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MWC 2024’s Wildest Phones: Edible Razr, AI Assistance and Bracelet ‘Phones’

 MWC 2024’s Wildest Phones: Edible Razr, AI Assistance and Bracelet ‘Phones’


From chocolate phones to bending screens and handheld batteries that can make calls, this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona served as a showcase for how unique phones are still possible — even after years of touchscreen slabs running iOS and Android. 

And it wasn’t just phone-inspired creations. Robot dogs and electric cars also made the show floor their home this past week, combining for an eclectic mix of technology to check out. 

Here are the most attention-grabbing sights that we’ve seen at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

T Phone concept makes AI do the app work for you

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This flight booking interface was generated by command, and was not a pre-existing app.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

We’ve now seen a number of artificial intelligence concepts that advertise how the technology could replace your phone by responding to your commands instead of your taps. The T Phone concept, a collaborative effort from Deutsche Telekom and Brain.AI, still uses a handheld device but taps into AI to help streamline the tasks you ask it to do.

When you ask it to help you book a flight, for example, AI will research flight options and then assemble that information in a visual way to help you make your purchase. It looks a lot like it could be an existing flight app, but it was actually conjured up based on the request.

Another way to put the concept: Instead of having to remember what app you need to do what, you instead ask the T Phone, and AI does all the searching for you from that point. And then if you ask follow-up questions, the T Phone will tweak what it shows based on your needs.

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Motorola has re-created its Razr in chocolate, with a display that matches the “Peach Fuzz” model.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Motorola’s chocolate Razr

Sometimes, when attending a press event, tech companies putting on demos will provide various refreshments. Motorola decided to re-create its Razr phone in chocolate as its own snack for visiting journalists.

This edible edition of the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra — otherwise known as the Razr Plus in the US — shows off the “phone” in mid-fold with a display coated in the Peach Fuzz shade that debuted late last year.

The phone’s specs are otherwise just chocolate (aka cocoa butter and sugar instead of Snapdragon chipsets and lithium-ion batteries). And if you try to text on it, the bar might start to melt.

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Watch this: Motorola’s Rollable Concept Phone Wraps on Your Wrist

Energizer battery puts a phone inside

We’ve seen lots of phones advertise big battery life. But we don’t usually see a battery that advertises how it can be a big phone. But at Mobile World Congress, the company Avenir has developed an Energizer branded device that theoretically keeps going and going with a 28,000mAh battery. For comparison, a 5,000mAh battery is considered a large for a phone.

The Energizer Hard Case P28K’s battery comes with a 6.78-inch display, a 60-megapixel main camera, IP69-rating for water and dust resistance and a three-year warranty.

Unlike a lot of the concepts we’re seeing at MWC, Avenir reportedly does plan to sell this battery-with-a-phone. It’s said to go on sale this October for $300.

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This Motorola concept can be bent to place it right on your wrist.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Motorola and Samsung’s wearable phones

Both Motorola and Samsung brought out phones that you could strap right onto your wrist like a watch. The Samsung Cling Band concept and Motorola’s similar concept device both can be used as a standard candybar phone — but that’s not what’s fun about them.

Both devices have screens that can bend backward, and it does so far enough that you can them curve it around your wrist. While neither company is announcing plans to develop these concepts into future products, it does signal a possible future for a smartwatch that could also literally be your phone.

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The Honor Magic 6 Pro is showcasing eye tracking technology for controlling apps.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Honor Magic 6 Pro lets you ‘tap’ with your eyes

The Honor Magic 6 Pro is offering a different way to control your phone. It uses artificial intelligence to track your eye movements, allowing you to open and interact with apps without needing to tap your screen. 

We’ve seen phones sense eyes in the past, but mainly in limited uses like assisting with screen unlock or to play and pause media. While we haven’t yet tested the eye tracking itself, a demo video showing it off reminds me of using the since-retired Xbox Kinect camera. You use your eyes to focus on areas of the display, and after a few seconds the option gets selected.

While whether eye tracking becomes a practical way to use a phone isn’t yet known, after years of scrolling and swiping it’s nice to see new ways to control our mobile devices.

Barbie lying on picnic blanket with a dog, a book, a flip phone and some cherries Barbie lying on picnic blanket with a dog, a book, a flip phone and some cherries

After years of remaking Nokia phones, HMD is bringing its flip phone expertise to Barbie.

HMD

Barbie as a minimalistic phone

HMD has previously reinvented Nokia-branded basic phones with MWC debuts, but in 2024 the company plans to do the same with Barbie. The company announced that a Barbie-branded minimalistic flip phone is in the works, debuting sometime in 2024. 

Having a Barbie phone itself — specifically as a minimalistic device — raises some interesting questions about what it could be like once we do learn more about it. Will it try to re-create the early 2000s flip phone aesthetic while providing access to essential communication apps like WhatsApp? Or will it dive into an even more simpler experience enriched by the Barbie brand while having more in common with an e-Ink device like the Light Phone 2.

What we do know for now is that Barbie can be anything, and HMD Chief Marketing Officer Lars Silberbauer said, “It’s for any kind of fan of Barbie.” We’ll find out more as the year continues, with the Barbie Flip Phone expected to debut in July.

Read more: The MWC 2024 Tech You Can Buy Right Now

Samsung Shows Off Wrist Phone Among Weird and Wonderful Display Concepts

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