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Mobile world in Barcelona: Wearables are out, phones are back in style

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Dale Davies ▼ | February 26, 2016
Last year's Mobile World Congress was all about wearables, but this year they felt in oblivion thanks to return of mobile phones in all shapes and sizes, with some very exciting new technologies.
Mobile World Congress 2016
Mobile World Congress 2016   Stars of last year are stars no more
LG G5Asian brands took the central stage this year in Barcelona, and the most talked-about brands, according to Hotwire, were LG, Samsung, Sony, and Huawei. And there is a reason for that: mobile manufacturers managed to capture audience's attention with their new devices such as LG G5, most probably the most exciting new phone in years with a new modular design. Add to that an LG VR headset and a handy 360 degree camera and you have a new flagship phone in the house.

Gear VRSamsung continued with its Galaxy series and presented - what else? - S7 and S7 Edge. It features a large 5.1 inch screen, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 12 megapixel camera with larger pixels for better low light performance. S7 Edge has similar specs and a larger 5.5 inch curved screen, and both phones are waterproof. Samsung joined forces with Facebook and presented Gear VR headset which looks great if you want to move around with a kind of helmet on your head all the time. But, VR is "in" this year, so Samsung made it.

Xperia XSony went further with their Xperia X and Xperia XA, trying to breathe a new life in their popular brands. And they made very interesting devices. They are both devices with 5-inch display and very good design. The X is a higher model while the XA should belong into the upper end of the mid range, but both of them are very good phones. The X has a respectable 23 megapixel camera that can track a moving object, and XA has a 13 MP camera. Sony's Xperia Ear is a Bluetooth headset with voice search functionality.

Huawei MateBookHuawei took another approach: instead of launching its xy smartphone, the company put focus on a dual-boot notebook. The MateBook has detachable keyboard cover and MatePen stylus which may also be a laser pointer and projection clicker. It features a 12-inch display with a 2160x1400 resolution, and a full metal body that's just 6.9mm thick. With weight of just 640g, Core M7 processor, 512GB, and a fingerprint sensor, this was one of the stars of this year's Mobile World Congress.