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Category: Mobile World Congress

Thoughts from MWC Shanghai

I’ve spent the last couple days walking the exhibition halls of MWC Shanghai. The Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) is large, but smaller than the MWC exhibit space in Barcelona or the set of exhibit halls in Las Vegas for CES. (SNIEC is not even the biggest exhibition space in Shanghai!) Further, MWC here still only took up half the exhibition space, but there was plenty to see. And, I’m less exhausted than after CES or MWC in Barcelona!

Photo Jun 28, 9 56 45 AM

If I had to pick one theme from the exhibition halls, it would be 5G. It seemed like half the booths had 5G displayed somewhere in their signage. The cloud was the other concept that seemed to be everywhere. While neither was surprising, it was interesting to see halfway around the world. In truth, it feels like 5G is much farther along here than it is back in the States.

I was also surprised to see how many phone vendors are here that I’d never heard of before such as Lephone and Gionee. I stopped by their booths with XPRT Spotlight information and hope they will send in some of their devices for inclusion in the future.

One thing I found of note was how much technology in general and IoT in particular is going to be everywhere. There was an interesting exhibit showing how stores of the future might operate. I was able to “buy” items without traditionally checking out. (I got a free water and some cookies out of the experience.) I just placed the items in a location on the checkout counter, which read their NFC labels and displayed them on the checkout screen. It seemed sort of like my understanding of the experiments that Amazon has been doing with brick-and-mortar grocery stores (prior to their purchase of Whole Foods). The whole experience felt a bit odd and still unpolished, but I’m sure it will improve and I’ll get used to it.

Photo Jun 29, 12 04 30 PM

The next generation will find it not odd, but normal. There were exhibits with groups of children playing with creative technologies from handheld 3D printers to simplified programming languages. They will be the generation after digital natives, maybe the digital creatives? What impact will they have? The future is both exciting and daunting!

I came away from the conference thinking about how the XPRTs can help folks choose amongst the myriad devices and technologies that are just around the corner. What would you most like to see the XPRTs tackle in the next six months to a year?

Bill Catchings

Mobile World Congress 2017 and the territories ahead

Walking the halls of this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC)—and, once again, I walked by every booth in every one of them—it was clear that mobile technology is expanding faster than ever into more new tech territories than ever before.

On the device front, cameras and camera quality have become a pitched battleground, with mobile phone makers teaming with camera manufacturers to give us better and better images and video. This fight is far from over, too, because vendors are exploring many different ways to improve mobile phone camera quality. Quick charging is a hot new trend we can expect to hear more about in the days to come. Of course, apps and their performance continue to matter greatly, because if you can do it from any computer, you better be able to do at least some of it from your phone.

The Internet of Things (IoT) grabbed many headlines, with vendors still selling more dreams than reality, but some industries living this future now. The proliferation of IoT devices will result, of course, in massive increases in the amount of data flowing through the world’s networks, which in turn will require more and more computing power to analyze and use. That power will need to be everywhere, from massive datacenters to the device in your hand, because the more data you have, the more you’ll want to customize it to your particular needs.

Similarly, AI was a major theme of the show, and it’s also likely to suck up computing cycles everywhere. The vast majority of the work will, of course, end up in datacenters, but some processing is likely to be local, particularly in situations, such as real-time translation, where we can’t afford significant comm delays.

5G, the next big step in mobile data speeds, was everywhere, with most companies seeming to agree the new standard was still years away–but also excited about what will be possible. When you can stream 4K movies to your phone wirelessly while simultaneously receiving and customizing analyses of your company’s IoT network, you’re going to need a powerful, sophisticated device running equally powerful and sophisticated apps.

Everywhere I looked, the future was bright—and complicated, and likely to place increasing demands on all of our devices. We’ll need guides as we find our paths through these new territories and as we determine the right device tools for our jobs, so the need for the XPRTs will only increase. I look forward to seeing where we, the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, take them next.

Mark

Quarterly review

It’s been one of our busiest quarters ever! Here’s a quick review of what’s been happening:

The XPRTs were on the road a lot!

 
While I was at CES, I was lucky enough to be able to sit down and talk on-the-record with a couple of community members:

 
Many thanks to them for being so generous with their time and their insights.

We also gave folks a lot to look at:

 
That is a great start to the year, but we’re going to top it – Next week, we’ll kick off Q2 with one of our biggest announcements ever!

Eric

Mobile World Congress 2016 and the need for more

Nothing shows you how much more bandwidth we need than a techie trade show like Mobile World Congress 2016. No matter how much the show’s organizers made available, the attendees swamped it with data from their many devices—phones, tablets, and PCs.

This show also demonstrated that we’re going to need a lot more of something else: device performance.

Some people like to say that our current devices are fast enough, but those people either weren’t at MWC or weren’t paying attention. New, demanding workloads were on display everywhere. High-end graphics. Support for an ever-growing range of wearables. Virtual reality. Augmented reality. The ability to act as a hub for all sorts of home automation devices. These and other new capabilities place ever-increasing demands on devices—and they’re all just getting started.

As I walked all of the MWC buildings—and I did at least walk by every single exhibit—I was struck again and again by how many cool technologies are on the cusp of being ready for prime time. They’ll bring nifty features to our everyday lives, and they’ll place heavy demands on our devices to support them and enable them to run well.

Some devices will handle these demands better than others, but we won’t be able to tell the winners from the losers just by looking at them. We’ll need reliable, relevant, real-world benchmarks to sort the winners from the posers—and that means we’ll need the XPRTs.  We’ll need the XPRTs we have today, and we’ll need new XPRTs and/or new XPRT workloads for the future. We’ll need help from everyone—members of the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community and vendors yet to join it—to create these new tools, so that buyers everywhere can make smart purchase decisions.

It’s an exciting time. The future for tech, for devices, and for the XPRTs is bright.  Let’s get busy creating it.

Getting closer

Mobile World Congress ended last week. If you’ve been following us on Twitter, you know that Bill had some really good meetings while he was there. That’s not to say that Bill didn’t have some fun too!

Bill MWC

Next, we go to Intel Developer Forum 2015 – Shenzhen!

While Bill has been out of the country, we’ve been continuing to work on WebXPRT 2015. We’ve talked before about some of the improvements the new WebXPRT: new and more-demanding tests, on-screen descriptions of the tests, a progress indicator, and more. We’ve also given the UI a sleeker, more modern look. Also, WebXPRT 2015 will be the second XPRT to include a Chinese UI.

WebXPRT '15 screenshot

Testing has been going well. We have a few final tweaks to make but are expecting to release the community preview for WebXPRT 2015 in the next week or two. We’re really excited! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

Eric

It’s been a show to watch!

Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC) has been happening this week in Barcelona. There have been lots of cool phones and tablets, of course, but also there has also been a lot of other cool stuff. From smart watches, foldable keyboards, and 200 GB SD cards to “privacy glasses,” electric bicycles, and even furniture from IKEA, this has definitely been a show to watch.

As you know, Bill is our man in Barcelona. If you read Bill’s blog, you know he lives for this sort of stuff. He’s also been meeting with vendors and having great conversations about the XPRTs.

Last week I mentioned that Bill took a great-looking handout to MWC with him. For those who have been wondering what a megaphone had to do with anything, here’s what the front and back look like.

Let the world know blue Let the world know red

Even though MWC hasn’t ended yet, we’re already deep into preparations for Intel Developer Forum 2015 – Shenzhen. We’ll have more to say about that in the weeks to come.

In other news, we released a new build of BatteryXPRT 2014, v103. The build fixes a problem reported by a reviewer testing the LG G3. Scores from this build are comparable with previous BatteryXPRT scores. Click here for more details.

Eric

Check out the other XPRTs: