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MWC 2016 – what to expect from Samsung, HTC, LG and Huawei …

It’s that time of year again. In less than two weeks, every major smartphone manufacturer (except Apple of course) will be gathering in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile tech show on the planet. It’s traditionally the place where most of the year’s big new flagship smartphones are unveiled, and everyone from Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, Sony and Motorola is going to be there. The big question on everyone’s lips, though, is what new phones are they all going to announce?

Don’t see your favourite phone here? Check our best upcoming smartphones for 20161

While it’s difficult to know exactly what’s going to be there until we arrive at the show ourselves, we can make some pretty confident guesses based on previous experience. Some manufacturers have already confirmed what they’re going to announce, too, so we’ve rounded up everything we’re expecting to see at MWC 2016 into one handy article.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge2

Starting with Samsung, the big star of the show is widely expected to be the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s possible we might also see the long-rumoured Galaxy S7 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 6, but it’s more likely that Samsung will save these for another event, most likely at IFA, later in the year. Samsung used last year’s MWC to unveil the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, so we’re almost certain that Samsung will do the same this year for the new S7 family. Its press conference is scheduled to take place on Sunday 21st February, so we should know more then.

For now, though, we’ve already had plenty of leaks3 about the S7, and it’s looking like a very worthy update to the S6. Not much has changed in terms of design, but we’re pretty certain it will come with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 chip, a 12-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, and it will have a 5.1in, 2,560×1,440 Super AMOLED display. The S7 Edge, meanwhile is tipped to have the same hardware, but a larger 5.5in, 2,560×1,440 display. Both are likely to come with Android 6.0 out of the box, too.

LG G54

One thing we do know about MWC is that LG will be unveiling its brand-new LG G5, the successor to the excellent G4. LG has confirmed as much on its own press invite, so we’ll know everything there is know about the G5 by the time you’ve finished having lunch on 21st February.

So far, it’s widely expected that the G5 will have two screens – a main front-display and a smaller, always-on bar that runs across the top. The latter will show additional information such as the time, date, weather, notifications and a battery bar, arguably making it more useful than the additional edge screen on the Galaxy S7 Edge. We’re also expecting it to come with a Snapdragon 820, a 20-megapixel camera sensor and Android 6.0.

HTC

Until recently, we thought we might see the HTC One M105 make its debut at MWC, but an HTC spokesperson has recently confirmed to us that HTC won’t be holding a press conference this year at all, so we’ll have to wait a little longer before we get a peak at its new flagship. Instead, it’s likely that HTC will hold its own separate event in London when it launches the One M10, which at the moment looks to be around March or April. That doesn’t mean that HTC won’t have any new smartphones at MWC, though, as it’s possible we may still see some updates to its budget-friendly Desire range instead. We’ll also be able to get our first look at its new HTC Vive Pre6 virtual reality headset, which was first unveiled during CES earlier in the year.

Huawei Watch 2

Huawei also have a press conference scheduled for the 21st February, and at the moment our best guess is that it will announce the P9, the successor to the rather disappointing P8. However, Huawei’s traditionally held its own events for its P range of flagship smartphones, so we might see something completely different. A new Mate phablet is also very unlikely right now as it only just announced the Mate 87 at CES. Instead, Huawei’s more likely to talk about new wearables at MWC, as it took the opportunity to unveil its very first smartwatch, the Huawei Watch8, at last year’s show. However, considering how long it took for the Huawei Watch to eventually launch in the UK (it didn’t go on sale until around November), I wouldn’t be surprised if its successor took a similar amount of time to come to market, especially since Huawei announced new versions of the original Watch were on their way at CES.

Motorola

With the sad news that Lenovo is planning to phase out the Moto brand later this year9, I’m not expecting Motorola to announce anything major at this year’s MWC. It normally holds its own events at varying times of the year, but we may hear more about exactly what’s happening with the Moto G and its Moto X handsets once we’re on the show floor.

Sony Xperia Z5 Tablet

The biggest mystery is Sony. Its press conference is taking place on Monday 22nd February at 8.30am (7.30am UK time), but so far there have been very few leaks about a potential Xperia Z6 or even a new Xperia Tablet. Sony saved its Xperia Z5 launches until autumn last year, so it’s unlikely the company will announce the Z6 so soon afterwards. More likely is the Xperia Z5 Tablet, as the Xperia Z4 Tablet10 was Sony’s main event at last year’s show. Sony also launched the mid-range Xperia M4 Aqua last year, but review samples for the M5 have already arrived in our office, so it probably won’t be a big focus at the show.

References

  1. ^ Don’t see your favourite phone here?

    Check our best upcoming smartphones for 2016 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)

  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  3. ^ leaks (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  4. ^ LG G5 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  5. ^ HTC One M10 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  6. ^ HTC Vive Pre (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  7. ^ Mate 8 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  8. ^ Huawei Watch (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  9. ^ Lenovo is planning to phase out the Moto brand later this year (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  10. ^ Xperia Z4 Tablet (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
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