Mobile World Congress (MWC) which took place in Barcelona, Spain this year from February 28th to March 3rd showcased some interesting announcements and trends that will set new standards for upcoming products and technologies across the entire digital ecosystem.
Major highlights this year revolved around 5G, cloud, artificial Intelligence, robotics, cyber security, IoT, XR, and e-Sim technology. From a device perspective, we could see updates on not only smartphones but Consumer IoT (cIoT) devices as well from big players including Samsung, Lenovo, Radisys, Huawei, Honor, realme, and Nokia.
Here are the major cIoT announcements from this year’s MWC event:
Samsung’s three new laptops Galaxy Book 2 Pro, Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 and Galaxy Book2 Business
Galaxy Book 2 Pro and Book 2 Pro 360
- Both these devices are equipped with 1080p AMOLED display, 12th generation Intel Core i7 processors, dual stereo speakers tuned by AKG, Dolby Atmos support, WiFi 6E connectivity and S Pen Support. These are available in two sizes 13.3 inches and 15.6 inches.
- Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is priced at USD 1,049 while the Pro 360 variant is available at USD 1,249 and will be available from April 1st on the Samsung website.
- For both devices, special emphasis has been put on display quality, security and enhanced battery backup The full HD camera is particularly useful for conducting business and client meetings effectively. One thing to observe about the Pro 360 model is its 2 in 1 design which has the capability to fold like a tablet, especially useful for heavy travelers.
- Samsung is bringing Bixby for the first time into the laptop for voice control. This will enable the user to control other smart home devices as well through SmartThings Integration.
Galaxy Book 2 Business
- Samsung announced the launch of its latest PC device ‘Galaxy Book2 Business’ which is built on Intel vPro Platform and is equipped with a 14-inch display, 8 GB RAM which can be extended to 64GB and 256 GB storage with an expansion limit of up to 1 TB.
- The interesting thing to note is its own ‘defense-grade security technology’ feature that has the capability to detect and track malicious activities and inhibit PC attacks through the Tamper Alert function. Even after witnessing an attack, all the valuable data is secured through the Intel Hardware Shield.
- This PC is basically designed for enterprise users, keeping in mind current security issues and serves the needs of working in a hybrid environment situation. The business IR camera in the laptop is capable of giving access only to authorized users through face detection. This is the first Samsung laptop to have facial recognition technology.
Lenovo launched a series of laptops in the ThinkPad and IdeaPad range along with Chromebooks, ThinkBooks, a portable monitor, and an updated tablet
- ThinkPad X13s is the world’s first laptop that features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset. This new chip is capable of achieving battery life of up to 28 hours.
- It features a 13.6 inch touch control display with an enhanced 5G connection, and a 5MP webcam. It is priced at $1099 and will be available in the U.S. from May 2022.
- The emphasis has been put on the portability factor and enhancing the battery life with the new processor.
Other major product announcements by Lenovo
- ThinkPad Extreme X1 Gen 5: This is ideal for gaming purposes and is embedded with a Core i9 processor and 64GB of RAM. Neat additions like the magnetic keyboard and stylus support from Lenovo show the full capabilities that foldable PC form factors can offer.
- Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 and 3i: Both are entry-level gaming laptops that are ideal for full HD gaming and 4K video editing. Both the models are same in terms of specifications however, the main difference is the processor. Gaming 3i is equipped with Intel’s 12th Gen processor while Gaming 3 has AM
- IdeaPad Flex 5 series: It has a flexible hinge that can be folded to use it like a tablet which will be available in two variants 5 and 5i. These are powered with AMD Ryzen 7 series and 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processors respectively.
- ThinkBooks: Lenovo unveiled its latest ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2 and ThinkBook 13s Gen 4i laptops. The devices are equipped with a smart pen to take notes, sketch designs and sign documents easily.
- IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook: This tablet with detachable keyboard could be a good alternative for students as they can take notes during lectures utilizing the magnetic clip-on keyboard. It is available in the US starting May 2022 at a starting price of USD 399.
- IdeaPad Duet 5i: In terms of design, it is very much similar to IdeaPad Duet 3 and the screen can be plucked off to use it as both a tablet and laptop. The main difference is that, it has an Intel 12th Generation Core chipset instead of Windows 11 which makes it more powerful and ideal for office workers.
- Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen): This third-generation tablet has an improved display and narrow bezels. It has a new feature called ‘Reading Mode’ making it suitable for media consumption of all kinds.
There were numerous updates in its ThinkPad T series line-up as well to address the needs of a diverse work environment. The new type of solutions will help solve the need to work across hybrid environments. The foldable PC form factor and the flexible OLED displays are good additions to its portfolio to provide better touch response and content viewing experience to its customers.
Radisys demonstrated its Reach Smart Home solution for Smarter Living
- Radisys showcased its end-to-end open telecom and digital engagement portfolio. The Radisys Reach Smart Home Gateway is the central point of the solution which enables the automation of home services as it connects seamlessly with sensors and cameras from multiple vendors with cloud back-end support.
- Some other key features include a fully customizable, white-labeled mobile phone app, consolidated billing to integrate smart home offerings with existing services, remote management of smart home infrastructure and built-in analytics for providing personalized recommendations based on usage trends. And Radisys’ Smart Home Operator Dashboard provides meaningful business KPIs for advanced monetizing of new services.
- The solution will provide service providers new opportunities to generate revenue streams and monetize the smart home by offering stickier services with broadband plans to increase customer loyalty.
Huawei launched seven new “Smart Office” products
- The highlight of all these devices is how seamlessly they connect with each other (PC, smartphone, tablet and smart screen) to form a ‘Super Device’ for screen sharing and better collaboration. Huawei also showcased the Huawei Mobile App Engine, which is basically a mobile application for PC.
- The major thing to note is that many of these products are launched for the first time in the market. For deeper analysis, please refer this link.
- MatePad Paper is Huawei’s first tablet with an E-Ink display.
- Huawei MateBook X Pro is the the world’s first product certified by TÜV Rheinland for pro-level dual colour gamut colour accuracy.
- Huawei MateBook E is Huawei’s first OLED laptop that combines the benefits of both traditional laptops and tablets.
- Huawei MateStation X is its first all-in-one PC with 28.2-inch screen size and 4K+ resolution display.
- While Huawei PixLab X1 is the company’s first entry into the printers’ market, the company also introduced its first portable speaker ‘Sound Joy’.
- This clearly shows Huawei’s ambition to create smart offices for hybrid work requirements and create fresh experiences for global consumers. These devices will help to expand its IoT product portfolio and provide seamless integration across different devices. This will enhance customers’ lifestyle experience by providing them with better devices for multi-tasking and increased productivity.
Honor unveiled its new smartwatch ‘Honor Watch GS 3’ and earbuds ‘Honor Earbuds 3 Pro’
Honor Watch GS 3
- This smartwatch comes with a stainless-steel material with 3D curved glass design and a 1.43-inch AMOLED screen. It comes with emerging features like Bluetooth calling and heart rate monitoring. In addition to these features, the watch supports fast charging and a QR code payment function.
- The design of the smartwatch is inspired by traditional watches and is somewhat similar to the GT 3 model from last year.
- The major highlight of the watch is its AI heart rate dual-engine algorithm, 8-channel PPG monitoring module, and frequency tracking algorithm which helps to accurately measure the heart rate in real-time.
‘Honor Earbuds 3 Pro’
- It is claimed to be the world’s first TWS device that comes with a coaxial dual-driver design.
- The device is priced at approx. USD 221 (EUR 199) and comes with a lot of other industry-first features as well like built-in temperature monitoring technology.
- The interesting thing to note is its ‘abnormal temperature alert’ feature that sends an alert in case any abnormality is observed.
- These features highlight the brand’s R&D efforts in the hearables
realme launched the Buds Air 3 and new Smart TV
- realme expanded its true wireless portfolio with the launch of the Buds Air 3 model. This is the world’s first TWS device to be certified by TUV Rheinland Noise Cancellation meant for safety and quality.
- The device offers a 46 dB adaptive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature and fast charging support with up to 2 hours of playback with just five minute charge. realme will first start rolling out this new device in Europe.
- This is a successor to the Buds Air 2 model from last year.
- The biggest highlight of the Buds Air 3 model is its water-resistant design and active noise cancellation
- The brand has focused on offering prominent features like ANC at an affordable price point in its recently launched devices, allowing it to grow its share in recent years. It was the second-largest TWS player in India in 2021 with a market share of 7%.
realme new Smart TV
realme introduced its new Smart TV for the European market which is going to be available in two different sizes – 32-inch and 50 inches priced at USD ~277 (EUR 249.99) and USD 555 (EUR 499.99) respectively.
- The smart TV is equipped with Dolby Vision 4K display, bezel-less design, Dolby Atmos sound system, Voice Assistance feature and a MediaTek Quadcore Chipset.
- The TV will be targeting the mid-segment and will be competing against devices from Xiaomi, Nokia, TCL and OnePlus. realme has quickly managed to grab a larger share of the India Smart TV market owing to its better features and attractive prices.
- This new launch should help to enhance its brand outside the Indian market.
Nokia Released Nokia Go Earbuds2+ at ~USD 43 (EUR 39)
- Nokia has expanded its audio accessories with the launch of its Nokia Go Earbuds2+ model. It will be available in select global markets.
- The device features environmental noise cancellation, a 10mm dynamic driver, IPX4 water resistance and up to 24 hours of playback time.
- Depending on the price band, it is providing audio offerings for both online and offline platforms. The smartphone player is looking to expand its IoT device portfolio and increase its revenue from the accessories business.
The majority of the laptops and other smart devices were launched with a special focus on the ‘security aspect’ and making these devices ‘connected with each other’ especially for business users due to the changing needs of a hybrid working environment. Along with this, there have been improvements in integrating these devices with smartphones, utilizing AI, adding third-party apps and voice control features for building a connected smart home ecosystem.
This is going to generate new revenue opportunities for both device players as well as service providers.
In the wearables segment, there has been an increased focus on health-related aspects. The new launches in smartwatches and TWS clearly show brand efforts to bring health-related features in wearables and hearables. As well, the inclusion of new AI capabilities to measure health more accurately in real-time is likely to provide a boost to this segment. Furthermore, increased emphasis has been put on fast charging technology and integrating voice assistance capabilities to these devices including smart TVs.
The cIoT market holds tremendous potential to grow in the upcoming period owing to an increased focus on affordability and integrating the latest tech innovations.