The award winners of MWC 2017
Find out who won IT Pro's awards for the best tech at Mobile World Congress
With Barcelona's annual Mobile World Congress drawing to a close, we reveal who wonIT Pro's awards for the best tech in attendance.
The name of the game for MWC 2017 was 5G, and telcos and manufacturers alike were sounding the trumpet for the next stage of mobile connectivity. Huawei's new flagships both boast 4.5G compatibility (although commercial network support for the standard has yet to be rolled out) and Qualcomm was showing off its new 5G smartphone modems, set for integration in future devices.
While MWC is usually where most of the big players unveil their upcoming smartphones, this year was surprisingly light in terms of actual hardware releases. The big attraction, of course, was the relaunch of the classic Nokia 3310, but MWC also saw flagship launches from the likes of BlackBerry, LG and Sony. A couple of tablets, 2-in-1s and ultraportables also made the grade, including some very attractive offerings from Samsung.
IT Pro was on hand at the show to dish out awards to some lucky winners, celebrating the most impressive products on display.
Best business hardware:BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry's Android-based KEYOne device is a return to the things that made the company great in the first place - physical keyboards, robust security and a slew of enterprise features that offer it a very attractive for businesses looking for a standard-issue corporate smartphone.
BlackBerry has got a lot of ground to make up in the smartphone market, but by embracing its unique selling points and with some savvy marketing, the company will hopefully be able to claw its way back into boardrooms and executive pockets around the world.
Best business software:Samsung C-Lab's VuildUs
While it may be framed as a tool for interior decorating, the VuildUs software being showcased by Samsung's employee-driven C-Lab has huge potential for businesses. Consisting of a 360-degree depth camera and a mobile app, VuildUs creates a virtual reconstruction of any room, allowing users to place and manipulate virtual fixtures and furniture.
This has massive applications in architectural planning and workplace efficiency. For example, when designing a new office, you can use it to mock-up floor plans, allowing you to spot problems with the layout before it's too late.
Best business innovation:Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modems are paving the way for a new era of mobile connectivity. 5G and Gigabit LTE - two technologies that Qualcomm have been exploring - are now on the horizon, and are set to make sub-par mobile connectivity a thing of the past.
One crucial innovation the company announced at MWC was that Qualcomm's X50 modems will support not only 5G, but also preceding standards such as Gigabit 4G LTE, 3GPP, 3G and even 2G, making them instantly compatible with virtually any network in the world - as well as offering blazing download speed when 5G does officially arrive.
Best in show (business):Samsung Galaxy Book (12in)
Samsung's new Galaxy Book is another contender for the coveted crown of best business 2-in-1, along with the iPad Pro and Surface Pro. Powered by Intel's newest Kaby Lake processors and sporting some truly gorgeous design values, if Samsung nails the price point it could be in with a shot of finally cracking that particular nut.
While Samsung's previous attempt met with limited success, the market for 2-in-1s is only getting bigger. Thankfully, it looks like the Galaxy Book is the right mix of gorgeous design, speedy performance and enterprise functionality. It even includes support for the brand new S Pen, which is sure to please designers and creatives.
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