The Shortcut MWC Awards 2023: the best tech we saw in Barcelona
These are the gadgets that impressed us most at Mobile World Congress 2023
Even though the clear blue skies of Barcelona were rather fleeting this year, MWC 2023 was still a scorcher for new tech announcements and hands-on experiences. Thousands of attendees swarmed the halls of the Fira Gran Via over the five-day event, as did The Shortcut team.
Just like The Shortcut CES Awards 2023, we wanted to award the companies who impressed us most at this year’s Mobile World Congress with a beautiful, physical trophy.
Thank you for your trust and support. Here’s our banner-ad-free reporting from MWC.
Matt personally handed out each trophy to our chosen winners on the show floor, as it’s always nice to celebrate the people behind our favorite tech, and not just the products themselves.
Here are the eight winners who were awarded our coveted trophy at MWC 23:
Best in Show
Lenovo Rollable Concepts (Rollable PC / Motorola Rizer)
Our Best in Show award went to Lenovo for their impressive rollable concepts, the Lenovo Rollable PC and the Motorola Rizer smartphone.
“I’m super excited about the future of PCs, especially with companies like Lenovo attempting to use new display technology to create unique form factors.” - Nirave Gondhia
Read our in-person coverage: This new Lenovo rollable PC concept could be the future of laptops.
Best Smartphone Overall
OnePlus 11 Concept Phone
The OnePlus 11 Concept Phone nabbed our Best Smartphone Overall award thanks to its incredibly cool design and striking looks.
“From the reaction here in Barcelona, the OnePlus 11 Concept is already a winner before it has even entered the game.” - Matt Swider
Read our full OnePlus 11 Concept Phone hands-on review.
Best New Technology
TCL Nxtpaper (Tablet & Concept phone)
New technology is always exciting, especially when it isn’t just mere potential. TCL’s Nxtpaper really wowed us when we saw it in action, earning our Best New Technology award.
“Advancements in Nxtpaper made me a believer in this novel screen technology – that wasn’t always the case. But as Nxtpaper evolved, so too has my opinion on the e-ink-like TCL technology. Nxtpaper 1.0 had the perks of being in color and, now, Nxtpaper 2.0 turned up the brightness in a big way.” - Matt Swider
Read our full TCL Nxtpaper hands-on review.
Honor Magic Vs Folding Phone
Folding phones continue to make great strides, and the Honor Magic Vs Folding Phone was no exception. Despite stiff competition, it was a worthy winner of our Best Foldable award.
“The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 looks just fine, but the Honor Magic Vs looks spectacular in comparison.” - Nirave Gondhia
Read our full Honor Magic Vs hands-on review.
Unique Mobile Feature
Realme GT3 (240W charging)
The Realme GT3 includes a feature that has instant appeal: super-fast 240W charging. That’s why we had to give it our Unique Mobile Feature award.
“What caught our eye about 240W charging is how quickly it can rejuvenate a dead phone in under 10 minutes. We’ve all been in a situation where you’re out and about, and just need enough battery life to send a text or call an Uber to get home. This fast-charging technology can literally be a lifesaver.” - Matt Swider
Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces
Even though we were impressed by our hands-on time with the Oppo Air Glass 2, Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces showed what the future really holds for the tech. The potential for AR glasses is massive, whether it’s education, enterprise or gaming, hence why our Most Innovative award goes to Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces.
“One of the features that wowed us the most was how Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces supports real-time translation and multiple languages. The tech can even detect which person is speaking. It’s truly groundbreaking.” - Adam Vjestica
Best VR Headset
HTC Vive XR Elite
VR continues to improve with every new iteration but barriers remain. The HTC Vive XR Elite overcomes many of those hurdles, though, thanks to its versatility. That made it an easy choice for our Best VR Headset award.
“With the specs that the HTC Vive XR Elite offers and the sheer flexibility that lets you enjoy everything VR and AR can bring, there’s definitely an audience that HTC’s new headset will appeal to. And, after experiencing it firsthand, I count myself in that group.” - Adam Vjestica
Read our HTC Vive XR Elite hands-on review.
Best Value Smartphone
Tecno Phantom V Fold
The winner of our Best Value Smartphone award was the Tecno Phantom V Fold, which boasts seriously impressive specs for an enticing price point.
“It wasn’t hard to find foldable phones at MWC 2023, but the Tecno Phantom V Fold is the only one with an attractive-enough price to get us really excited. Its launch price undercuts the Honor Magic Vs by $500, yet it offers similar flagship dimensions, chiefly a 7.85-inch 120Hz tablet-sized display that folds in half with no gap. There’s also a sizable 6.42-inch cover screen on the outside, a 50MP camera on the back and a 5,000mAh battery inside to round out the most competitive foldable yet.” - Matt Swider