BARCELONA, SPAIN—There’s been real excitement in the air here at the Mobile World Congress as the industry gathers to debut the phones that will flood the market over the next few months. This year, the phone-makers have had to make room on the show floor for newcomers—Internet service companies, autonomous cars, tons of startups—but it’s still the mobile tech manufacturers who have managed to stay in the spotlight.
Thanks to increasingly advanced chipsets, most smartphones are powerful enough to do just about anything, and a fast chipset isn’t as big of a differentiating feature anymore. Instead of raw power, manufacturers have focused on new configuration ideas, unique software, gorgeous materials, and radical designs to catch the eye of customers. Here’s a selection of the new tech, VR cameras, and of course, the flagship mobile handsets that stood out.