The leftover smartphones of MWC 2016: New launches from Alcatel, HTC, and more

We saw a lot of phones at Mobile World Congress this week. Here's everything we didn't cover as comprehensively as Samsung and LG's smartphone launches.

The Galaxy S7
Credit: Florence Ion
Step aside, Samsung and LG

Samsung and LG may have stolen the show at Mobile World Congress, but there were plenty of other OEMs also attempting to strut their stuff—and we managed to go hands-on with several of them. Here are some of the other smartphones we saw at MWC this week. 

idol 4
Credit: Florence Ion
Alcatel Idol 4 and Idol 4S

Alcatel spent this year’s MWC completely revamping its image. The company dropped One Touch from its name, revealed a more modern logo, and announced both the the 5.2-inch Idol 4 (pictured here), and the 5.5-inch Idol 4S. Both phones resemble a design Samsung would have produced if it had iterated on the Galaxy SIII.

The Idol 4 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, and the Idol 4S runs on a Snapdragon 642, which powers a QuadHD display. Both phones also feature 3GB of RAM, though the 4S can store more with its 32GB of storage. 

ido l4 camera
Credit: Florence Ion
Improved cameras

The Idol 4 (pictured here) and Idol 4S come packed with impressive camera specifications. Both phones come with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, but different rear-facing shooters. The Idol 4 shoots with a 13MP rear-facing camera, while the Idol 4S has a 16MP camera. The latter can also record 4k video and shoots at 60fps in 1080p.

idol 4 and 4s packaging
Credit: Florence Ion
A small VR push

As an added bonus, both the Idol 4 (pictured here) and Idol 4S come with plastic packaging that doubles as a virtual reality headset—a slightly more polished version of Google Cardboard, if you will. They also come preloaded with their own VR app store, where you can download compatible content.

wiko fever
Credit: Florence Ion
Wiko Fever

I had honestly never heard of Wiko until I walked by their booth at MWC. A quick Google search reveals that they’re a phone manufacturer based in France.

The Wiko Fever is, interestingly, a glow-in-the-dark smartphone. Its chassis features a flourescent layer that glows ever-so-slightly, so you can see where your phone is in a dark room.

The Fever has a 5.2-inch FullHD display and runs on a 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 3,000 mAh battery pack. It also boasts Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Wiko UI on top, which adds a “Smart Left Page” information hub, a la the Google Now launcher. 

BQ Aquarius X5
Credit: Florence Ion
BQ Aquarius X5

The BQ Aquarius X5 Plus is another one of those Android-powered smartphones sporting an iPhone-like design, though it offers some promising specifications.

The X5 comes with a 5-inch Full HD display, a mid-range Qualcomm 412 processor, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, NFC, and a fingerprint scanner. It’s also available with Cyanogen OS.

You likely won’t see this phone hit the US, though it’s available overseas for £179.90 (or about $235).

img 1151
Credit: Florence Ion
HTC Desire 530

HTC is still plugging along with its low-end to mid-range Desire line, though it’s trying something a little different with the design this time around.

The Desire 530 features a speckled paint finish clearly inspired by Jackson Pollock. The phone is super cute in person, though its Snapdragon 210 processor and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera are a little too low-end for my liking. HTC said these phones likely won’t make it to the U.S.

one x9
Credit: Florence Ion
HTC One X9

The One X9 is another smartphone that HTC won’t be bringing to the U.S., but that’s because it’s the sister-phone to the One A9.

The One X9 is outfitted in the same brushed aluminum chassis as the A9. It shoots with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 5MP front-facing camera. It also runs on a MediaTek Helio X10 and is powered by a 3,000mAh battery pack.

ZTE Blade V7
Credit: Florence Ion
ZTE Blade V7

ZTE proved its design capabilities with last year’s Axon, but it hardly flexed its muscles with the Blade V7. It doesn’t just merely resemble an iPhone, it blantantly copies it. This is just lazy phone design.  

blade v7
Credit: Florence Ion
It specs make up for its lazy design

The V7 features a 5.2-inch display and runs on a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek processor and 2GB of RAM. It also comes with 16GB of onboard storage, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 5MP front-facing camera. It ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and will be primarily marketed to China, Germany, Spain, and their neighboring countries. But that’s okay: The last thing the US needs is another iPhone wannabe.