Bigger, faster, smarter: China’s smartphone makers take on Apple, Samsung

Donovan Sung, of Xiaomi, presenting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Donovan Sung, of Xiaomi, presenting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photo: Getty

Chinese companies are muscling in with stylish, more innovative devices, challenging rival smartphone makers like never before.

Tech giants have unveiled their flagship devices at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) at Barcelona, with products including foldable screens, 5G phones and stunning camera technologies.

Here’s a round-up of the most impressive devices unveiled so far at this year’s event.

Huawei Mate X

Huawei is the latest company to unveil a foldable smartphone, just days after Samsung revealed its latest Galaxy Fold.

The Mate X features a 6.6-inch display, 5G connectivity, a powerful 4500-mAh battery and three rear cameras.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which opens up like a tablet, the design of the Mate X sees the larger screen wrap around the outside of the device, rather than being enclosed. 

There’s also a fingerprint sensor that can unlock the phone, as well as a triple camera system with a 40-megapixel, wide-angle lens and 8-megapixel telephoto lens.

Huawei said the phone will start about €2300 ($3600) and be available in mid-2019.

Oppo’s ‘stunning’ camera feature

While Oppo didn’t bring a phone to this year’s event, it came armed with awe-inspiring camera technology.

The rising Chinese tech giant developed a smartphone camera with a whopping 10x optical zoom, competing with most phones on the market that can only handle 2x optical zoom.

For Oppo devices to achieve 10x optical zoom, its hardware features an 8.6mm triple-camera system that includes a 48-megapixel main lens and a 120-degree, ultra-wide lens and a 160mm telephoto zoom lens.

The company also revealed it has been working on its 5G technology, with Optus and Telstra expected to have a 5G-ready phone in the second half of the year.

Xiaomi’s affordable 5G phone

Xiaomi has unveiled its affordable 5G version of its already popular premium smartphone, the Mi Mix 3.

The phone features an all-screen design with minimal bezels and a slide-out mechanism for its selfie cam system.

Other specs include a 6.39-inch AMOLED display, a dual-lens camera on the front (24-megapixel and 2-megapixel), dual-lens camera on the back (12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto lenses) and a 3800 mAh battery. 

While Australian prices haven’t been confirmed, the phone will sell for almost $700, which is a lot cheaper than other 5G phones about to hit the market. 

Other highlights at MWC so far include LG’s V50 device, which has the new Snapdragon 855 processor, improved cooling, bigger battery and the addition of 5G.

new phones just unveiled

Nokia’s new 210 smartphone. Photo: AAP

Following in the footsteps of other smartphone makers, the handset features a folio case that opens up into a second screen.

The V50 has a 6.4-inch display, however the secondary panel is limited to a 6.2-inch diagonal measurement.

Nokia also launched its Pure 9 device, which has five rear cameras. They include three 12-megapixel monochrome cameras, two 12-megapixel RGB cameras and a time-of-flight sensor for depth mapping.

The company also continued its retro trend with its Nokia 210, a phone with a classic look, physical number keys and a solid brick body.

Topics: Apple
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