The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is one of the biggest tech-related events on the planet, where key players in the industry come to put on display some of their latest smartphone products – among other things.
Android in particular usually tends to make the biggest announcements every year in Barcelona and in 2017 we expect top Android OEMs like LG, Huawei or Nokia (HMD) to treat us with some really intriguing new smartphone models. We’re going to have a notable absentee this year, but we’ll tell you more about it below. So, if you want to be prepared for MWC 2017 (it starts on February 27, 2017) be sure to read our info roundup on what to expect to see at the event.
Samsung usually reserves MWC to unveil its next-gen S flagship, but this year due to the Galaxy Note7 hurdles, it seems that the Korean tech giant will let LG and its G6 have the whole spotlight.
Since the company has to be extra careful about releasing another Galaxy Note7-like device into the world, the arrival of the Galaxy S8 will be delayed in 2017. According to the latest information, the phone should be unveiled on March 29. The same sources tell us the device could become available for purchase around April 21. You can read all about what we know so far about the Galaxy S8 in our in-depth article.
Even without the Galaxy S8, Samsung might not skip MWC 2017 entirely. The Korean tech giant might showcase the new Galaxy Tab S3 tablet, which has been spotted lately on benchmark sites or the new Gear S3 Classic with LTE smartwatch. The rumor mill also has it Samsung is currently developing a Tizen 3.0 phone, so we might get to see that too on the grounds at Barcelona.
What about the cutting edge foldable phone we’ve been hearing for a few years? In early January, we heard the device might make it on the market in Q3 2017. That’s pretty close right? So MWC 2017 would be the perfect place for Samsung to reveal at least a prototype of the upcoming device.
With the Samsung Galaxy S8 out of the way at MWC 2017, LG’s next-gen flagship, the G6 is destined to shine. We expect the phone to mark a return to good, old traditional design – a departure from the modular approach of the ill-fated LG G5. You can read all about the LG G6 in our featured article here.
On top of the LG G6, we expect to see the company’s new Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches, the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style. Given that the two wearables should be announced on February 9, we expect them to appear at MWC 2017 too – complete with Google Assistant onboard (which by the way it is rumored to come with the LG G6 as well).
While traditionally Huawei has not used MWC 2017 as a platform to launch a new flagship, the company might do so this year. In its invite for the press event at MWC, Huawei says that CEO Richard Yu will be unveiling a “flagship device”.
Current word on the street seems to indicate the Chinese device maker will pull the wraps off the P10 and P10 Plus. While smartphones from the P family were usually launched during a separate event in April, Huawei might do things differently this year.
Many have been said about the upcoming P10. Some whispers claim the phone will feature a dual curved edge display in the vein of the Galaxy S7 edge, while others say it will look a lot like the Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design.
We can also expect to see the P10 arrive with a 5.2-inch QHD display and the P10 Plus with a 5.5-inch QHD screen – a notable change for Huawei which is known for being against QHD panels.
Both phones should be powered by an octa-core Kirin 960 processor combined with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Who knows maybe the P10 Plus variant will even carry 8GB of RAM. As for photography, the P10 might make a debut with a 16MP main Leica-branded camera.
Furthermore, the Chinese giant might also unleash a new tablet, the MediaTab T3 which leaked not so long ago and maybe just maybe announce the global availability of the gorgeous Honor Magic concept phone.
HTC just unveiled the HTC U Ultra flagship not so long ago, so we shouldn’t expect another premium phone from the company at MWC 2017.
In a recent interview a HTC official said the company will launch another flagship as soon as the Snapdragon 835 becomes available. In case you don’t know, Samsung has apparently hogged the initial Snapdragon 835 supply for its Galaxy S8 thus forcing LG (and others) to make use of an alternate chipset (the Snapdragon 821) for its G6 flagship.
The company also denied rumors of launching an Android Wear smartwatch, which begs the question – will HTC skip MWC 2017 altogether?
Maybe not, the smartphone maker might tempt Android fans with a new mid-range Desire handset. But we’re not too certain about that.
Nokia’s return to the world of smartphones (courtesy of HMD) has been making major headlines for the past few months. The two companies already unveiled the mid-range Nokia 6 handset, but at MWC 2017 we’re hoping to finally see a true Nokia flagship make an appearance.
Now depending who you ask, the premium phone might launch as the Nokia 8 or Nokia P1. The most recent gossip would have us believe that the Nokia P1 is based on the Sharp Aquos Xx3 – a handset that was released in Japan a while back.
However, the Nokia P1 should have a Snapdragon 835 under the hood, which we already know it’s quite unlikely. HMD and Nokia could just announce the phone with a Snapdragon 835 inside at MWC 2017 and wait a few months before making the device available for purchase – but we don’t think it’s a good idea.
Other rumored specs of the Nokia flagship include a 5.3-iinch display with 2K resolution, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of internals storage, Zeiss-certified 22.6MP camera, water-resistant body, 3,500 mAh battery, fingerprint scanner and Android 7.0 Nougat.
The Nokia P1 is expected to arrive with a premium price tag attached to it, that might start at $800 for the 128GB version. Aouch!
We won’t blame if you all but forgot about Sony. The company is a fading presence in the market, but if we are to listen to the rumor mill, the Japanese device maker might try to revive interest with a host of new handsets.
The top of the line model dubbed Sony Yoshino is said to come boasting a 5.5-inch 4K display, Snapdragon 835 and either 4GB or 6GB of RAM plus a new Sony IMX400 image sensor.
Given that Samsung has reserved the initial Snapdragon 835 batch for its Galaxy S8 flagship, we don’t believe Sony will manage to pull this off, but maybe we’re going to be proven wrong.
Next in line, we have the Sony BlancBright which should make it out with a 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution and possibly a Snapdragon 653 and the Sony IMX400 sensor. This model sounds more believable if you ask us.
Sony supposedly has other 3 models with more modest specs, one of which could be the successor of the Sony Xperia XA which leaked not so long ago.
Motorola and Lenovo announced their presence at MWC 2017 and where we expect to see the recently leaked Moto G5 Plus. The Moto G4 Plus is one of the most popular budget handsets out there, so naturally we’re pretty excited to see what the successor is going bring to the table.
However, if the leaks are correct we shouldn’t expect major improvements. According to the information we currently have, the phone should make it out with a 5.5-inch display with 1080p resolution, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
Other specs include a 13MP/5MP camera combo, 3,080 mAh battery and Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
We’re wondering whether a new BlackBerry can manage to get customers excited. TCL (the company holding licensing rights over the BlackBerry brand) thinks it can. So at MWC 2017 we expect the BlackBerry Mercury to go official.
The device was already showcased at CES 2017, but next month TCL should have it ready for prime time. The phone comes with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and a fingerprint sensor embedded in the space bar on the front of the device.
Rumored specs include a 4.5-inch touchscreen display with resolution of 1,680 x 1080 pixels plus a QWERTY keyboard and Snapdragon 821.
Xiaomi is going through a strange phase. The company’s golden boy, Hugo Barra just announced he will be leaving the company to return to Silicon Valley as head of Faceobok’s Oculus VR team.
Xiaomi scored its first CES presence this year, but it seems like the company will be skipping MWC 2017 altogether. After-all in Las Vegas, Apple’s China did not launch any new products – it only announced a white version of the Mi MIX phablet. It’s certainly clear Xiaomi is not ready for the Western market just yet (will it ever be?).
And even if we ignore this aspect, if Samsung is hoarding Snapdragon 835 chips indeed, it would be wise for Xiaomi to wait until it launches another flagship. After all the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 and Mi MIX are only a few months old.
Chinese tech conglomerate, LeEco is another company that’s trying to make it in the Western world. Its products have been fairly well received in the States, so it might be the right time for the company to introduce a new flagship.
According to recently uncovered benchmark listings, the LeEco X10 might be the premium device in question. The phone could make an appearance at MWC 2017 with a 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution, Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage or 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage.
Recently we told you that ZTE is gearing up to launch ground breaking concept phone. Since its Hawkeye handset has done a poor job at impressing the community due to the low-end specs, we are expecting ZTE to make it right at MWC 2017.
Google will also be present at MWC 2017, but we can’t be sure what the search giant will have to show for.
With Android Wear 2.0 on the way and two new LG smartwatches, Google might have a few things to share with us. On top of that we heard that Google plans to bring its Android One host of smartphones to the US, so we might hear more on the topic at MWC 2017.
Also Google plans to expand the reach of its Google Assistant on third party phones such as the LG G6. So far, the Assistant has been a Pixel exclusive.