Samsung's S7, S7 Edge and LG's G5 won MWC, but Qualcomm laughed all the way to the bank

As far as I’m concerned, MWC 2016 was a victory for Qualcomm and maybe Sony because the entire event boiled down to two things: The Snapdragon 820 and the Sony IMX sensor.

The wild, adrenaline-fuelled rush of MWC is over and now it’s time to relax and take a breather. We saw a whole bunch of smartphones and mobile-related gadgets announced at the event, some interesting, some pointless. Our reporter got run off his feet, people fought for handsets and to get into press events but ultimately, it was all worth it, or so we believe.

Hotwire reports that with over 40,000 tweets apiece, LG and Samsung were the most talked about companies at MWC. Sony came in a distant second with 20,000.

As far as I’m concerned however, MWC 2016 was a victory for Qualcomm and maybe Sony because the entire event boiled down to two things: The Snapdragon 820 and the Sony IMX sensor.

With little to offer in terms of innovation, all that mattered were specifications and design. Le Max Pro? The phone offers the best hardware in the market at rock-bottom prices. Xiaomi Mi 5? The same. Samsung S7 and S7 Edge? The same, but with a much higher price and support for GearVR. LG G5? The same as Samsung but with more accessories.

We’d rather have more powerful and feature-rich software (consider the popularity of Xiaomi’s MIUI), hence the requirement for more powerful devices. We want the Snapdragon 820, we need it. We want our experience to be something exceptional, to be lag and stutter free. Extending the argument to Apple, if the iPhone 5 would run iOS 9 stutter free, how many iPhone users would even want to upgrade?

Your choice of hardware really comes down to personal preference and more importantly, design and availability. We’ve finally reached a stage in the smartphone wars where the specifications don’t matter anymore, and it shows.

Today, anyone can slap together a smartphone with an appropriate Snapdragon chipset, powerful camera sensor and suitable screen. Throw in some marketing mumbo-jumbo like Quick Charge, PDAF, OIS, etc. and you've a winner on your hands. As long as it's appropriately priced. The real kicker? Everyone’s doing just that.

Apple has long been reviled, in many circles, as the company that copies, a company that doesn’t innovate; I think MWC 2016 proved otherwise. What’s new in the S7 other than “faster” hardware? How useful are the G5’s modules really? The Le Max Pro and Xiaomi Mi 5 need do nothing more than exist, as does Apple's iPhone 7 for that matter.

We’re going to buy the phone we like, slap a cover on it and then immerse ourselves into Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp and whatever else we do on our devices. As long as the hardware is up to scratch, why would we ever want to upgrade?

Is this really all that smartphones have boiled down to? Let us know in the comments below.

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