CES is long gone and it’s been a mighty cold winter ever since we left the desert. Now it’s time to pack our bags and move to a sunnier locale — Barcelona, Spain — for the biggest mobile tech show in Europe.
Mobile World Congress officially opens its doors on March 2, but everything really kicks off on March 1, and we’ll be there, reporting live from all the events. But before we leave for España, let’s take a look at all the cool smartphones, wearables, and gadgets expected at MWC 2015.
Samsung: The Galaxy S6 and perhaps a surprise or two
Samsung truly left us hanging at CES. Not a phone nor tablet was in sight during its entire press conference. However, it seems the Korean company is determined to make it up to us at MWC 2015. We’ve been invited to a March 1 event, during which Samsung is widely expected to debut its new flagship phone, the Galaxy S6. At this point, reports contradict one another as to whether there will be one version of the much-rumored S6 or two.
Most leaks agree that a variant with at least one curved edge, influenced by the Note Edge, will arrive on the stage in Spain. The most recent leaks show the Galaxy S6’s slim profile, and Samsung’s own teaser trailers and poster show a similarly curved line, so it seems an edged Galaxy S6 will arrive at MWC.
The rest of Samsung’s plans are a mystery. It could very well add a smartwatch or other wearable to the mix as well. Only time will tell, and we can’t wait.
HTC: The One M9 and maybe its first wearable ever
HTC also appears to be gearing up for a big announcement or two at MWC this year. Most reports point to the launch of the HTC One M9 flagship phone at the company’s March 1 event. The One M9 is expected to sport high-end specs and the same, high-quality metal design that made the one M8 an instant fan favorite among high-end Android buyers.
HTC has yet to enter the wearables market, even though Samsung, LG, Asus, and others have eagerly jumped onto the Android Wear smartwatch bandwagon. Recently, reports hint that HTC is finally ready to dive into the wearable market, but nobody seems to agree what the Taiwanese company will showcase at MWC. Some say it’s a smartwatch that doesn’t run Android Wear, while others say it’ll be a fitness wearable linked to an Under Armour partnership.
LG: The G Watch Urbane — at the very least
LG’s probably not planning anything major at MWC, as it introduced the G Flex 2 at CES, and it’s widely believed the company will wait until April or May to reveal its flagship phone, the LG G4. However, LG’s already pumped out a few mid-range smartphones that we’ll see at the show, and it recently touted not one, but two fancy versions of the G Watch called the Urbane, one of which has an LTE modem inside.
Sony: Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia M4 Aqua
Sony probably won’t launch it’s next flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z4 at MWC, but it will launch at least two new products, sources say. The Xperia Z4 Tablet, which leaked online recently, is expected to be the biggest announcement for Sony at the show. It may have a high-resolution, 2K screen and a zippy processor, as well as Sony’s signature design style. The company could also introduce the Xperia M4 Aqua smartphone at the event. It will likely be a waterproof device with a pretty solid spec sheet and Android Lollipop onboard.
Next page: Google, Microsoft, Lenovo, Huawei, and ZTE
Google: Project Ara at the Yezz booth
Google’s modular smartphone concept Project Ara has been a long time coming. Finally, the first modules for the phones will be on display at MWC 2015. Smartphone manufacturer Yezz announced that it will have 100 different modules on display at the event. Attendees will be able to see how the components will come together to form a smartphone, too.
Puerto Ricans will be the first to experience Project Ara phones in real life, thanks to Google’s pilot program that’s launching in the territory later this year. It’s unclear if a fully formed Project Ara phone will be demoed at MWC, but one can hope.
Microsoft: new Lumias and Windows 10
Microsoft seems to be getting back into mobile now more than ever, thanks to its purchase of Nokia’s entire handset division last year. Recent reports hint that Microsoft will save its flagship Lumia for another day, but it may launch a handful of mid-range Lumia smartphones at MWC this year. Up to four new Lumia phones are being rumored, equipped with screen sizes between 4 inches and 5.7 inches. The resolutions are likely to be either 720p, or 480 x 800 pixels.
The company also recently revealed the Windows 10 Technical Preview for Windows Insiders to download, so we expect to see more Windows 10 mobile demos at MWC this year.
Lenovo: Gorgeous, new Vibe phone lineup
Even though Lenovo isn’t exactly a big-name smartphone maker in the U.S., the Chinese company actually has a lot of phones to accompany its tablets and PCs. Lenovo will probably unveil a slew of new Vibe smartphones at MWC, including the Vibe X3, S1, P1, and P1 Pro — All of which are said to run Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Vibe X3 in particular should be a stand out with its 5.5-inch screen and 20-megapixel camera. Leaked images show stylish, HTC-style curvy metallic bodies for Lenovo’s new Vibe phones.
Huawei: The Honor X2, a smartwatch, and more
Huawei is another one of those names American smartphone buyers may not be too familiar with, but the Chinese company makes some interesting hardware. It’s unlikely that we’ll see the flagship Ascend P8 at MWC, but will will almost certainly see the Honor X2, the latest update to the company’s mid-range phablet offering.
Reports say the X2 will sport a 1080p screen, octa-core Kirin 925 processor, and 3GB of RAM. It’s likely to cost about half the price of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, coming in around $320 unlocked. Huawei may also have the medium-sized MediaPad X2 tablet, and the Mate 7 Compact phablet up its sleeve as well.
The company has also dropped plenty of hints about a smartwatch running Android Wear, and a fitness band with an LTE modem inside. It hasn’t given much away about the band’s functionality, but promised to tell us more at the show.
ZTE: Nubia Z9, and some surprises, hopefully
ZTE has managed to keep its MWC 2015 under wraps, but rumors have emerged concerning a new entry into the premium Nubia range. It’s being called the Z9, and may have a large 5.5-inch screen, while the power could be supplied by a Snapdragon 810 processor. We’re hoping for a few other surprises from ZTE too, having impressed us recently with the Star 2 and the Blade S6.
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