6 things to expect from Mobile World Congress
The next big event in the technology calendar is almost upon us, as Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks into life in Barcelona on Sunday.
The event, as the name suggests, is very mobile-centric and that means smartphones and plenty of them.
But it also means tablets, wearables and virtual reality, as many of the biggest names in the tech world come together to showcase another round of new products.
Here are the key things to look out for.
1. Samsung’s Next Galaxy
The Next Galaxy is the tagline Samsung has been using in the run-up to MWC, and it is just that that the Korean firm is expected to unveil while holding its traditional pre-MWC press conference on Sunday night.
Natural evolution suggests it will be called the S7 and we might even see a S7 edge too perhaps, after the curved-screen device stole the limelight for the company in 2015.
Feature-wise, we’re still not sure what to expect from the new phone, but improvements to battery life and the camera are signature Samsung moves.
Given that the phone underwent a major redesign last year, it’s unlikely to look much different on the surface. But that is a very good thing.
2. LG’s G5
LG takes quite a laid-back approach when it comes to big announcements, and so we already know the firm will unveil the flagship G5 at MWC. How? Its official social media accounts are already using the hashtag, and it’s confirmed it will have an ‘always-on’ screen and announced a case for it.
So it’s pretty nailed-on to make an appearance. Beyond that, though, we don’t know much, but the company has also confirmed it has a couple of mid-range smartphones coming too as part of a range it is calling the X series.
There are also rumours of some 360 video content, too.
3. Huawei’s triple threat
The Chinese firm has done a very good job of making waves over the last year or so, really coming into its own with the Mate 8 smartphone and Huawei Watch.
The rumours ahead of MWC are that the company could turn up with three big new devices for consumers – a new phone, smartwatch and laptop.
The smartphone is expected to be the P9, another flagship-level device, while we’re waiting to see if Huawei has a Watch 2 for us, or just an update to its current generation wearable.
There’s also talk of a laptop capable of running both Android and Windows, which would grab plenty of attention.
4. The mystery of HTC
We say mystery because HTC is yet to confirm a press conference, but it will certainly have a presence at MWC. Now, the lack of a big event suggests that its next flagship phone, the HTC One M10, is perhaps unlikely to be unveiled here.
There’s talk it’s going to hold off for a standalone event in April to announce the new handset.
However, with the Vive virtual reality headset just a couple of months away from going on sale to consumers for the first time, expect the Taiwanese firm to make a deal of its headset – and rightly so. It is very good.
Some new experiences perhaps, and maybe some more information on that upcoming launch could be on the way.
5. The Sony question
Another big name with something of a question mark over its announcements is Sony. It’s confirmed its attendance but having only updated its flagship handset – the Xperia Z5 – in the autumn, it seems a very quick turnaround to be ready to do so again.
Instead we could see other things from the company’s portfolio – mid-range phones and wearables being the most likely perhaps.
6. Everything else
Lenovo has been teasing a new smartphone ahead of the show – a sleek-looking all-metal number with Dolby sound that many believe will have the slightly less stylish name Lemon 3.
Microsoft too could have a smartphone up its sleeve. But before you get too excited, don’t expect it to be a new Windows Phone just yet. The experts say a new Lumia is far more likely at MWC.