Written by Luke Hatfield on 10th July 2016
By far the biggest event on the mobile phone calendar, Mobile World Congress (MWC) is set to roll around once again in February.
So with the show opening its doors once again, what kind of devices can we really expect to be revealed? Could we get a collection of new flagship phones? Or will it be a more low-key event?
Here are our expectations for MWC 2017, hopefully we won’t be let down…
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer, especially given Samsung’s recent track record with its Galaxy S launches. Releasing the S7 and its curved screen sibling at MWC 2016, a successor will no doubt be appearing at the next event.
A new Snapdragon chipset is being rumoured in the handset, whilst increased RAM and processing speed are also realistic expectations. What’s more, we could even see a retina scanner make the cut for the first time on a mainstream device, making the S8 a very enticing launch.
All you might have to worry about is how you’re going to stump up the cash for the phone, which could well prove very expensive.
Was there a bigger shock at MWC 16 than the launch of the LG G5 and its modular style? At MWC 2017, this means we can expect a pretty serious successor to take to the stage, hopefully offering more modules and a more powerful set of specs.
LG is expected to offer up the LG G6 at the Barcelona-based show and then launch the phone a month or so later. This means that it is likely to dodge the hype of the S8 launch, and get a big time sales push of its own when it is publicly released.
A new design isn’t the most likely addition, instead we’re expected to see more LG Friends that could work with the G6’s modular construction – hopefully adding more features for us to play with.
On top of this, an improved processor and display are also likely, whilst camera improvements might also make the cut.
MWC 2016 was a real batch of surprises, offering up an all new line of Sony smartphones alongside the LG G5 and S7. Given that this set of devices launched at this event, a follow-up batch a year later are even more likely – especially given that Sony is now working on a yearly schedule.
There were three Xperia X devices released at this year’s event, so we’ll likely see the X2, XA2 and X2 Performance all show up in some shape or form at MWC 17.
Like other successors, expect a number of under the hood changes, whilst a design shift is once again unlikely given the good reception of the recently launched Sony phones. Of course, the Japanese manufacturer may surprise us once again, so don’t think these changes are set in stone.
MWC almost always brings some kind of Microsoft phone to the fray, and we expect 2017’s event to be no different, with a few Lumia devices possibly making the cut.
It was the Lumia 650 that appeared last time out from Microsoft, so we can fully expect either a successor or a completely new phone to appear at the next event.
This is where we could see a new design come to the fray, with Microsoft well-known for bringing new styles and flashy colours to proceedings. This means that we might see an all-new Lumia with an all-new look…
We can always dream, right?
Apple typically holds back its own launches for its events, but could MWC 2017 see a change to that process? We certainly hope so.
The Apple Watch is due an upgrade, whilst the iPhone SE also launched this year, so there are two potential opportunities to see an Apple device finally appear at MWC. Maybe the iPhone manufacturer could trick us all once more by releasing a completely new device as well.
There’s been talk of VR Apple devices in the future, MWC 2017 could prove to be an ideal foundation to show the technology off at…
Just choose the year of MWC you are interested in.
Keep your eyes peeled here for more information about making the trip to Barcelona for MWC 2017, with details about how you can bag a ticket coming soon.
MWC has come to a close once again, tech journalists are filing out of Barcelona in an orderly fashion and now we face the long wait until the next mobile event rolls around (IFA, all the way in September, if you didn’t know).
But, just because the show’s over it doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on all the action, instead – we’ve got all the news from the continental event right here. So if you’re curious about which phones were on show, you’re in the right place.
We all knew it was coming, but despite being one of the worst kept secrets in smartphone history, the S7 still came out and blew plenty of peoples’ socks off. Joined by its S7 Edge partner, both phones will undoubtedly be solid performers, with the specs also reading incredibly well.
The S7 itself keeps the 5.1” QHD screen that won so many fans last time out, whilst a Snapdragon 820 chipset and octa-core processor make for the fastest and most efficient phone we’ve seen yet from Samsung. 4GB RAM and up to 64GB internal memory is also included for good measure, so storage won’t be an issue.
The S7 Edge doesn’t quite read from the same page as the S7, with the screen jumping up to 5.5” – putting the likelihood of the S7 Edge+ in doubt. The same specs do get included, so it’s not all change, whilst the obviously different dual edge screen is once again included.
Both phones also utilise an ‘Always On’ display, IP68 waterproofing and dual pixel cameras, making them some of the best we’ve seen from Samsung to date.
One of the biggest surprises of MWC was the announcement of the LG G5, not only because the handset wasn’t expected at the show, but because of the features it’s packing as well. Bringing the first mainstream modular phone onto the market, the G5 isn’t just stylish, but it’s incredibly practical as well.
The all-metal design is something to behold, but despite rocking the stylish build its battery is completely removable via the base. Plus, you can swap this section out for some of LG’s ‘Friends’ as well, which include a powerful camera attachment and an improved audio booster.
The specs for the phone are just as exciting as well, with a 5.3” QHD screen leading the way alongside a Snapdragon 820 chipset and octa-core processor. We get 32GB storage and 4GB RAM to play with, whilst a dedicated MicroSD card slot is also included for extra space if you need it.
LG’s own ‘Always On’ screen is squeezed into the phone, whilst a dual rear lens like the one on the LG V10 helps photo fans take great pictures. Meanwhile, a 2800mAh battery is included, but can be swapped out for on the fly battery boosts.
It wasn’t expected to make quite the splash it did, that’s for sure, but the Xiaomi Mi 5 has won over plenty of doubters by showing off its powerful spec sheet at MWC.
Sporting a low price tag, reportedly as cheap as £300 SIM-free, the Mi 5 rocks a Snapdragon 820 chipset, up to 4GB RAM and also looks incredibly good. Some have likened the Mi 5 to recent Samsung Galaxy devices, but it’s quite a template to follow if you ask us, and it looks superb.
Furthermore, a 16mp and 4mp camera duo are included for top notch photography, whilst a 3000mAh battery is also included for well over a day’s charge from 100%. What’s more, Xiaomi is planning on letting the Mi 5 out of Asian markets after its launch, so you won’t need to worry about getting I imported either.
Plenty of us had our eyes and ears open for the launch of the Sony Xperia Z6 during MWC 2016, but surprisingly we saw nothing of the new Xperia Z device. However, in its place we saw Sony unveil three new phones, all sporting the Xperia X moniker in some shape or form.
The Xperia X is the standard offering from Sony, with the Xperia XA offering the budget feel. If you’re in need of a powerful handset though, then it’s the aptly named Xperia X Performance that will be the most interesting device of the three.
All three devices rock HD 5” displays, albeit with the XA opting for 720p whilst the other two run with 1080p quality. Elsewhere we get varying processors, storage and chipsets – all of which run from budget to high-end depending on the device you choose.
Topping things off for all three devices are some powerful snappers, with the XA opting for 13mp + 8mp, whilst the X Perfomance and regular X handsets get 23mp +12mp efforts instead. Finally, both upper models also get fingerprint scanners, whilst XA users will have to do without the biometric tech.
It’s not quite a smartphone show without a Microsoft phone, is it? And, as always we did see a phone come off the Windows conveyor belt – this time being the Lumia 650 in all of its glory.
However, it’s not quite the flagship phone some were hoping for. Instead, the Lumia 650 is actually a mid-range phone – albeit with one of the latest operating systems on offer, that being Windows 10. This means that despite its spec sheet, the Lumia is still one of the more exciting phones of MWC, and one which shouldn’t cost you too much either.
The Lumia 650 boasts a 5” 720p HD screen, Snapdragon 212 chipset, quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. There’s 16GB internal memory that’s backed up by a MicroSD Card slot, so storage shouldn’t be a problem either.
The camera isn’t quite up there with other handsets that were shown off at MWC however, so if you’re in need of a better camera, you may struggle with the 8mp + 5mp efforts that are included on the Lumia.
For more information about the Barcelona based conference, where you can register for the event head to MWC's website.
Written by Luke Hatfield
Organised by the GSMA - the biggest event on the mobile phone calendar, Mobile World Congress (MWC) puts dozens of new smartphones on show for fans the world over. But this year’s event could prove to be one of the biggest yet.
But why is this year’s smartphone show set to be so big? Here’s a look at some of the smartphones we expect to see at MWC this year…
Always the biggest name at MWC, Samsung has offered flagship handsets to the crowds via the conference plenty of times, and this year seems no different.
Following the success of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, it’s highly likely that Samsung will be offering up successors for each device, obviously with an upgraded spec sheet and design. Just like the S6, both phones will run on the Android operating system, with Samsung’s own user interface thrown on top.
The spec sheet will undoubtedly be one of the best we’ve seen on any smartphone, with plenty of upgrades over last year’s offering. A 5.2” QHD (or possibly 4K) screen will be the first detail worth shouting about, whilst 4GB RAM and a 30 megapixel camera could also be put on show.
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review|
Of course, this won’t be coming too cheaply, so expect to see a hefty price tag come along for the ride with the S7 and S7 Edge as well.
LG was supposed to bring the LG G Flex3 to CES in January, however, after that phone did a no-show, it seems that LG is putting all of its eggs into the G5’s basket.
The successor to the G4 was originally expected to make an appearance in April, a fair time after MWC comes to a close, but now it seems that LG could use the event to launch the device. This would make for quite the change in LG’s normal yearly plans, and one which puts the G5 in direct competition with the S7 and other devices.
The G5 is expected to boast a 5.6” QHD display, Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB RAM and Android Marshmallow. This along with LG’s unique design, should make the G5 a real performer at MWC – even with its high calibre competitors.
Following up from the Z5, the Xperia Z6 will be expected to feature a QHD display, Snapdragon 820 chipset and 4GB RAM. Android Marshmallow is likely to make the cut as well, whilst the Xperia UI will also be included to help keep the Sony style intact.Sony’s smartphone history is a storied one, with numerous phones from the Japanese manufacturer all proving successful. However, the most recognisable line from Sony is that of the Xperia Z, and the latest phone off the conveyor belt is expected to be the Z6 and its band of compatriots.
Update: New X range of handsets announced by Sony. Read the Sony Xperia X Performance review.
However, it won’t just be the Z6 making the trip to Barcelona for MWC, with the Z6 Compact and Z6 Premium also likely to make the cut. These will bring a smaller version of the Sony handset to the fray in the Compact, whilst the Premium will once again offer a 4K display like last time around, as well as an upgraded specs sheet.
HTC’s flagship device, the One M10 is next in line to come from the manufacturer, bringing a new design and a new selection of specs to make use of at MWC.
Whilst the One M9 was well received, the handset wasn’t the biggest seller last year, and lagged behind the likes of the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6. This year, HTC will be hoping to see the M10 stand up stronger against its flagship competitors, and its expected spec sheet looks like it could be up to the task.
Reportedly staking claim to a 5.2” QHD display, the M10 will already show a major improvement over the M9, whilst a new Snapdragon 820 chipset and 4GB RAM will also make for a powerful device.
|HTC One M10 review|
What will really prove interesting is the camera from HTC; with the company’s previous UltraPixel efforts falling at hurdles, HTC might verge back toward more orthodox lenses for success.
As always, MWC will be a cacophony of smartphone success, with a fair few surprises always rearing their heads. However, these four phones listed above all have a major shot at being the best on show in Barcelona – with each of them packing top notch specs and great designs.
Of course, we’ll simply have to wait and see what MWC brings us before we decide on the best smartphone at the event, you never know – a new device could well take the crown…
It’s all over for another year! The booths are being packed up, smartphones neatly boxed away and the crowds are slowly trudging out of Spain’s second city.
But what can we take from the biggest mobile technology show the world has to offer? Was it one of the best we’ve ever had? We’re going to find out with our rundown of the event’s biggest winners and losers!
Will Samsung finally beat apple? Find out with our S6 vs iPhone 6 comparison!
Definitely the biggest winner from this year’s Barcelona-based event without a doubt – Samsung’s booth was jam-packed with tech for us all to play with at MWC.
The biggest releases from the company were of course the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, both of which look like real heavyweight handsets for the 2015 sales charts.
Both smartphones boast full metallic style, ultra-powerful specs sheets and numerous new features for us to play with.
Samsung Pay was also unveiled by the company, bringing the South Korean company to the forefront of the mobile payments market – right alongside Apple.
Safe to say Samsung will find it hard to improve on the performance it had this year when next February rolls around!
HTC was another manufacturer to offer a flagship smartphone at MWC, making it an automatic winner in our books.
Boasting an improved spec sheet and finally working with a more powerful smartphone camera, the HTC One M9 keeps a hold of the design which won so many fans with its previous smartphone.
Along with the HTC One M9, we also saw a debutant wearable effort – called the HTC Grip, and even a gaming focused VR headset called the HTC Vive.
All three devices give HTC fans plenty to look forward to for the upcoming year, making for exciting times.
You might find this a surprise entrant in our winners’ column, but Huawei definitely impressed us with its smartwatch entrant at MWC – along with some of the other pieces of kit we saw.
The Huawei Watch not only looks great, but is also looking like stiff competition for the upcoming Apple Watch – which is due this spring.
On top of this Huawei also announced several other devices which all look like good efforts, earning it some praise from us – even if it’s not the most well-known brand in these parts!
Take a look at our BlackBerry Leap smartphone review here!
Who’d have thought we’d be talking about BlackBerry in a good light again? The Canadian company has somehow clawed its way back onto the market with the likes of the Passport, and now it’s looking like MWC might be a good launching pad for some new devices from the company as well!
The BlackBerry Leap doesn’t pack the biggest spec sheet, but it’s definitely looking like a great mid-range phone from the business phone company, and the sliding phone which was also shown off is looking like a great piece of kit.
Whilst things are still on tenterhooks for the guys and girls at BlackBerry, it’s safe to say that the company had a good MWC.
As always, Apple decided to keep its head buried in the sand when it came to the world’s biggest mobile phone showcase.
Whilst the company might not have too much to show off – avoiding the event altogether is becoming a bit of a joke amongst tech enthusiasts.
Also, by not turning up Apple also lets competitors get a bit more limelight than they might have if the company was to show up.
Of course, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon, but one day we’d like to see Apple make its way to an event like this – rather than hosting all of its own events.
The problems are definitely building up for one of the biggest names in technology. Whilst its other product lines have done well – Sony’s smartphone division is struggling.
The widely expected Xperia Z4 did an Apple, and the introduction of the M4 Aqua and Z4 Tablet weren’t really enough to make up for its absence.
Our fingers are crossed for Sony, as we love their smartphone designs – but we are definitely worried about the future of its smartphone line-up.
Written by Luke Hatfield
The mobile event of the year without question, Mobile World Congress (MWC) is held each year during February/March in Barcelona, showcasing the best that mobile technology has to offer.
So, heading into the event, what can we expect to see over the four day conference? Will we get a batch of amazing new handsets? Or will it turn out to be a bit of a bore? Here are the things we’re expecting to see come March 2nd!
Is there anywhere else we could really start? Last year Samsung gave us the Galaxy S5, so it only seems right that a year later we get its successor, the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Rumoured to sport a 5.3” QHD Edge Display, the S6 could take heavily from the Galaxy Note phablet. Also, a Snapdragon 810 chipset is also expected to sit alongside an octa-core processor, 4GB RAM and a 20 megapixel camera.
A metallic construction is wanted by many Samsung fans, so it would be no surprise to see a metal-clad handset this time around, and with the yearly retina scanner rumours making the rounds, we’re sure to get hyped for this smartphone in Barcelona!
Another big name smartphone looking to make a splash in Barcelona, the HTC One M9 is set to be HTC’s best flagship handset yet.
Following up from the One M8, the One M9 is expected to boast a 5.2” QHD display whilst getting rid of the UltraPixel technology which failed to inspire sales in previous versions.
A Snapdragon 810 chipset, quad-core processor and 3GB RAM are all expected to feature internally, making for a brilliant phone on paper.
Of course, HTC’s classic all metal design will stay put, again making it one of the best looking phones on the market.
Want some more information on the next Sony smartphone? Check out our Sony Xperia Z4 rumours here!
That’s right; we’re expecting three different devices from Sony in Barcelona, and we’re actually pretty confident that we’ll see all three of them there as well.
The Z4 and Z4 Compact are fairly obvious successors to the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, both of which were announced in September, whilst the Z4 Ultra follows up the Sony Xperia Z Ultra Phablet, giving Sony a collection of all sized devices.
All three will sport similar designs, with the classic unibody style and glass panel builds present. Specs are expected to impress as well, making all three devices extremely exciting for all us waiting to find out about them.
Now, we’ve narrowed down this option to just two possible handsets; the Microsoft Lumia 1030 or Lumia 940, both of which would be successors to previous handsets.
The Lumia 1030 is the long awaited follow-up to the Lumia 1020, which most will remember for its 41 megapixel camera, and is the more likely of the duo to make an appearance.
The Lumia 940 though would be moving up from the Lumia 930, which was only launched earlier on this year, making it less probable to be succeeded so early.
With MWC 2014 giving us a great glimpse of the smartwatch trend, this year’s show is the ideal time to give us a batch of next-generation smartwatches.
We’d love a follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, but more devices flaunting Android Gear or maybe Tizen would definitely be appreciated.
One smartwatch we definitely hope to see is the Moto 720, the successor to the Moto 360 if you hadn’t guessed, considering just how well it did this year, a second version should definitely be on the cards, it might just be a bit too soon for the Barcelona event.
Whilst this definitely won’t be of too much interest to your average smartphone user, the internal kit is definitely something tech lovers are excited about.
A Snapdragon 810 chipset is almost guaranteed to appear, especially seeing as many of the rumours for smartphones point to this internal hardware, whilst 5GB RAM is also a much wanted feature.
Further developments on the curved screen phenomenon, and possibly fast charging batteries are also possibilities, whether they’ll be able to work inside a phone though is another question.
Written by Luke Hatfield
It’s that time of the year again, when the world’s media flock to Barcelona to take a look at all the latest mobile phone tech and have a chance to get some much needed hands-on time with all of the latest devices.
But what can we expect from this year’s Mobile World Congress? Let us guide you through the five things to expect:
The Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t going to be released at an MWC event, but it is set to be revealed in a private event on Monday 24th February in Barcelona, something that comes as no surprise to us whatsoever.
Samsung always likes to steal someone’s thunder, and it would definitely be the ideal time to do it, with all of the world’s media in the city of Barcelona ready to hit their keyboards with the latest smartphone news.
Samsung has always done things its own way, and this would be no different, pretty much overshadowing the entire MWC event and getting all the publicity it can at the same time.
What will be in the new handset is always a mystery until the genuine launch, but we’ve all given it a shot- check out our Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours article.
Something which Windows Phone users have been waiting for under bated breath, the latest Windows Update is set to tackle a majority of the issues users have faced since the original release.
This will be the first chance we will get to take a look at the updated notifications, which are set to have their own area now, similar to the notification centre Apple created for the iPhone.
The update also adds a new personal assistant which gamers will instantly recognise as Cortana off the blockbuster video game series, Halo.
Other additions include; increased multitasking capabilities and general bug fixes for a series of devices ranging from the high-end handsets, down to the low-end budget smartphones we’ve seen featuring Windows 8.
Surely not! Apparently we will be seeing the Sony Xperia Z2 make its appearance in Barcelona this February.
Having announced the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact at the CES in Las Vegas to begin the year, we expected the Japanese company to play it cool over February, but that isn’t how Sony rolls.
The Z2 is set to sport the water proof capabilities that most of its predecessors feature whilst blowing other handsets completely out of the water (excuse the pun) with its high-end specifications.
It was definitely something we didn’t expect to hear heading into February, but we’ll be thrilled to see Sony’s latest instalment when we get to Barcelona.
LG has been distancing itself from the Optimus range for a while now, and it looks like they could continue that trend in Barcelona with the release of the LG G Pro 2.
This phablet is set to be revealing itself on an official level during the event, making an appearance on the LG stall, giving all of us going a chance to play around with it and have a look at its strong looking specs.
The handset is also set to feature a fingerprint scanner similar to what we’ve seen on the iPhone 5s, something we’re really looking forward to seeing on other handsets.
Could this really be happening? Possibly so if a mountain of rumours are to be believed.
Nokia has always mentioned working on Android, and this could well be its final chance to do so with the takeover by Microsoft in full swing.
The ‘Normandy’ is what we know it as at the moment, but we be given a full name, specs list and even a release date if we’re lucky.
But with Microsoft at the helm, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Finnish company keeping it on the quiet side, something none of us will like to see.
This leaked image has appeared on Huawei's Twitter page. Could we be set to see something exciting?!
Either way, we will be in Barcelona at the end of February keeping you up to date on all the latest happenings, so keep tuned in.
Written by Luke Hatfield
Taking place in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the year's largest mobile phone event and presents the industry with an opportunity to show off their latest wares, network and discuss what will be making headlines at next year’s event.
The organisers have confirmed that over 72,000 people from more than 200 countries attended MWC, which is a new record for the four day event.
With every major manufacturer clamouring to showcase their latest handsets, and even Samsung stealing the limelight with its Galaxy S4 news, it’s difficult to know where to look and what to look at. In fact, more than 1,700 companies exhibited at the show, covering 94,000 net square metres of space.
So with so much going on, here we cover the show’s highlights and combine the news, pictures and videos that you’ll need to know in order to get the full lowdown on what’s hot and what’s not…
We got to spend some quality time with the new HTC One smartphone and came away head over heels in love with it. The Mobilephones.com team, with two resident Apple lovers in tow, unanimously declared the HTC One as their favourite device on display at MWC and there really is a lot to love about it.
Its BlinkFeed is a new concept in home screens and provides you with direct access to your latest news, social media updates, emails, weather and even favourite TV shows from one place. No longer do you have to go into individual apps to get the latest info, or simultaneously run apps side-by-side, with BlinkFeed, everything is one place.
Other things we loved about the One include BoomSound, which features dual frontal stereo speakers. This produces the level of sound quality you’d normally expect from speakers, let alone a mobile device.
HTC has also introduced Zoe, not a personal assistant rival to Siri, but the name given to its new camera. With a headline figure of only 4-megapixels in the camera, HTC were keen to demonstrate that less really is more. Ultrapixels allows more light into the camera’s lens by reducing the number of megapixels and this produces some really clear images.
What’s most interesting is that the concept of taking an individual snap has completely disappeared. Instead, each time you take a photograph, the camera records 20 still images and accompanying sound, which lasts for three seconds. This results in a live image gallery and lets you create sequence shots that display frame-by-frame action.
This is only the tip of the iceberg with the HTC One and really does position the device as the smartphone to beat in 2013.
One of the busier, and more colourful stands at MWC was Firefox and here we were treated to a full hands-on demo of their new Operating System.
In the same week that Sony released an experimental build of their new OS for the Xperia E phone, the buzz around the stand suggested that they were gaining some genuine momentum.
The OS is open and built completely in HTML 5, which makes it easy for the majority of developers to work with. Christian Heilmann, principle evangelist for Mozilla, gave us a full walk through using the ZTE Open handset and this demonstrated the power of the OS (full video to come soon).
Of particular note is the dynamic search function, which allows you to search for anything in a browser and receive results that include apps as well as those from the web. So for example, Christian searched for U2 and brought up a list of results including Soundcloud, Wikipedia and YouTube.
We found the OS extremely easy to use and the ZTE Open was a funky and simple handset to demonstrate its qualities. The OS is being rolled out for launch in Brasil, alongside other emerging smartphone markets, and it does feel like the Mozilla Foundation have a strong strategy in place to continue this growth.
Perhaps the busiest team at MWC is Nokia, announcing a number of new handsets. Among these are the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720, which both use the Windows Phone 8 OS. These will be hitting European shores during the second quarter and should be priced at around £220 for the 720 and £120 for the 520. For the specs, this is a great price and makes it a real contender for the entry-level market – something Microsoft is keen to dominate for WP8.
Not content with launching two new reasonably priced Lumia handsets, Nokia also announced two phones targeted at the bottom-end of the market. The Nokia 105 will be available at the stunning price of just €15 and the phone’s specs do reflect that. It’s a basic text and call only handset, although does feature a nifty LED flashlight. This is being positioned as a secondary handset or for use in remote locations where battery time is more important than access to Facebook.
The second budget device is the Nokia 301, a basic mobile phone available at just €65. It’s not quite a smartphone, and the device’s specs are low-end, but it does have some cracking features including a 3.2-megapixel camera wth a panoramic feature and self-timer. What was particularly interesting about this device is that it supports two sim cards. There are a number of dual-sim handsets on show at MWC and the Nokia 301 is one of the cheapest.
The Ascend P2 is the first phone to use an LTE Cat 4 chip, which could offer 4G download speeds of up to 150Mbps. I say could, because reaching these speeds depends on the amount of bandwidth offered up by networks. Either way, this is an impressive device with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor that features, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. This sits inside a device with a 4.7-inch screen with 315ppi, a whopping 13-megapixel camera and running of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
With all eyes on the vast halls of the conference centre in Barcelona, Samsung threw a curveball by announcing the reveal date of its new S4 Galaxy device for March 14.
With the king of Android handsets choosing a private media reveal in New York of its new Samsung Galaxy S4, it gave the MWC limelight to a new tablet. The Galaxy Note 8 appears to be the larger cousin to the Note II, with similar styling, the latest S-pen stylus and its updated version of Jelly Bean that features split screen multitasking abilities.
DTS is teaming up with Qualcomm on its new Snapdragon 800 processor to bring 7:1 surround sound to your mobile device. In one of the more impressive demos of the show, DTS demonstrated how its stunning Headphone:X technology enables mobile phones running with Snapdragon 800 to feature almost cinematic quality sound through any set of headphones.
Using post-processing techniques, your ears are tricked into thinking that you’re surrounded by speakers and because this all happens device-side, you can hear the results in any set of headphones.
When I was first treated to a demo, I was given the full 7.1 surround sound treatment via speakers in a quiet booth away from the noise of the show. I was then given a set of headphones and treated to Headphone:X. I genuinely thought the DTS team were playing a trick on me as I couldn’t tell the difference between the two, the sound quality was that good.
With handsets set to feature Snapdragon 800 from late 2013 and early 2014, we’ll have to wait a while before we can try out this awesome tech at home.
With CES well and truly old news, and with mobile phone manufacturers such as HTC already having unveiled its new releases, 2013 is starting to shape up to be an exciting year in the tech industry. And with what is the biggest event in the mobile phone calendar-MWC- just around the corner, things are about to get even better.
MWC, or Mobile World Congress, is traditionally one of the biggest exhibitions aimed at specifically demonstrating the world’s latest mobile phone devices, apps and software. So what exactly can we expect from this year’s MWC? All the big names of the mobile phone industry (except Apple) will be in Barcelona from Monday 25th February onwards, as will we. But in preparation for the big event, here is a low down on what we can expect at the event.
We are not anticipating any huge announcements from Samsung at MWC this year. Last year there was widespread disappointment when it emerged that the Korean company was planning on unveiling the Samsung Galaxy S3 at a private event after the congress in Barcelona. And in true Samsung-lime-light style, it is likely that Samsung will be doing the same with the S4 this year too.
However, rumours suggest that the tablet market is where Samsung will be focusing its MWC efforts on, with speculation over a possible 8 inch tablet with a 5 MP camera and Super Clear LCD display, potentially called the Galaxy Note 8. Other rumours hint that there will be as many as three new tablets being unveiled at this year’s MWC, with 7, 8 and 10 inch models being exhibited.
Even so, if it’s not the S4 that we're seeing at the event, I doubt the Samsung stalls will be receiving as much attention as the likes of Sony and HTC, who both have new devices to model.
While HTC has controversially chosen to debut its newest flagship model, the One, the week before MWC, it seems that it may be working in the Taiwanese company’s favour. Although HTC opted for a private unveiling of the HTC One on Tuesday, I would predict that visitors to the congress will make a beeline for the device, especially as it looks so good! With a 4.7 inch live home screen, UltraPixel camera and dual frontal stereo speakers, I myself cannot wait to have a go on the new flagship model.
Rumours at HTC’s press event in London this week also hinted at two further HTC models which will be released this year, so perhaps we can expect to catch a glimpse of these at MWC as well.
Nokia has had a big year so far, with sales of its Lumia range demonstrating a turnaround for the once dwindling company. And typically, Nokia has brought new handsets to MWC events to shown off its new devices. However, with little speculation about a new Nokia handset, we can only predict that Nokia is going to have little to offer at the event, other than what we have already seen.
Some observers have suggested that we might catch a glimpse of a new and improved Lumia 920 with a sleeker aluminium body, aimed at reducing the weight of the bulky phone.
With an all-day seminar planned around app development, however, it seems more likely that Nokia is focussing on its software and app store, rather than its devices this year.
With all the negative press that LG received over the Nexus 4 fiasco, it’s expected that the manufacturer will need to pull it out of the bag at this year’s event. LG itself has promised that “a breakthrough will be made at MWC 2013”, hinting that a range of new devices will be unveiled.
In fact, just today the company leaked a photograph on its Facebook site depicting new devices, allegedly its Optimus F5 and F7 handsets. There are also rumours regarding an upgrade on the existing Optimus G device, purportedly with a 5.5 inch screen.
Sony, like HTC, has given away all its secrets prior to MWC this year. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January, Sony unveiled its Xperia Z model, sporting a 5 inch display, 13 MP camera and water and dust-proof capabilities.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Sony’s stall at MWC will be a write off. Even if the company fails to release any new devices, it will simply be exciting to get our hands on the Xperia Z before its official release into the market on March the 1st.
Everyone will have heard about RIM’s (now BlackBerry) trials and tribulations over recent months. And now that critics have got their hands on the latest BlackBerry 10 platform and BlackBerry Z10 handset, support has been going through the roof for this Canadian company.
However, with such a major ‘make-it-or-break-it’ release occurring just last month, and with the Z10 already having hit our shelves, we don’t expect to see anything new and sparkly from BlackBerry. I feel that after the past year that they’ve had, they deserve to use this year’s MWC to simply catch their breath.
Huawei one year ago was an almost unheard of company in the UK. However, due to good, and bad, press it has received this year, we can only expect exciting things from the Chinese manufacturer.
At CES in January, Huawei released two devices: the Ascend D2 and the Ascend Mate, so it will be great to catch a glimpse of these latest models. Not only that, the company’s CEO, Richard Yu, has announced recently that Huawei “will be launching two more exciting innovative products at MWC 2013”. We can only hope that this is the must anticipated P2, so keep your fingers crossed…
ZTE is another little heard of company in the consumer world of mobile phones. However, the budget manufacturer is hoping to make it big at this year’s event with new releases rumoured to hit the exhibition. The press invite to their conference may have given the secret away a little, suggesting that two new devices will be called the ZTE Grand Memo and the ZTE Mozilla, the latter potentially being the first device to run the Mozilla Firefox OS.
Acer has today announced that it will be releasing three brand new models at MWC next week. Although the manufacturer is traditionally associated with computers rather than mobile phones, Acer is using the event to introduce its latest innovations into the smartphone market.
The three models are: the Liquid E1, the Liquid Z2 and the Liquid C1. The E1 model will sport a 4.5 inch display, a dual-core processor and have dual-SIM capabilities. It will also be run by Android Jelly Bean and have a dual-speaker system and a zero shutter delay camera.
In contrast, the Z2 will be targeted at first-time smartphone users and will feature large touchscreen icons. The phone will offer an option of having a 3 or a 5 MP camera, and will also have dual SIM capabilities lie the E1 device.
The Liquid C1 sports an Intel Atom processor which gives the device an ultra-responsive touch control, whilst also proving to be superfast in loading apps and webpages. This device will have a 4.3inch HD screen as well as a 400MHz graphics engine, making it perfect for the gamers of you out there.
All in all, this year’s MWC looks to be a good one. And whether we do catch a glimpse at new ZTE, LG or Huawei models or not, we surely won’t be leaving the tech geek-filled streets of Barcelona disappointed. Personally, I’ll be happy so long as I can have a play around on the latest HTC and Sony releases, so any more surprise announcements or launches will simply be a bonus.
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