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By Arthur Goldstuck


The coolest gadgets coming your way

As the fanfare of the Mobile World Congress subsides, new gadgets showcased are being readied for the world.

Last month’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona is history now, but the products unveiled are only just beginning to make their way to markets across the globe.

Not every new device or service will make it to South Africa, but here are more of the coolest gadgets we can anticipate.

Most original mobile accessory: LG V50 with dual screens

Image result for LG V50 with dual screens

LG not only startled MWC with the launch of two new flagship phones – the G8 ThinQ and the V50 ThinQ 5G – but also unveiled an attachable flip-cover with a second display inside.

It is only a screen, without the smarts of the handset, but is able to run anything off the smartphone itself. When the cover is attached to the V50 handset, the phone’s Android operating system appears on both displays, and any app on the handset can be flipped to the second screen.

Says LG: “Because two phones are of course better than one, you can use the dual screen for a multitude of tasks. For example, you can watch a movie on the flip-case display while scrolling Twitter or checking your email on the display of the V50 ThinQ 5G itself.

“You can also use the flip-case display as a control pad while gaming, or a keyboard while writing a message.”

Best Battery Life: Energizer Power Max P18K Pop

Known for its battery technology, Energizer showcased no less than 26 smartphones at MWC. The stand-out, both in concept and size, was the Power Max P19K Pop, featuring an 18 000 mAh battery, six times the average high-end smartphone. Stand-by time is 50 days, and it allows two days of continuous video play-back.

That goes hand-in-hand with 18 Watt fast-charging, and reverse charging – other devices can be charged from this one. It also features a pop-out selfie camera that looks like the terminal of a battery when viewed front-on. It offers a 6.2” edge-to-edge display, 1080p display, and the Android 9 operating system.

Best smartphone display: Sony Xperia 1

We all wondered where Sony would go next in its efforts to use its superior camera technology to keep up with the smartphone leaders. The answer is the Xperia 1, which brings Sony’s handset business closer to its movie business.

The 6.5” screen features a 21:9 CinemaWide display, the same aspect ratio as in the cinema. “A collaboration with CineAlta professional imaging engineers means it can reproduce colours as directors intended,” says Sony.

The experience is delivered on a 4K HDR OLED display, backed by a pro-quality triple lens camera system: 16mm for wide landscapes, a 26mm lens and a 52mm with 2x optical zoom.

Audio comes to the party as well. Dolby Atmos provides multi-dimensional sound that flows above and around the user. Taking your phone to the movies? Rather take the movies to your phone!

Most visionary handset: Electroneum M1 blockchain phone

Image result for Cryptocurrency

The Electroneum M1 is an affordable Android smartphone designed for people in developing regions. It has one fairly important difference: it pays users back for using it.

The M1 features built-in Cloud Mining, for mining cryptocurrency, and earns its owner up to $3 (about R43) worth of the mobile cryptocurrency ETN every month. Users can then spend the ETN on mobile data top-ups, among others.

The phone costs just $80, and features 4G connectivity, Dual SIM slots, 8GB storage, and both front and rear-facing cameras.

Best Educational Technology: Cubroid Coding Blocks

Cubroid Creative Wireless Coding Blocks

Cubroid Coding Blocks teach children to enjoy building robots and code them to bring their ideas to life. The company aims to contribute to the world of robotics and AI through emphasising learning by doing and through play, using existing technologies.

The Coding Blocks consist of seven sensors that can be coded and wirelessly connected with other building blocks.

Children who do not have any knowledge of coding can learn it through playing with the sound block, light and touch sensor block, two DC motor blocks, an LED block, a proximity sensor block, and a “Master Block”.

Best Health Tech: ITRI intelligent breathing monitor

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) stole the show at the Taiwan pavilion at MWC with a new intelligent breathing monitor that works through a home Wi-Fi network.

The device is able to recognise a patient’s breathing, measure it and store it so that it is available through any mobile device. In this way, both doctors and family members can access a patient’s breathing data in real time.

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