My Favourite Smartphones From MWC 2023

OnePlus 11 Concept Phone

Mobile World Congress 2023 just concluded and phone companies announced new smartphones and showcased some of the innovative technology they have been working on. The event sets trends of what to expect in future smartphones not only for that year but also in coming years as companies refine that tech.

Here were my favourite smartphones announced at the event.

TECNO Phantom V Fold

TECNO has gotten bold in recent years as it breaks from being known as an entry-level and midrange smartphone maker by going into the flagship segment by launching the Phantom subbrand that caters to the premium market.

They launched the Phantom X in mid-2021 and then launched the Phantom X2 early this year(the global launch was held late last year).

TECNO Phantom X2 and X2 Pro Review: Rise to Flagship Killer Status

The company doubled their efforts and launched its first foldable – the Phantom V Fold. This is exciting news in the foldable market dominated by the Samsung Z Fold 4.

TECNO doesn’t deviate far from its rivals when it comes to design especially in comparison to the Z Fold 4. TECNO opts for a book-style format for its foldable packing two screens rocking a 120Hz refresh rate. It sports a 6.42″ LTPO AMOLED screen for the cover display at 1080p resolution. It sports Gorilla Glass Victus protection.

The TECNO Phantom V Fold has 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of onboard storage. It also comes with Android 13 and HiOS 13.

It comes powered by Dimensity 9000+ 5G processor(4nm). This is the same chipset on the OPPO Find N2 Flip and shares performance stats similar to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 that’s in the Samsung Z Fold 4.

Phantom V Fold sports a triple setup in a circular module featuring a 50MP main, 50MP telephoto with 2X optical zoom(20x Digital Zoom) and 13MP ultrawide.

There are two front-facing cameras for selfies with the cover display having a 32MP lens while the inner display has a 16MP lens.

Phantom V Fold has a 5000mAh battery and support for 45W wired charging which can juice up the V Fold to full in 55 minutes.

TECNO Phantom V Fold will start at roughly Ksh 140,000 for the base model(12/256) with the maxed-out version with 512GB going for Ksh 153,000.

Realme GT3 240W

When it comes to fast charging, it doesn’t get better than 10 minutes. That’s what the realme GT3 version that supports 240W fast wired charging boasts. 240W is the maximum charging speed possible under USB-C standards.

Realme GT Neo 3 Review: Smartphone Photography Master

The device is equipped with three maxed-out charging chipsets, a custom 12A charging cable, and dual GaN charging technology, resulting in a 98.5% improved transfer efficiency during charging.

It can charge the 4600 mAh battery from 1% to 50% in just 4 minutes and can fully charge in 10 minutes.

Besides the Ultra fast charging, the realme GT3 240W is powered by Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 coming n various configurations including 8+128GB, 12+256GB, 16+256GB, 16+512GB memory options, and a special 16+1TB variant.

It ships with Android 13 and Realme UI 4.0.

For optics, we get a triple main camera setup anchored by a 50Mp main, an 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro and a 16MP selfie camera.

The global recommended retail price of the realme GT3 starts at $649.

Xiaomi 13 Lite

We knew Android smartphones were going to copy Apple’s Dynamic Island but Xiaomi has taken the first step to do that with the Xiaomi 13 Lite.

Xiaomi 13 Lite
Xiaomi 13 Lite

The pill cutout houses two selfie cameras – a 32MP main and 8MP depth sensor. The cutout is at the top centre of the 6.55″ AMOLED screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

Xiaomi 13 Lite is powered by Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 paired with 8GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. It comes with Android 12 and MIUI 14.

We have a triple-camera setup at the back that includes a 50MP main, 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro.

Xiaomi 13 Lite has a 4500mAh battery which supports 67W fast wired charging.

OnePlus 11 Concept

This was the coolest smartphone from MWC, pun intended. OnePlus 11 Concept back is what’s intriguing as it has glowing blue pipelines that feature “Active CryoFlux” cooling technology. OnePlus also put a glowing line around the circular camera island.

OnePlus 11 Concept Phone

The company adds that the technology cools the phone by 2.1 degrees celsius and 1.6 degrees when gaming and charging respectively. We’ll have to take these details with a grain of salt but the tech makes the phone look pretty and changes things up when it comes to smartphone design.

It’s sad that it’s just a concept.

Vivo V27

Vivo launched its midrange V27 series which has a 6.78″ AMOLED screen with HDR10+ support and a 120Hz refresh rate. Dimensity 7200 5G powers the phone paired with  8/12GB RAM and UFS 3.1 storage options starting at 128GB and 256 GB.

The phone ship with Android 13 baked right in paired with FuntouchOS 13.

At the back, we have a 64MP main accompanied by a 2MP macro and 8MP ultrawide. Vivo V27 has a 50MP selfie camera.

It comes with a 4600mAh battery and support for 66W wired charging. Colour options include Flowing Gold and Emerald Green for the Vivo V27 while the V27e comes in Lavender Purple and Glory Black.

The series keeps the colour changing back from the previous V series of last year. This design stands out as the colour darkens in tone when outdoors under direct sunlight or UV light.

Pricing is expected to start from around Khs 51,000 for the vivo V27.

Vivo V27 Specifications and Price in Kenya