The world’s leading smartphone manufacturers will gather in Barcelona next week for the annual Mobile World Congress. Everyone from Samsung to Blackberry will be there to unveil their latest smartphones, smartwatches, wearables and a variety of other mobile-related gadgets.
Over 2,000 companies will exhibit at this year’s conference, including Google, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and Sony. The obvious exception is Apple, which prefers to hold its own launch events.
MWC 2017 officially opens on February 27th and runs until Thursday March 2nd. However, the big announcements are generally made before the event even starts. Many companies opt to unveil their new products on press day, which takes place on Sunday February 26th.
Here's what's been confirmed, what's been rumoured and what we're expecting to see.
Sony is at the centre of one of the big rumours circulating ahead of MWC 2017. According to Japanese site Sumaho Info, the company will unveil five new smartphones at the event, including a new flagship model.
The company has sent out invites for a press event, which is scheduled for Monday February 27th. Sony has given the upcoming flagship model the codename Yoshino. It is rumoured to have 5.5-inch 4K display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4 to 6GB of RAM and a Sony IMX400 camera sensor.
The rest of the handsets are split between high-end and budget offerings. For example, the Sony BlancBright is said to have the same display as Yoshino, only with QHD resolution. While there are at least two mid-range offerings, the Sony Hinoki and Sony Mineo.
LG were one of the big talking points at last year’s event, launching a VR headset, smart home accessories and its modular LG G5 smartphone. According to reports, they will unveil a new flagship smartphone next week - but it will be a non-modular device. The LG G6 will have a 5.7-inch QHD display and a wide 18:9 aspect ratio with a pixel density of 565 PPI. The phone is likely to run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, and iris scanners and wireless charging have been rumoured.
LG’s Watch Sport and Watch Style smartwatches will also be showcased at the event. These are the world's first watches to run Google's latest Android Wear 2.0 OS, and feature the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Google Assistant.
Samsung isn’t launching its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone at MWC 2017, but is expected to make an announcement regarding the launch date of the handset. According to reports, the S8 will be launched at a separate event on March 29th and will be available on sale from the 21st of April.
But the South Korean manufacturer may still have a few surprises up its sleeve. The company said it will unveil new products at a press event on February 26th. The smart money is on the Galaxy Tab S3, which recently cleared the FCC. The new tablet is rumoured to be 9.6 inches, and will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip with 4GB RAM.
Once considered one of the most prominent smartphone vendors in the world, Blackberry will return to MWC next week with a new device. The company has revealed that it is set to officially launch the Blackberry Mercury, made in partnership with Chinese firm TCL, at an event on February 25th.
We got our first look at the new device back at CES 2017, but learned very little. The company did not reveal any information on price, availability or hardware specifications. So what do we know? It’s a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard and a fingerprint scanner. It’s rumoured to have Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.
Last, but certainly not least, is Huawei. The Chinese telecoms giant is expected to unveil its long-awaited flagships Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus at a press conference next week. The company released a teaser trailer that tells viewers to “change the way the world sees you” and suggests the device will include a dual-camera system.
Elsewhere, CEO Richard Yu has confirmed the Huawei Watch 2 will also be launched at the show.
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