CES may be one of the biggest and baddest technology shows, but Mobile World Congress is where it’s at for the biggest mobile announcements of the year. The show runs in Barcelona, Spain from February 22 to February 25 at the Fira Gran Via convention center, where Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and other big-name tech brands will try to out-do each other with impressive flagship smartphone launches and other cool gadgets.
This year, we expect to see some incredible innovations from the big brands, as well as a bunch of intriguing new tech from relatively unknown companies. We’ll be reporting live from the show floor, so follow @DigitalTrends and @DTMobile for the latest news. You can also follow our on-the-ground reporters Andy Boxall, Malarie Gokey, Jeff Van Camp, Ryan Waniata, Julian Chokkattu, and Simon Hill on Twitter.
In the meantime, here’s everything we expect to see at the biggest mobile extravaganza of the year.
Samsung always puts on a big show at MWC for its latest Galaxy smartphone, and this year will be no different; rumors about the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and S7 Edge Plus have been all over the Internet for months. It’s unknown whether Samsung will launch all three devices at MWC, but the spec sheet for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is rumored to be very impressive. Recent leaks hint at a sleek waterproof design, a Samsung Exynos 8890 or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, a 5.1-inch Quad HD screen, and a 12-megapixel camera. Samsung may also introduce a 7-inch Galaxy Tab A, unveil more Gear VR news, and hold a few surprises up its sleeves. You can read all about the devices in our rumor roundups, which are listed below.
LG used to wait for Samsung to have its fun at MWC before launching the G series flagship at a separate event. Not so this year! LG is aggressively teasing its G5 smartphone ahead of MWC, going so far as to reveal a flip-cover case for the device and hints about its design. Rumors say the G5 will be all metal for the first time, but it will still offer a removable battery via a crazy new slider design. The G5 is said to have a secondary screen, two cameras, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. The main screen may measure 5.3 inches and sport a Quad HD resolution. Although the screen size would be smaller than the G4’s 5.5-inch screen, the second screen might make up the difference. We’ll soon know for sure. LG announced some budget phones ahead of MWC, which you can read about in the links below, along with G5 rumors. We don’t know what else the company has up its sleeves — maybe we’ll see even more devices?
HTC usually announces the latest phone in the One M series at MWC, but this year, we’re not so sure it’ll be at the show. Rumors point to a sleek iPhone-like design for the One M10 and high-end specs, such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, a 5.2-inch Quad HD screen, and 4GB of RAM. The release date is currently pegged for later in the spring, however. In the meantime, HTC could show off more fitness wearables with Under Armour or its virtual reality headset, the Vive. We’re betting on more Vive news at this show, new demos, and even pricing, since pre-orders kick off on Feb. 29.
Huawei is on a roll lately, and recent rumors hint at a launch for the P9 smartphone at MWC, as well as a rumored 2-in-1 Windows device called the MateBook. The P9 is rumored to include two cameras, 6GB of RAM, an octa-core Kirin 950 processor, and a 5.2-inch Quad HD screen. There may be Lite and Max versions of the P9, too. We could also see some wonky wearables like the TalkBand or perhaps a new smartwatch. Mid-range phones are also a real possibility for Huawei, and there’s always the hope that the Chinese company will announce a U.S. launch partner for some of its smartphones.
Xiaomi may finally reveal the Mi 5 at MWC, and it looks like it’ll be a high-powered phone based on the rumors. The Mi 5 is said to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 3 or 4 GB of RAM. It may come in two flavors: Android and Windows 10 Mobile, which would be very interesting indeed. As far as design goes, the Mi 5 allegedly has 2.5D glass (which curves subtly on the sides) and a slim, oval-shaped home button the front. It looks more or less like the Galaxy S6 — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Lenovo, Sony, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and others
Several other players may also have surprises at MWC, including Microsoft and its partners, Sony, BlackBerry, and Nokia. None of them are expected to have huge announcements at the show, but we could hear a tidbit about new devices or software updates. Sony may have tablets, wearables, and perhaps some mid-range phones, though we haven’t heard much. Lenovo recently teased a metal smartphone, so it may have some interesting hardware. Tablets are always a possibility where Lenovo is concerned, and maybe we’ll hear more about the Google Project Tango partnership.