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Best of MWC 2018: Award winners from the biggest mobile tech show of the year

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MWC 2018 is over, and we’ve selected the best product announcements from this year’s show

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is one of the biggest tech shows of the year. Held on 26 February to 1 March in Barcelona, the annual tech conference is officially over, with Samsung, Sony, Nokia and others all showing off their latest flagship, mid-range and budget smartphones, as well as a handful of laptops and tablets.

READ NEXT: The best tech launches at CES 2018

Here I’m going to take you through the most exciting products announced at this year’s MWC, and all the tech you REALLY need to know about in 2018. These are Expert Reviews’ Best of MWC 2018 award winners.

Samsung Galaxy S9

It’s no surprise, this one. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 missed last year’s MWC but its successor, the Galaxy S9, appeared in 2018 with a handful of excellent improvements.

This year’s Samsung flagship is equipped with a clever rear camera that automatically widens or restricts the aperture, depending on the amount of light in the environment. This
ensures that shots in good light aren’t hideously overexposed, while pictures taken in low light pick up as much detail as possible.

The usual annual improvements also make an appearance, such as processor upgrades, subtle design tweaks and, well, custom emoji that maps to your face. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 will be the smartphone to beat as 2018 begins to build pace.

Read more about the Samsung Galaxy S9

Huawei Matebook X Pro

Huawei wasn’t averse to big product announcements at this year’s MWC, and the Matebook X Pro was the biggest of the lot. A MacBook-like laptop, the Matebook X Pro is better than last year’s non-Pro model in almost every respect: it’s faster; has a great, bezel-free display; and it looks seriously good, too. Not to mention the fact that this laptop has a hidden, pop-up camera nestled between the F6 and F7 function keys.

Competition in this category may be cutthroat, but Huawei has clearly listened to customer feedback and massively improved its beloved top-end laptop. The Matebook X Pro has every chance of success in 2018.

Read more about the Huawei Matebook X Pro

Asus ZenFone 5Z

While Asus does launch phones at MWC – last year’s ZenFone 4 was one of our favourites – it normally shies away from having a big presence at the show. But that all changed this year: Asus’ ZenFone 5Z may be the standout product of this year’s MWC.

Why? Well, despite its flagship-level features and fancy specs, it’s a phone that’s alarmingly well priced. Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 processor powers things – the same chipset as the Galaxy S9 – and it has 256GB of onboard storage and a 19:9 display with an iPhone X-like notch. Not to mention it looks tremendous, too.

Read more about the Asus Zenfone 5Z

Sony Xperia XZ2

Sony is never afraid to push boundaries with its phones, and the Xperia XZ2 does just that. Like its Compact alternative, this is the first ever smartphone to not only offer proper 4K HDR video recording, but also super-slow-mo 960fps video capture at Full HD resolution.

Combine this new and improved camera with top-end specs, a stunning new design, an 18:9 display and a sensible price point, and the Xperia XZ2 is a worthy upgrade to its forebear. Who knows, this could be the flagship to watch out for in 2018.

Read more about the Sony Xperia XZ2

Lenovo Yoga 730

The laptop hybrid market is tough, but Lenovo’s latest 2-in-1 has what it takes to stand out. Terrifically versatile, the Yoga 730 is a good deal better than last year’s Yoga 720, with faster internals, a slightly tweaked design and, crucially, Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant on board.

Alexa essentially transforms your laptop into your own AI-powered butler. It performs all the same actions as your Echo devices, answering your never-ending questions and showing you the weather. It’s a cool, useful addition to the Yoga formula, and with prices starting at just $879 (~£629), it's enticingly affordable, too.

Read more about the Lenovo Yoga 730

Nokia 1

The Nokia 1 is designed for someone who may not have had a smartphone before, with an excellent low price to match. It might not have been as headline-grabbing as its flagship brethren, but make no mistake: the Nokia 1 is particularly special.

And that’s all down to Android Go: a new, special version of Google’s mobile operating system intended for low-power devices such as the Nokia 1. Google’s core suite of apps – such as Maps, Gmail and YouTube – have all been optimised for devices with 1GB of RAM or less. What this means is that, despite its low-powered internals, the Nokia 1 shouldn’t take a hit to performance. And that’s a very interesting proposition indeed.

Read more about the Nokia 1

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