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The top five highlights from MWC 2018

Samsung and Sony brought their flagships while Nokia went bananas

Every year around the end of February, Barcelona plays host to Mobile World Congress, or MWC – a huge trade show that lasts the best part of a week, where anyone who's anyone in mobile puts in an appearance, and maybe launches a flagship smartphone or two as well.

This year has been no different, with a host of new products from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony and others at MWC 2018. 

Read on for our highlights from this year's show.

1. Samsung officially launched the much-leaked Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a refined version of last year's S8

Samsung had already promised to unveil "the next generation of Galaxy devices" at a press event on 25 February, and those devices were the Samsung Galaxy S9 and its bigger sibling the Galaxy S9+. 

Of course, that was widely known ahead of the result due to a series of leaks. So by the time the launch event rolled around we knew pretty much everything there was to know about the new Galaxy phones, but that didn't make them any less appealing.

Samsung is at the top of its game right now when it comes to mobile, leaving other Android handset manufacturers struggling to compete.

Check out our impressions of the new Galaxy handsets in the links below.

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Samsung also confirmed its Bixby smart speaker for the second half of 2018. Aimed at the premium end of the market, the speaker looks set to take on Apple's HomePod.

2. LG brought AI smarts with its V30S ThinQ

The LG V30S ThinQ features an AI powered camera

The highlight for LG at MWC 2018 was the LG V30S ThinQ, which packs a super camera powered by AI, that could show up the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2

The camera's artificial intelligence will automatically adjust the settings according to what you are shooting and it will apparently be able to recognise an object – a pair of shoes, for example – and tell you where you can buy it online. High street shops are gonna love that.

3. Huawei made us go "Oooh" with its pop-up MateBook X Pro webcam

How cool is this little pop-up webcam?

This year we didn't see any new phones from Huawei but the brand did rather wow us with its new Huawei MateBook X Pro, which joins the MateBook X that it launched last year, to create a MateBook range. 

It's highly spec'd and almost bezel-free: Huawei says it has a 91% screen to body ratio. And because those thin bezels leave no space for a webcam, the webcam is hidden in a little pop-up function key in the top row of the keyboard. How cute is that?

The MateBook X Pro features a 13.9-inch 3K touchscreen with a 3000 x 2000 pixel resolution and is set at a 3:2 aspect ratio. 

There's a lot of screen on the MateBook X Pro

Huawei also announced a trio of Android tablets: the MediaPad 5, the MediaPad M5 and the MediaPad M5 Pro. The MediaPad 5 is 8.4" which the two M5 variants are 10.8". All three feature speakers tuned by Harman Kardon.

Oh, and the Chinese brand also gave us more details about its next flagship smartphone. It'll be releasing its next flagship smartphone, the P20, at a launch event in Paris on the 27th of March. T3 will be there.

4. Sony trimmed back the bezels with its new flagship, the Xperia XZ2

The Sony Xperia XZ2 improves on previous Xperias

As was rumoured, Sony arrived at MWC with its new Sony Xperia XZ2. Compared with previous generations of the Xperia, there's a better screen-to-bezel ratio and, as you'd expect from Sony, the camera looks impressive. It's the first phone on the market to deliver 4K, HDR recording.

While the bezels have been reduced they are still very much a, er, feature, so we're not sure what reception the handset will get when it goes on sale.

Spec-wise, the Xperia XZ2 is up there with the rest of the flagships, so it's unlikely to disappoint in its performance.

Check out our hands-on Sony Xperia XZ2 review for our impressions of the new handset.

As well as the Sony Xperia XZ2, the brand also launched the smaller Xperia XZ2 Compact handset, and its new Sony Xperia Ear Duo earbuds which are designed to let you listen to music and still hear background sounds.

Those earbuds are basically the exact opposite of noise cancelling headphones so should be safer if you're listening to music in busy places, or you just want to be more aware of what's happening around you. They'll be available in May for $280 (UK price to be confirmed).

5. Nokia went bananas with the rebooted 8110

Nokia's slider is back (in yellow and black)

In a move that will delight some (though they might not go so far as to actually buy one), Nokia rebooted the Matrix phone, the banana-like Nokia 8110. And now it's even available in a cheery yellow.

It's been updated from the original 8110 and now features 4G connectivity, an app store for gives access to apps such as Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook and Twitter, and yes – it comes with an updated version of Snake.

The phone apparently runs KaiOS, which is based on the now discontinued Firefox OS.

If you fancy one, you'll be able to pick one up in black or yellow for €79 (around £70) when it launches in May.

Nokia also announced the Nokia 1, Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco. Of all the Nokia releases, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, with its  5.5-inch QHD OLED display, is the flagship and we have a hands-on review of the Nokia 8 Sirocco right here.

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