Mobile World Congress 2017 is coming up fast and while there are quite a few things that are suspected to be making an appearance, nothing is technically official yet. With all of the stuff that’s thought to be announced it can be easy to forget a thing or two, so this preview will serve as a way to highlight all of the big stuff that’s on schedule to show up at the event. The trade show officially starts on February 27th and will go through March 2nd, but the 27th is also the day the trade show floors open up for the first time, while many of the biggest announcements will actually be unveiled in the days before, on February 26th and February 25th. With that said, let’s go through what there is to expect out of Mobile World Congress this year.
Last year Samsung had the biggest announcement at the trade show with the unveiling of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but they aren’t announcing their flagship at this year’s event, leaving LG to swoop in and take the stage as the manufacturer with the most anticipated device. The G6 will be announced on February 26th officially on what LG is calling LG G6 Day and much is already known about the phone. LG themselves have not confirmed the design, but plenty of renders and live images have already leaked showing off what the device will look like. What LG has confirmed is that the G6 will come with a 5.7-inch Quad HD+ FullVision display, and the phone will come with Android 7.0 Nougat and LG’s UX 6.0. While LG might have other things to show off at the show, the biggest thing from them will be their flagship device since their two new smartwatches have already been announced. That being said, LG is already building plenty of hype around the phone so it will surely be an exciting press conference, and once the trade show starts LG will more than likely have the Watch Style and the Watch Sport on display.
Huawei is actually expected to show off quite a bit this year. The rumors suggest that they will be showcasing the P10 and the P10 Plus at the show, but perhaps even bigger than those two devices will be Huawei's suspected announcement of the Huawei Watch 2 which will be the follow up to their first Android Wear smartwatch. The appearance of the Huawei Watch 2 is expected due to a post from Huawei’s Richard Yu on Weibo which was an image of a person running and looking at their watch, accompanied by two hashtags - ‘Huawei Watch 2’ and ‘Huawei MWC 2017.’ These two hashtags would signify the official announcement, and if that’s the case then 2017 is already shaping up to be a more exciting year than last for Android Wear devices, as Android Wear 2.0 has already been launched alongside two watches from LG and Google, and the Huawei Watch 2 should have it as well. The Huawei Watch 2 is thought to be coming with cellular connectivity so it can be used as a standalone smartwatch without the need for a connection to a smartphone, making it all the more exciting.
Sony is likely to make a pretty big splash this year and announce a few things at the show. While nothing is certainly official, there are already suggestions that Sony will be kicking off their Mobile World Congress event with a new series of Xperia X devices. It’s also been said that Sony may not actually announce their flagship at Mobile World Congress due to Samsung having exclusivity to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, and Sony may be launching their device with this processor in it, which would mean they would have to wait until Samsung’s devices go on sale before they can officially launch their own phone with the same chipset. That being said, nothing is certain, and it’s also been rumored that while Sony may not actually announce their 2017 flagship device at the show, they may still unveil it to members of the press behind closed doors.
This device is suspected to be the successor to the Xperia Z5 Premium and is codenamed “Yoshino,” and is rumored to come with the Snapdragon 835, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and a 5.5-inch 4K display. In addition to Yoshino which may or may not get a public unveiling, another device that is expected to be announced is codenamed BlancBright and could come with the Snapdragon 653 inside. Successors to the Xperia X and Xperia XA which were announced at last year’s Mobile World Congress are expected to be announced as well, and Sony’s official press invites that went out back in the end of January would suggest that there are multiple things to show off as it states that people are “invited to see the latest innovations from Sony.” The keyword is innovations, which points to more than one device, and if it’s anything like last year, then Sony will have a ton of stuff to announce and showcase as they had three phones and numerous concept devices spanning different product categories from wearables to IoT devices.
When it comes to Motorola and Lenovo, the biggest things thought to be getting an announcement from the two companies are the Moto G5 and the Moto G5 Plus, the successors to last year’s Moto G4 series of devices. Both phones should have some similarities although they are also expected to have a few unique specifications as well. For example, both devices look to be coming with the fingerprint sensor on the front again like last year’s device, although this time the button seems to be larger and rounded as opposed to a smaller square shaped button. This time around, each device will likely come with a different screen size whereas last year both phones had the same size display. The Moto G5 is said to have a 5-inch screen while the Moto G5 Plus is said to have a 5.5-inch screen, keeping things the same size as the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus.
Each phone is also thought to have different amounts of RAM with the Moto G5 coming with 2GB, while the Moto G5 Plus is said to have double that amount at 4GB. While it’s entirely possible that there will be from Motorola at the event, it’s also possible that these two phones will be the only things coming from their side. From Lenovo’s side of things, it’s possible that we could see the Tab3 8 Plus at the event, and while it’s already been announced they could also show off the Yoga A12, which is their larger version of the Yoga Book that they showed to press at last year’s trade show.
This year Samsung won’t be announcing their Galaxy S8 at the event like originally thought earlier in the year, as they have confirmed that the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will be announced at a later date. It’s now being rumored though that they may show a teaser for the phone during their press conference, and that they may announce the launch date for the phone as well. Beyond Samsung’s next flagship, it’s looking pretty likely that they will officially be announcing the Galaxy Tab S3. This is expected to have an S Pen bundled with it and come equipped with a 9.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, while being powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 CPU and coming with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space. The rear-facing camera is rumored to be a 12-megapixel sensor while up front we could see a 5-megapixel sensor. Samsung is also expected to have both Wi-Fi only and LTE options of the tablet. Samsung is also rumored to be showing off a foldable smartphone at the show, and although it may not be something they’re announcing as a device they’re launching in the near future, it may very well make an appearance as something that they want to show off as a concept of a product they’re researching. Nevertheless if Samsung does show off such a device it should be fairly interesting.
ZTE may not be one of the biggest Android manufacturers but they still are expected to have some stuff to announce and show off. Earlier this month details from a leak revealed their upcoming Android Wear smartwatch called the Quartz, and it’s likely that they will announce this at MWC. It has a somewhat sporty look with a silicone watch band but also a metal watch case. ZTE is also expected to show off what they’re calling the “Gigabit Phone” which ZTE is boasting will be capable of 1Gbps download speeds. While these two devices might be the only new product announcements from the company, there will be plenty of current products from ZTE on display, including some of the devices in their Blade lineup, and ZTE has stated that they will have the Axon 7 to show off at the event as well.
HTC isn’t holding a press conference this year to announce anything major, but they will be at the event and should have plenty to see on display at their booth. This could include their HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, both of which were officially announced earlier this month, and it’s possible that they’ll have the Vive VR headset on display as well, although this is also not a new product as it officially launched last year.
BlackBerry has already officially shown off their Mercury device back at CES, but the company still hasn’t launched the phone and has more details to share with the public about this device. They’ll be holding a press conference at Mobile World Congress and have teased something that has to do with the Mercury, so it’s suspected that they will be announcing pricing and availability of this device so that people will know when it launches and how they can get their hands on it. While the device has been shown to members of the press during CES back in January, BlackBerry is supposed to be using Mobile World Congress for the official unveiling of the phone alongside all the details about hardware and specifications.
Alcatel could have a pretty big day on February 27th which is when they’re slated to hold their press conference, as they’re being rumored to show off five different smartphones during the event. It’s also being said that one of these will have a modular design that was compared to the Moto Z and its companion Moto Mods that can be attached to enhance the functionality of the phone. This particular device is also thought to have some sort of a mod that lights up with LEDs that can pulse to the beat of music, so it should be a pretty interesting device.
Honor is Huawei’s sub-brand, and while they’re not a fairly large brand in the U.S., they do have the Honor 8 which is available for purchase in the U.S. alongside other devices like the Honor 5X and the Honor 6X. Speaking of which, while it has already been announced, Honor will probably have the Honor 6X on display for people to check out, but the real focus may very well be on the Honor 8 Pro which is rumored to be receiving an announcement during Mobile World Congress. This is a device which is thought to be an international version of the Honor V9 and will come with quite a few upgrades that weren’t present on the Honor 8, such as dual 12-megapixel sensors on the back, an 8-megapixel sensor up front, as well as a 5.7-inch Quad HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, 128GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM. If these specifications turn out to be correct, the Honor 8 Pro will be a competitive device, especially considering that Honor tends to price their phones competitively too.
One of the biggest announcements this year at Mobile World Congress just might be the devices coming from Nokia and HMD Global, as they’re expected to showcase three new smartphones this year. This will mark Nokia’s official return to smartphones and they’re expected to announce the Nokia 3 and the Nokia 5, both of which will be powered by Android. Nokia is also expected to have the Nokia 6 to show off, although they have already officially announced the Nokia 6 and it’s already on sale in China. That being said, it’s always possible that they could use Mobile World Congress to announce a global launch for the Nokia 6, which could be a good thing for them as it seems to have been a pretty popular device in China since it launched earlier this year. While not a smartphone, Nokia and HMD Global are also supposed to be officially announcing a new Nokia 3310. This won’t be anything to write home about for most people, but the Nokia 3310 is known far and wide as one of the toughest phones on the planet which is what makes it interesting that the two companies would work to bring it back into the spotlight and offer it up to consumers.
This year is sure to be full of exciting new device reveals and although not all of the biggest devices, (or even companies) will be making appearances at the event, there are a few notable things to look out for like the G6, the Huawei Watch 2, and multiple devices from Sony as well as the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. Since Mobile World Congress hasn’t started yet, there are certainly things that could end up being announced that no one expects, and overall it’s already looking like it will be successful trade show.