Mobile World Congress (MWC), the biggest conference on the planet focused entirely on mobile technologies, kicks off next week in Barcelona, Spain. That means we’ll learn about every new gadget and app from every major electronics company on Earth that isn’t named after a fruit.
We’ll be heading to Spain’s beautiful Catalan region to report on all of the news from the show. But we already have some pretty good ideas about what we’ll be hearing from the major mobile vendors.
Every year Samsung uses MWC to launch its latest flagship smartphone. Last year it was the Galaxy S6, the year before that it was the Galaxy S5. And this year — you guessed it — we’ll be seeing the all-new Galaxy S7.
Samsung is also expected to unveil the Galaxy S7 Edge, the follow up to last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge. According to the litany of leaks about the phones, the Galaxy S7 will sport a 5.1-inch screen, while the S7 Edge will get a 5.5-inch display with curved edges.
(Image credit: VentureBeat)
Based on images of the phones that have appeared online, you shouldn’t expect to see any major design changes to either handset. You can, however, expect the S7 and S7 Edge to be waterproof, according to BGR.
What’s more, as SamMobile reports, Samsung could reintroduce the microSD card slot with its new phones, something it eliminated with the Galaxy S6.
According to TechRadar, the S7 and S7 Edge will come with 12-megapixel cameras, down from the 16-megapixel cameras on the S6 and S6 Edge.
Various reports have also pointed to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge packing a new pressure-sensitive touchscreen technology similar to Apple’s 3D Touch, which allows you to press harder on the screen to pull up a secondary menu.
LG is also expected to debut a new smartphone at MWC. According to the folks over at TomsGuide, the LG G5 will come with a 5.3-inch always-on display that will show the time, date, and notifications. How that will impact battery life, though, is anyone’s guess.
Over at VentureBeat, smartphone leaker extraordinaire Evan Blass says the G5 will also come with a smaller ticker-style display above its main screen, where you can select apps and receive notifications.
The G5 is also said to get a unique dual-lens camera setup that Gizmodo says could result in extra-wide images.
That’s not the only interesting feature the G5 is expected to get. According to PhoneArena, LG will equip its handset with a special removable bottom slot form which you can replace the phone’s battery.
VentureBeat says the slot could also be used for things like special camera expansions, as well, which would certainly be a welcome innovation.
HTC hasn’t been making much noise in the lead up to MWC, which means the handset maker isn’t likely to unveil a new phone this year. That said, the company did launch its HTC One M9 during the show last year, so it wouldn’t be completely surprising if we did see a new smartphone.
I’m personally hoping HTC will use MWC to reveal the pricing and availability of its highly anticipated Vive virtual-reality system. Considering you can already pre-order Facebook’s competing Oculus Rift for $600, it could behoove HTC and its partner Valve to make some kind of announcement in Spain.
Lenovo always has a strong presence at MWC — and pretty much every other big tech show for that matter — so you can expect the electronics giant to show off a slew of new laptops, tablets, and smartphones at MWC.
It’s unlikely, however, that we’ll see any new Moto branded phones. You’ll recall that Lenovo bought Motorola in 2014, but retained the Motorola brand for the Moto line of products. At CES 2016, however Lenovo killed the Motorola brand, but is keeping the Moto name around.
Sony usually uses MWC to debut its Xperia phones and tablets, which are more popular overseas than in the U.S. The company has scheduled a press event in Barcelona, but isn’t letting much slip in terms of what it will show there.
SlashGear reported in December that Sony was working on a new Xperia Z6 smartphone in as many as five permutations. So if we see a new smartphone from the company don’t be surprised if there’s more than one.
Microsoft always goes all out at MWC, and 2016 probably won’t be any different. The company regularly displays its wares in a massive booth, so we’ll be on the look out.
That said, we haven’t heard much about Microsoft in the run-up to this year’s show. Since MWC is a mobile show, we’ll likely see some new Windows 10 laptops and tablets. What would be even more interesting is if we also saw some new Windows 10-powered smartphones.
Whatever is announced next week in Spain, be sure to check back with us for all of the latest news and our hands-on first impressions.