Everything to look out for at Mobile World Congress, and why you should care
Mobile World Congress, better known as MWC, gets under way next week in Barcelona with some of the biggest names in the industry set to take the covers off their next generation of smartphones.
The technology convention is expected to be dominated by the return of Nokia – now owned by tech firm HMD Global – which will reportedly reveal at least two new smartphones, and rumours suggest a revamped version of the famous 3310 mobile phone could also be unveiled.
Fellow tech giant BlackBerry is also expected to use the convention to announce a new Android smartphone.
Samsung, Huawei and Sony will all be at MWC too, and all have plans to make it an interesting week.
1. The return of Nokia and BlackBerry
Two of the biggest names in recent tech history – which infamously lost out in the smartphone revolution to the likes of Apple and Samsung – are planning comebacks.
Nokia is expected to have the bigger of the two revivals, with at least two new phones expected and the huge rumour that one of them could be a return for the classic 3310.
Online speculation suggests Nokia plans to reintroduce the phone alongside a more premium device as an inexpensive second phone option, creating a wave of nostalgia in the process.
BlackBerry will also be at MWC and is expected to show off a new Android smartphone.
2. But no Samsung flagship
MWC is traditionally used by some of the biggest smartphone manufacturers – including Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony – to reveal new flagship devices, although Samsung are not expected to announce anything major at this year’s show.
The Korean tech giant is still recovering from the fallout of the Note7 battery fires from 2016, and is said to be taking its time safety-wise to perfect its next phone – likely to be the Galaxy S8 when it eventually surfaces.
Instead, it’s believed Samsung’s biggest announced will be a new tablet to challenge the iPad Pro.
Samsung isn’t the only big firm unlikely to announce a new flagship phone at MWC. HTC is said to be going with similar thinking having just announced the U Ultra and U Play. Right now it seems unlikely that another premium device would be introduced so quickly.
3. LG’s G6
Still very much a staple of MWC is the launch of an LG flagship, and 2017 is the year of the G6.
Unlike some of its rivals, LG tends to do things a little differently and steadily confirm details of a new device in the run-up to the event.
So, we know that the G6 will have a 5.7in quad HD display, be water resistant and have a 13-megapixel rear camera and wireless charging capabilities.
But many more details – most importantly the price – are still to be announced, as well as the possible existence of a compact version.
4. Lots from Sony
Sony also likes to go big at MWC and is seemingly showing no sign of stopping this year, with reports suggesting as many as five new phones could be in their line-up.
They could include a new Xperia XZ, Xperia X and Xperia XA as well as other high-end and mid-range phones with a variety of camera and screen specs.
5. A new Huawei phone and smartwatch
The ever-growing Chinese manufacturer has also already confirmed it will unveil the P10 flagship phone at MWC, as well as the P10 Plus.
We’re expecting a curved display and dual rear-cameras as well as up to 6GB of RAM to boost the phone’s performance, continuing the company’s push to rival the likes of Apple and Samsung.
A sequel to the Huawei Watch that first appeared at MWC last year is also rumoured to be among the company’s plans.
6. Folding phones
A rumour that has been steadily rumbling for some time is that one or more flexible, foldable phones could be introduced this year.
While any potential release is likely to be much later in the year, a preview or hint of such a product would be a great way to grab headlines.
Samsung is the firm with the strongest rumours, and with supposedly no premium phone to discuss during its MWC press conference, a sneak peek at something as advanced as this might make sense.