trying to follow a tutorial.
Lenovo Smart Tab M8
It’s very clear which role the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 wants play. It intends to be your go-to device for entertainment.
With its 8-inch LCD panel display, it’s perfect for more intimate Netflix or YouTube sessions. But when you’re not holding it up, it also comes with a docking station and can function almost like the Smart Display 7.
Huawei Freebuds 3
Huawei has never been shy about putting their products up against Apple’s. And the Huawei Freebuds 3 is no exception. It’s essentially the AirPods, but better.
The Huawei Freebuds 3 clearly has its crosshairs on the AirPods. One look and you know that’s what Huawei was going for. It’s not the earbuds that some people find intrusive. These fit nicely in your ear without feeling invasive.
The other thing that sets it apart is adaptive noise cancellation. The Freebuds 3 is supposedly capable of 15-decibel ambient noise reduction. That’s remarkable for its size and easily blows the AirPods out of the water.
Oh and, it comes in black.
Huawei Kirin 990
Huawei’s Kirin 990 feels like a chip infused with the speed force.
Unlike other chips, the Kirin 990 incorporates 5G components on the same die. It saves space plus enables devices it’s equipped with to reach download speed up to 2.3Gbps, and upload speed of up to 1.25Gbps.
It uses two big, two middle and four little cores to optimize multitasking, with clock speeds of 2.86GHz, 2.36GHz, and 1.95GHz respectively. It’s flat out a speed demon.
LG G8X Dual Screen
LG is staking its claim on dual screens and the company might be onto something.
The LG G8X Dual Screen is an improvement of the similar tech employed on the LG V50 ThinQ. You connect the secondary screen via USB-C (USB-C everything!) instead of pogo pins. It does pretty much everything the first iteration can, but better.
You can tilt the second screen at any angle you like and it also folds all the way so you can use the LG G8X like you would a regular phone. You can go as far as calling this a semi-foldable and we wouldn’t hate you for it.
It also doesn’t hurt that LG opted to keep the headphone jack along with discrete Quad DAC that audio enthusiasts love so much.
While its competitors are going foldable, LG’s approach to innovation is practical, and we cannot recommend it more.
Philips Hue Vintage Bulbs + Smart Buttons + Smart Plugs
If you’re the type to go for a classic look, then the Philips Hue Vintage Bulbs will make you light up.
It’s reminiscent of the old incandescent light bulb, but made with light-emitting diodes instead of glowing tungsten. These new smart bulbs, much like everything on the new lineup unveiled by Philips will now work with Bluetooth. This will make it easier to invite users as you now only need to buy a single bulb to see if you’re open to getting more. Previously, the Philips Hue Hub was a required purchase since the system only worked with Zigbee but Bluetooth changes all that.
Philips also showcased new Smart Buttons and Smart Plugs. The button offers multiple controls. Press once to turn on/off. Press twice to change moods, and long press to dim up or down. The Smart Plug, meanwhile, will let you add lamps and string lights into your entire setup. Pretty neat and handy!
TCL Ray Danz Soundbar
TCL already makes some of the best TVs in the market today, so an equally excellent soundbar was only a matter of time.
The TCL Ray Danz Soundbar, much like anything on TCL’s lineup, promises good quality without exorbitant price tags. It has front-firing and sideways-firing speaker drivers to create a natural and wider resonance to elevate your Netflix and chill experience.
It also worked with Dolby Atmos to produce a 360-degree surround sound without the need for extra upward-firing drivers. As important as is a great display, is great audio, and if you’re looking for an excellent soundbar that doesn’t break the bank, look no further.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of Computex 2019
The best from Asia’s biggest tech show
Now that we’ve seen the best Computex 2019 has to offer, it’s time for the GadgetMatch team to dish out awards for the most deserving products.
Make no mistake about it: The chosen ten below have stood out for being the cream of the crop in their respective categories.
Here are all ten awardees of our Computex 2019 awards:
Best Smartphone — ASUS ZenFone 6 Edition 30
Computex 2019’s most impressive smartphone by far is the ZenFone 6 Edition 30 from ASUS. On top of all the high-end specs that make the original ZenFone 6 so great, this special edition smartphone exudes ASUS’ iconic concentric-circle pattern on the rear as well as an Edition 30 logo to commemorate the brand’s 30th anniversary. Only 3,000 will be made available — now that’s special!
Best Laptop — ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo
This year’s Computex saw ASUS taking secondary laptop screens to the next level. The ZenBook Pro Duo shines with a massive 4K touchscreen situated above the keyboard, providing a whole new dimension of interactivity. Combined with the primary NanoEdge OLED display and flagship specifications, the ZenBook Pro Duo stands out as not just the best laptop of Computex 2019, but also the most innovative notebook this year.
Best Gaming Laptop — Alienware m15
Leaner and more powerful than ever, the Alienware m15 proves that even slim gaming laptops can handle the most demanding of video games. It’s the world’s first 15-inch notebook featuring Tobii Eye Tracking technology for that competitive edge. It’s also built with the latest Intel and NVIDIA chips, as well as Alienware’s own Advanced Cryo-Tech 3.0 tech for maximum cooling efficiency, making this the best 15-inch gaming notebook of Computex 2019.
Best Convertible — Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
It looks like Dell has created the ultimate convertible, and it’s called the XPS 13 2-in-1. With a 4K InfinityEdge touch display and support for Dell’s Premium Active Pen, this is a multimedia creator’s dream. It even includes Intel’s newest 10th-generation Core processors, an edge-to-edge MagLev keyboard, and up to 16 hours of battery life, so you’re never left wanting more out of the XPS 13 2-in-1.
Best Mobile Chipset — MediaTek 5G SoC
MediaTek is now one step ahead of its competitors in the mobile 5G realm. MediaTek’s 5G SoC is the world’s first 7nm mobile chipset with an integrated 5G modem. It’s a single chip with the latest Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU, plus the Helio M70 5G modem. With a theoretical maximum download speed of 4.7Gbps and upload speed of 2.5Gbps, this chipset will power the slimmer and more efficient 5G phones of the future.
Best Laptop Chipset — Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G
Qualcomm is ready to become more present than ever on consumer notebooks, specifically those that are connected to the internet all day. The Snapdragon 8cx from last year is back and it now has the X55 modem, enabling seamless 5G connectivity on the go along with incredible battery life. Designed to turn laptops into true road warrior companions, the Snapdragon 8cx 5G may very well power the next generation of mobile computing.
Best Prosumer Laptop — Razer Blade Studio Edition
Razer’s new Blade 15 Studio Edition and Blade Pro 17 Studio Edition laptops are part of the first wave of NVIDIA Studio-branded machines with systems designed specifically for creators. They come in an attractive Mercury White finish and pack a 4K display, Intel Core i9 processor, and unrivaled Quadro RTX 5000 graphics. With these beastly specs, they can rival even the most powerful of desktop workstations — something we didn’t expect to happen so soon!
Best Desktop CPU — AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Computex 2019 gave birth to AMD’s third-generation Ryzen CPUs, and the crown jewel is the world’s first 7nm desktop chip, the Ryzen 9 3900X. With 12 cores and 24 threads to work with, the Ryzen 9 3900X is today’s ultimate consumer CPU. Even more impressive is its efficiency and value for money: It has a thermal design power of 105W and it’s priced at just US$ 499, which is less than half of its competitor’s asking price!
Best Lifestyle Product — WUDI IDI Arctic Neck Cooler
WUDI IDI’s Arctic Neck Cooler is the perfect accessory for strenuous physical activities like hiking, running, playing tennis, or even just sitting under hot weather. With strategically placed fans and a thermoelectric cooler placed on your nape, it dissipates heat upon contact with your skin to rapidly decrease your body temperature. It’s time to say goodbye to uncomfortable sweat!
Best Startup Product — SmartSound Skeeper
Skeeper is here to manage your daily health by listening to your heart. It’s a smart stethoscope that accurately captures your heartbeat using sound processing technology and provides monitoring and analysis through an app called Skeeper Heart. For pregnant moms, the Skeeper Mama app monitors their heart and baby’s health even while in the womb. With this lovely innovation, moms can now easily take care of themselves and their baby at the same time.
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