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by: James Francis   ·    6 March 2017

The best phones from MWC 2017

The annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) has come and gone, leaving behind a lot of new device announcements.

Looking to get a new phone or mobile accessory in 2017? Here are the best devices showcased at the 2017 MWC that the rest of the market will follow.


It has been a rocky ride for LG’s phones. Last year it experimented with a modular device, but mobile users didn’t pay it much attention. So LG has returned to a single-form phone - and it is really nice. The new G6 is waterproof and can be wirelessly charged. Its screen has a 5.7-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio, which is not only great for watching videos, but LG’s own software makes excellent use of the size difference. Most outlets have named the G6 the phone of the show, which means that LG’s new device will be the benchmark for everyone else this year.

Samsung S8

Samsung pulled a semi-Apple, which does not attend MWC or launch devices there. Though Samsung was at MWC and holding presentations, it will only unveil the new Samsung S8 later this month. To remind people of that, it peppered MWC with secretive ads revealing the launch date. All we know for a fact is that the S8 won’t have the terrible battery fire problems of the Note 7. But expect this to be an awesome phone.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Want a 4K screen? Feel a need for super-slow motion video? Expect nothing less than the most powerful processor to arrive next on the market? Then look no further than the new Sony Xperia XZ Premium. As its heavy name suggests, this is a serious flagship device. The 5.5-inch screen is not as big as some other new arrivals. But the ‘glass loop’ design that has Gorilla Glass wrapped around the phone looks fantastic.

BlackBerry KeyOne

You might be convinced that the KeyOne was built by the BlackBerry of old. It is an Android device, but features a physical keyboard that is as good as the old Blackberry phones that once ruled our pockets. Yet the KeyOne is actually built by a company called TCL, which bought the BlackBerry brand. It could have fooled us - this may just be the comeback BlackBerry fans have been waiting for.

Lenovo Moto G5

The Motorola brand is back again, this time with Lenovo behind it. The result is a new brand of phone that has everything you want and at a good price. The G5 delivers a 1080p display (up to 5.2-inches), fingerprint reader, ample storage and all the features a decent Android phone is made out of. No frills, no fuss, and likely a price of around R6,000 or less!

Huawei Watch 2

Smartwatches are struggling, while fitness wearables lead the market. So Huawei decided to create the best of both: a smartwatch that has serious fitness features. The Watch 2 has a built-in heart rate monitor as well as other sensors that would interest fitness fans. It is waterproof and uses Android to run a number of fitness apps and business. Though not the first fitness-facing smartwatch on the market, the Huawei Watch 2 clearly wants to up the game.

Nokia 3310

Nokia is back! Well, in a manner of speaking. Like BlackBerry and Motorola, the Nokia brand no longer resides with the original company. Instead a third-party, HMD Global, has the brand rights and is releasing its own phones. While it released several Nokia-branded mid-range smartphones, the new 3310 took all the attention at MWC. But it may not be for you: the new 3310 is a feature phone. It has no 3G, no Wifi and no support for modern apps, outside of Facebook features. That said, the month-long standby time might make it a good emergency phone.

Lenovo Tab 4 Kids Pack

Admit it - you are never going to keep your kids away from technology. So why not get technology that they can use and you can control? The new Lenovo Tab 4 series has a Kids Pack range that focuses specifically on this. It has shock-resistant bumpers for those inevitable drops, while blue-light features also make the display less hard on young eyes. Lenovo has also added software to help parents set when kids can use the tablet and what they are allowed to access.

Alcatel A5 LED

This is definitely not a business phone. But in a market of me-toos, it’s great to see a phone that just wants to have fun. The Alcatel A5 LED has a number of slick tricks under its hood, including some cool modular addons. But the real gimmick here is the back cover, which hides an LED array. These multi-coloured lights flash and change to the music you play, just as a music visualiser would. It’s nice to see some phones trying to have fun - and at a good price too!