At the heart of technological innovation every year in the mobile world is the annual gathering of nearly everyone lucky enough to secure a ticket to Barcelona; Mobile World Congress.
As it has already been featured thousands of times across social media since the gates shut for another year, those lucky enough to remember September 2000 were caught up in the hype of the new Nokia 3310, a homage to the original unit that sold 126 million units worldwide.
The remake of the popularly indestructible phone – not by Nokia but fellow Finnish manufacturer HMD Global – overshadowed launches from Huawei and LG as nostalgia took over.
Perhaps there’s a certain appeal for those who solely use a mobile for calling and texting on the road, with a claimed month of battery life, or the older generation who prefer an aspect of simplicity rather than checking Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter 24/7. With no Wi-Fi capabilities and a 2.5G internet connection, this isn’t a viable option anyway.
Think of a busy construction worker who doesn’t have the luxury of worrying about the dirt, dust and water that his/her phone will inevitably pick up and it sounds perfect.
However, regardless of the appeal of retro phones, they’re a technological cul-de-sac. The way forward isn’t backwards. Any USPs they possess in terms of ruggedness have long been developed and released by mainstream manufacturers, with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge and Sony’s Xperia XZ rating highly on the Ingress Protection (IP) charts.
Although we’ve all seen the adverts with a mobile fully immersed in water or a washing machine working with no problems, this isn’t likely to happen too often. However, the aforementioned brands – including Apple – have realised that by developing watertight phones, they are putting their foot further through the door of a niche aspect of the market where the mobile can be used literally everywhere.
We no longer work solely in the office and our phones no longer sit face-down on the desk. They are increasingly becoming a one-stop-shop for any and every function imaginable.
The major manufacturers have revisited the camera as the next big USP for our handsets. Perhaps cameras aren’t the correct word; maybe photography fits better due to both the quality and applications that it can be used for.
Although the smartphone may never make the current generation of digital SLRs from heavyweights such as Canon and Nikon completely obsolete (that’s what we all thought about film), the progression of professional smartphone photography has been rapid to say the least.
The increased quality and storage capabilities not only allow for those stunning holiday shots to be captured, but they can also be utilised in areas such as transport and health and safety.
For example, with many truck drivers now needing to carry out their own vehicle audits for the fleet managers back at base by using their camera phone, this will only improve. High definition and 4K displays have arrived as quickly on handsets as they have on televisions.
Do you need to carry out a health and safety inspection to ensure you’re meeting Duty of Care obligations on a mobile worksite? Advanced camera technology can help you do this with incredible accuracy and detail. Worried about using your phone in this environment? They work almost anywhere now, remember.
With a relatively quiet Congress in terms of wearable technologies and a lack of a notable phone launch from Samsung (you can be forgiven for not noticing thanks to the fanfare created by Huawei in nearly every area), you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a quieter start to 2017 for the mobile market. It’s busier than ever.
Now, who remembers that old Nokia handset that’s been reinvigorated?
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