Best of MWC 2024 — top 10 new gadgets you need to see

Best of MWC 2024 awards
(Image credit: Future)

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, the annual mobile device trade show in Barcelona, saw the reveal of several exciting gadgets and innovations. From AI-powered smartphones to mind-bending display concepts to our first in-person look of the Samsung Galaxy Ring, there was no shortage of announcements to come from this year’s edition of MWC. 

The Tom’s Guide team attended MWC 2024 to bring you the biggest product news from brands like Lenovo, Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi and Honor. While there, we got a glimpse of what to expect from mobile devices in the upcoming months. But some devices stood out more than others, giving us the Best of MWC 2024 list you’ll find below.

Check out our editors’ favorites for phones, wearables, software and more on display at MWC 2024 — and why we think they’ll move the needle this year.

Best phone: Xiaomi 14

Xiaomi 14 back

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Xiaomi announced a lot more than just phones during MWC, but the device maker’s standard Xiaomi 14 made the biggest impression for the way it compresses a flagship phone experience into a smaller, more pocket-friendly frame.

Yes, 6.36 inches is still pretty big for a compact phone, but Xiaomi stuffed three 50MP cameras, 90W charging and a top-of-the-line chipset with 12GB RAM into the Xiaomi 14, a loadout we'd think was generous even for a full-fat ultra phone. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra goes even further than that if you've got the money for this €1,499 device.

It may lack trendy AI features, but there's not much more we could ask of the Xiaomi 14, other than availability for the U.S. market. And we really wish the phone would get a wider launch since Xiaomi can show Apple, Samsung and Google a few things about how to spec a flagship phone properly without having to further increase its size. — Richard Priday

Best value phone: Nubia Flip 5G

Nubia Flip 5G folded, showing cover display

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I thought I'd still be waiting a number of years for a foldable phone you could reasonably call good value, but ZTE surprised me this year with its Nubia Flip 5G — a $600 flip foldable in a world where most cost a grand or more, and even the cheapest good foldable still costs $700.

Even at this bargain of a price, the Flip 5G still gets a 6.9-inch display, dual 50MP rear cameras, a fun circular outer display with a bevy of widgets to use with the phone closed, and a surprisingly large battery for a flexible device. Perhaps best of all, ZTE ships phones worldwide, hopefully meaning we'll see this available in both Europe and the U.S., giving all kinds of users a cheaper way to become part of the foldable fold. — Richard Priday

Best design: Lenovo ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept

Lenovo ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop concept

(Image credit: Future)

When the chatter among the press in Barcelona turned to the Lenovo ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept, I chuckled at first. Surely, this is purely a gimmick of epic proportions, I thought. But once I laid my eyes on the 17.3-inch mini LED transparent display, my inner nerd exploded. In a sea of enterprise announcements at MWC, this was the sci-fi hotness I needed.

Is the ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept useful? That’s more of a head-scratcher — just like the questions of privacy that raise a red flag around this prototype. But when viewed through the lens of being a concept, you can’t deny how you feel like you’re living in a sci-fi movie just using it. It is a true laptop industry-first, which raises the first big question about how AI can inspire changes to the design of a portable computer. — Jason England

Best smartwatch: OnePlus Watch 2

OnePlus Watch 2

(Image credit: Future)

After the original OnePlus Watch flopped, I didn’t know when (or if) the company would make a second attempt. Yet, the OnePlus Watch 2 debuted at MWC, and having had the chance to write a review of the OnePlus Watch 2 ahead of the reveal, I think it might be the best redemption story the smartwatch space has ever seen.

The $299 device is virtually incomparable to its predecessor, as the OnePlus Watch 2 finally offers users of the company’s smartphones the companion smartwatch they deserve. The combination of elegant design and durability make for a great-looking timepiece, while the Wear OS 4 software helps it rival popular flagships like the Google Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. Though the OnePlus Watch 2 is missing a few modern smartwatch features, it keeps up with the best smartwatches in most ways and marks a fresh start in the story of the OnePlus Watch. — Kate Kozuch

Best tablet: Honor Pad 9

Honor Pad 9

(Image credit: Future)

Android tablets — we all have love-hate relationships with these slabs. There’s no getting away from the fact that the iPad quite decisively won the tablet wars, so any OEM’s best course of action is the classic “if you can’t beat them, join them!” That’s what the Honor Pad 9 nails in being the most iPad-esque Android tablet I’ve ever used.

Beyond being a content consumption dream with a gorgeous 12.1-inch 2.5K display, impressively premium design and stellar battery life, Honor’s own MagicOS on Android 13 (paired with Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset) gives you that smooth, snappy user interface with all the multi-finger gestures you know and love to be browsing around like a pro. Combine all of this with an affordable price point (£200 less than the iPad 10th Gen), and you’re onto a winner. — Jason England

Best innovation: Honor Magic6 Pro Eye Tracking

honor magic6 pro with car controlling features on screen

(Image credit: Future)

How will interacting with our gadgets change in the future? Honor is betting that AI-powered  eye tracking will play a big part in that, and the Honor Magic6 Pro will be the first phone to take advantage of the technology. Honor’s so confident in the power of the phone’s eye-tracking that it added eyes-only control to a real life car.

The feature is coming later this year, and it will allow users to interact with the phone’s “Magic Capsule” — a camera and notification pill similar to Apple’s Dynamic Island. Simply look at the camera pill and you’ll be able to check notifications or check the relevant apps without using your hands. Honor’s eye tracking feature essentially turns your gaze into a mouse, without the need to touch your phone or perform arm-flailing gestures. — Tom Pritchard

Best concept device: Motorola Adaptive Display Concept

GIF animation of Motorola Adaptive Display.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

For all the foldable and rollable concept smartphones we’ve seen over the years, very few have actually seemed practical. That’s what’s so exciting about Motorola’s adaptive display concept — it’s a smartphone that can bend into almost anything you need it to be. 

Though we got a tease of the backward-bending phone at Lenovo Tech World late last year, MWC gave us our first opportunity to go hands-on with the device. Featuring a 6.9-inch FHD+ pOLED display, the still-nameless Android phone can bend backward from flat to a few different configurations. The most noteworthy of those configurations switches the device to a smartwatch that straps to your wrist with the help of a magnetic bracelet accessory. A product promising to merge two of my daily devices into one? You have my attention. — Kate Kozuch

Best AI device: Humane AI Pin

Humane AI Pin

(Image credit: Future)

I got to see the Humane AI Pin in action and to be honest, it does a lot that should make the Rabbit R1 a little nervous. This all comes down to the multi-modal AI that makes this one of the smartest devices you could pin to your shirt. 

Combining voice control with the visual UI of a downright futuristic Laser Ink display that’s projected onto your hand, controlling the Humane AI Pin for a focussed set of functions feels like an absolute breeze, and I could see myself making calls and enriching my day-to-day with this device.

Just to be clear. In my mind, the Humane AI Pin won’t replace your smartphone — I know that’s what the company is pitching for, but I believe the world is comfortable with AI assistance as an accessory rather than this $700 device replacing your phone. That said, the AI assistance available from the Humane AI Pin is simply dazzling. — Jason England

Best product to watch: Samsung Galaxy Ring

Samsung Galaxy Ring

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Ring made its public debut at MWC 2024, and though we didn’t get a chance to try it on, we got a full look at the ring’s design. It doesn’t appear considerably different from comparable devices, but discretion is a big selling point of a smart ring, so a slim size and sleek finishes are a must — the Galaxy Ring has both.

We know that the Galaxy Ring has big ambitions in the health space, with Samsung VP of digital health Hon Pak confirming major partnership plans. But more than anything, we’re eager to see how much the device will cost. If the Galaxy Ring can undercut the likes of the Oura Ring, Samsung could have one of the most compelling products of the year. Needless to say, it’s one to watch. — Kate Kozuch

Best AR glasses: TCL RayNeo X2 & RayNeo X2 Lite

tcl rayneo x2 ar glasses at mwc 2024

(Image credit: Future)

TCL has taken a big leap forward with augmented reality glasses tech at MWC 2024, with two pairs of standalone AR spectacles that will be in your hands later this year. The RayNeo X2 and X2 Lite are AI-powered microLED augmented reality glasses that feature full color imagery on both lenses — which TCL claims is a world first. 

Better still, they weigh just 4.23- and 2.1-ounces, respectively. While still bulkier than a standard pair of frames, they’re a heck of a lot more comfortable than full-sized AR headsets. The on-board AI assistant is designed to be a true companion too, with Chat GPT-powered conversation, object recognition, real-time translation and on-glasses navigation. And that’s all without ever having to link to your phone. If this is a taste of things to come, we are all for it. — Tom Pritchard

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