The Mobile World Congress is one of the most important technology events of the year. Barcelona (Spain) plays host to the mobile phone industry, offering them a chance to showcase their latest handsets and services.

So what did we learn at this year’s event?

The Samsung Galaxy S9 makes its debut

The Korean manufacturer announced their ninth version of the flagship Galaxy S smartphone. Available in two sizes (5.8” and 6.2”), the handsets look very similar to last year’s S8.

Inside, both phones feature increased processing power and RAM, making them perform faster that their predecessors. The larger S9 Plus also features two 12MP camera lenses to take better pictures – much like last year’s Apple iPhone X.

In terms of software, Samsung is promising further improvements to their Bixby virtual assistant. And messaging gets an update with new “AR emojis”, allowing users to create and animate their own emoji messages.

Nokia goes back to the Matrix
Although Scandinavian handset manufacturer Nokia did release a number of smartphones, it was their new 8810 Slider that stole the headlines. A direct throw-back to the sliding handset made famous by the Keanu Reeves movie The Matrix, the phone itself is nothing technically special.

The Slider 8810 now packs 4G connectivity, a relatively small screen (2.4”) and a 2MP camera, but very little else in terms of apps. This is a very much a phone for those people who “just want a phone”.

Not just phones

Away from the phones themselves, chip giant Intel was demonstrating the next generation of mobile networks – 5G connectivity. As well as phones, Intel hopes to integrate 5G technology into other computing devices like tablets, laptops and even desktop PCs.

5G networking is important because of the increased download speeds it provides. Current 4G mobile broadband connections are capable of delivering content at 100Mbps; with 5G that will rise to 2300Mbps. So you will be able to surf the web, stream movies and more – up to 23 times faster.

Working with ZTE, Intel hopes to release the first working 5G handset later this year.

More phones, more dangers

MWC2018 has shown again that smartphone technology develops at a remarkable pace. But behind the scenes, cybercriminals are working hard to build their own new scams and tricks.

As mobile broadband gets faster, we expect to see more examples of ransomware and Bitcoin malware infecting smartphones for instance. So no matter how fast or large handsets and network services grow, phone owners still need to take basic precautions to protect themselves.

Whether you buy a new Samsung Galaxy S9 (or any other phone) right after MWC 2018 ends, or much later in the year, make sure that your first stop is the Google Play store. And your first download? Panda Free Antivirus for Android of course!