/>
X

MWC: The best and worst of the past five years

Mobile World Congress is the premier trade show for mobile hardware, software, accessories and services. We regularly see new smartphones and wearables, some good and some bad, so let's take a glance at the past five years.
matt-miller-headshot.jpg
By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
lg-g6-press-photos-4.jpg
1 of 13 Image: LG

2017: LG G6

As we look back over the last five years of MWC, we see some winners and some losers. Samsung tended to have winners most of the time, while LG and HTC had a few difficult projects.

The LG G6 was announced last year and was the first of the 2017 phones to maximize the display and blow away the screen-to-body ratio. It was a fantastic phone, but didn't get much respect when Samsung followed up soon after with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

blackberry-keyone-tcl-1
2 of 13 BlackBerry KEYone (Image: TCL)

2017: BlackBerry KEYone

The BlackBerry KEYone was the second BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard running Android, but in a more traditional always present configuration.

It has a battery that lasts for days and remains a solid smartphone today.

galaxy-s7.png
3 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2016: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

lg-g5.jpg
4 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2016: LG G5

Our first flop in the gallery comes to us from LG. The G5 was LG's attempt to release a modular smartphone, but there were only two "modules" and the trade-offs incorporated to make it modular ended up making the LG G5 one to forget.

There were some great features in the phone, but the construction was rather poor and we never saw any further development of modules to use with it.

Best Amazon Prime deals for the great outdoors ZDNet
5 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2016: CAT S60

We have seen CAT rugged phones for a few years, but the CAT S60 ended up being the most successful model yet.

It brought thermal imaging technology to the mainstream and companies found ways to use FLIR and share those experiences with others.

htc-one-m9-product-2.jpg
6 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2015: HTC One M9

The HTC One M9 had a cool design and was a solid performer, but HTC went away from innovation in cameras and put in a standard off-the-shelf camera that ended up way behind other phones in 2015.

htc-grip.jpg
7 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2015: HTC Grip

HTC partnered with Under Armour and showed off a wearable that looked great in person. It turns out that the HTC Grip product was cancelled before release, making this a failure of MWC 2015.

2015 was not HTC's year to be showing things off at MWC.

galaxy-s6-camera-150.jpg
8 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2015: Samsung Galaxy S6

The Samsung Galaxy S6 rocked the mobile world as Samsung introduced a rather radical design for its Galaxy product. Batteries were no longer removable, there were curved glass edges, and glass front and back panels were employed.

The S6 also had an awesome camera and was one of the best devices of 2015.

lg-watch-urbane-2nd-edition.jpg
9 of 13 (Image: LG)

2015: LT Watch Urbane LTE

It seems there were quite a few failures shown at MWC 2015. LG showed off an Android Wear smartwatch with integrated LTE.

However, shortly after reviewers started testing them and writing up articles, problems were found and the watch was cancelled and never released.

nokia-x-great-debate-i-lost-but-still-think-android-is-not-the-way-to-go-at-this-time.jpg
10 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2014: Nokia Android X

Microsoft bought Nokia and released Windows Phone handsets under the Lumia brand.

In 2014, Microsoft tried its hand at Android phones branded as Nokia Android X and they ended up being terrible platforms to show off Microsoft software.

samsung-gear-2-neo-and-fit-review-improved-wearable-tech-with-sleek-designs-v1.jpg
11 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2014: Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo

Samsung has been into wearables for years, but the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo were early models that had a ton of features and worked quite well.

Samsung has some of the best wearables today, in large part due to some lessons learned through releasing products like these.

will-the-htc-one-unibody-aluminum-smartphone-be-the-device-to-save-htc.jpg
12 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2013: HTC One M7

The best smartphone HTC ever made, IMHO, was released in 2013 as the HTC One. It later had the M7 attached to the name as HTC continued to confuse things by making more HTC One devices.

It was an aluminum unibody device that had it all and was one of the best wins HTC has had at MWC.

note-8-tablet.jpg
13 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet

While the latest Galaxy Note device is known as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, this name was already used for a Samsung product way back in 2013.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet was, and even still remains, one of the best Android tablets available with support for the S Pen and a solid media experience.

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos
Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup
Asian woman working at a desk in front of a computer and calculator

Related Galleries

Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup

8 Photos
Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup
Person seated at a booth in a cafe looks at their phone and laptop.

Related Galleries

Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup

10 Photos
Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida
ca3b4019-26c5-4ce0-a844-5aac39e2c34b.jpg

Related Galleries

Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

16 Photos
Incipio, Kate Spade, and Coach cases for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: hands-on
s22-ultra-incipio-coach-cases-2.jpg

Related Galleries

Incipio, Kate Spade, and Coach cases for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: hands-on

15 Photos
Casetify Impact Crush Galaxy S22 Ultra case hands-on: in pictures
casetify-s22-ultra-3.jpg

Related Galleries

Casetify Impact Crush Galaxy S22 Ultra case hands-on: in pictures

10 Photos