The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 kicked off in Barcelona, Spain. Some of the biggest names in the tech industry will be showcasing their new launches and innovations during the four-day event. Counterpoint Research analysts are on the ground covering all the major announcements, so stay tuned! Ahead of the show, major tech companies like Xiaomi, Nokia HMD and Motorola made some announcements. Here is our quick analysis and summary of the same:
Xiaomi 13 Series, Watch S2 Pro, Buds 4 Pro, and Electric Scooter 4 Ultra
Xiaomi took the stage to announce three new smartphones, a smartwatch, a TWS and an electric scooter. The Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro smartphones were the stars of the show, featuring a Leica co-engineered camera system, which converges both the hardware and software tuning for a professional photography experience. Both smartphones are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, which brings performance and efficiency gains, among other features.
The more premium among the two, the Xiaomi 13 Pro, comes with a Sony IMX989 50MP primary 1-inch camera sensor, a 50MP floating telephoto lens, and a 50MP ultrawide camera as well. Both the regular 13 and 13 Pro smartphones feature the Leica Vivid and Authentic modes, along with a bunch of filters, which enables the Leica camera experience on smartphones. The 75mm equivalent telephoto lens on the Xiaomi 13 Pro also offers professional-style portrait effects.
Apart from still photography, Xiaomi has also strongly focused on the videography aspect of its smartphones. The two new devices can capture crisp 8K 24fps videos and 4K night videos, and a 10-bit Log mode. They also feature Dolby Vision video recording, similar to what Apple iPhones offer. The Xiaomi 13 offers 67W fast wired charging and 50W wireless charging. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is powered with 120W fast wired charging, which can charge the phone’s battery to full capacity in just about 19 minutes.
WATCH: Xiaomi 13 Pro First Impressions
Xiaomi unveiled a third smartphone during the event called the 13 Lite which boasts dual front cameras with a 32MP sensor and an 8MP depth sensor. The smartphone’s features include dynamic framing to keep everyone in the frame in focus, and dual LEDs to help capture better selfies in low-light settings. The 13 Lite also has a vlog mode for content creators to record and edit on the go. The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 SoC.
Xiaomi also announced the Watch S1 Pro smartwatch with a 1.47-inch AMOLED display, advanced health tracking, over 100 fitness modes and more. The smartwatch has built-in GPS, wireless charging and includes Bluetooth phone calling as well. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro TWS headphones come with 11mm drivers, Hi-res audio support, six ANC modes and three transparency modes among other features. It also comes with multi-device connectivity, which allows it to connect with two devices at a time.
Xiaomi’s final announcement was the Electric Scooter 4 Ultra with an enhanced 70 kms range, IP55 water resistance, dual suspensions and more. In terms of pricing, the Xiaomi 13 Lite will be available for €499, the 13 starts at €999 and the 13 Pro starts at €1,299. Although the pricing is a little steep, almost close to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Leica brand value and camera innovation should help justify the price tag. The Watch S1 Pro starts at €299, the Buds 4 Pro will be available for €249 and the Electric Scooter 4 Ultra has a €999 price tag.
Nokia G22: A durable and sustainable smartphone
Nokia HMD, which usually positions its smartphones around durability and longevity, announced a global partnership with iFixit to focus on the repairability of devices, particularly the Nokia G22. This fits nicely with Nokia HMD’s efforts toward sustainability. All of Nokia’s new devices – G22, C22 and C32 – focus on improved imaging, durability and at the same time improved CMF (Color, Material and Finish).
Additionally, Nokia HMD has announced that these devices will be locally manufactured, making Nokia HMD one of the very few device OEMs looking to localize their European smartphone manufacturing. However, it will be easier said than done and Nokia will likely start with assembly initially. The new C and G Series are likely to help Nokia HMD gain share in some of the Western and Central Eastern European markets where the entry-tier segment has been hurt due to muted upgrades in the previous years.
Nokia has packed some firsts in the C Series. The C32 has the highest image quality in the C Series yet while the C22 promises a better build quality than its competitors. The G Series has solid specs as well, though Nokia HMD might need to pivot from the existing notch design as soon as possible while competing with pricing with its Chinese rivals like realme and Xiaomi in similar price segments.
Nokia unveils new logo and identity
Nokia has announced a major strategy shift that will see the company move into a new stage of its three-phase strategy announced in 2021, which was aimed at delivering sustainable and profitable growth. Nokia has announced that it is now moving away from the reset phase and working towards focusing on six key pillars of growth that aim to boost the company’s market share and consolidate its leadership in key business areas. They will also leverage Nokia’s brand for more product categories and launch new service-based business models.
We have already seen some of this strategy at work. During MWC 2022, Nokia launched software-as-a-service for CSPs and enterprises while also launching Network-as-a-service and iSIM secure connect as a SaaS. Nokia’s smartphone licensee, Nokia HMD has been talking about sustainability at the centre of their vision for some time now.
Lastly, Nokia also refreshed its visual identity to mark its shift in strategy by changing its iconic (and almost nostalgic) logo. Nostalgia could be one reason behind this decision because most consumers still remember the company for its early smartphone leadership, a perception which according to the company has been holding the brand back as it seeks to grow in the enterprise market and outpace competitors.
(Written with inputs from Tarun Pathak, Ankit Malhotra)
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