True Android fans have three dates marked on their calendar for the major international tech expos: CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) in Berlin, and MWC (Mobile World Conference) in Barcelona. MWC is the one we're interested in here, as it is the number one European event in the first quarter of 2017. Leading up to MWC, we'll keep you updated on the latest news and rumors for the event. LG and Sony have now confirmed their press conference dates.
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Mobile World Congress in 2017: What, when and where
At the end of February, the who's who of the mobile communications sector will gather in the Catalan capital to present the highlights of the first half of the year to the public.
In the coming year, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) will take place between February 27 and March 2, 2017. For the press, the doors to the Mobile World Congress will open a few days before, so that the highlights can be presented even before the trade fair gets under way. We will, of course, be on hand to tell you everything that's happening.
As in previous years, the location for the mobile communication sector's big rendez-vous is in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fira Gran Via conference facility, which is home to an impressive 14 km of fiber optic cables, 52 km of Ethernet cables and 1,200 Wi-Fi hotspots.
LG has sent out early invitations to their press event, which is scheduled for February 26 at noon. The invites say simply "See More, Play More".
LG provided a highlight at the 2016 Mobile World Congress with the modular G5. But unfortunately, the sales haven’t lived up to expectations. First, LG was struggling with quality issues with the G5 and later the modular system just got on people’s nerves, as with every change you had to reboot the smartphone. So, LG is ditching the modular design, and will likely launch this smartphone at MWC since they didn't do so at CES. LG may surprise us with wireless charging, splash resistance, a better camera and perhaps even a 4K screen. You can see further information on the LG G6 in the following article:
MWC 2017: Samsung Galaxy S8 - high expectations
Samsung didn't bring much to the table in terms of smartphones for CES (just the 2017 A5 and A3), and with still no news on the cause of the Note 7 debacle, they may bring some news and device announcements. But, don't expect to see the S8 just yet. Samsung could take advantage of all the MWC press hype and launch its new Galaxy S at MWC as always, but there is at least one rumor saying it could be delayed until April to avoid mistakes, which seems likely. A lot is expected from the Galaxy S8 since Samsung has to compensate for the disaster that surrounded the Galaxy Note 7. You can find out all the latest rumors on specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 in our separate and extensive Galaxy S8 article.
For Samsung, however, just to present two smartphones at the world's largest telecommunications trade fair is not going to be enough. In 2016, along with the presentation of the Galaxy S7, Samsung introduced the new Gear 360 and Gear VR. Samsung will surely not present the latter again, as when the Galaxy S8 with a type C USB becomes available, the numerous Gear VRs that were produced for the Note 7 will still be used. However, a new Gear 360 could definitely be presented at the Mobile World Congress 2017 as a companion to the Galaxy S8. We will find out in February.
Sony has also started ending out early press invitations, so we know their press conference will be held on February 27 at 8:30am. Apparently, the "latest innovations will be unveiled", but they're staying tight-lipped about what those are exactly.
Sony Mobile is always good for a surprise, whether it be by confusing name games, short product cycles or by too trivial concepts. According to the initial details, there are two smartphones in the pipeline for the MWC 2017. Unfortunately, the technical specs are not yet available, so all that is currently known and being discussed are the internal names of the two Sony smartphones: G3112 and G3121. Could we see a new Xperia X? As soon as further information about these two smartphones comes to light, we will inform you in the article:
MWC 2017: Xiaomi - the honored guest
Surely the Mobile World Congress 2017 won’t just be about the manufacturers and products mentioned above. It will also be exciting to see the new products from Xiaomi and other Chinese manufacturers. Xiaomi went to CES just weeks ago only to tease China-only devices, so we haven't seen a new global flagship from them yet. Last year, Xiaomi unveiled its E5 as their MWC debut, so this year we could see its new flagship, possibly called the Mi 6.
During Huawei's event at CES this year, we found out that the Huawei Mate 9 would have an official US release, and surprisingly soon after that, we may see the Huawei P10 at MWC 2017. Huawei has started sending out press invites for MWC already according to Android Central, and they're promising that a new flagship device will be unveiled. There aren't many rumors of convincing origin yet, but you can see our full round up of the latest information about the Huawei P10 here.
MWC 2017: Nokia - making a comeback
HMD Global, the launching company for Nokia's phones, has started to send out press invites for MWC. The company has already recently announced the release of the China-only Nokia 6, which we had predicted would be launched at MWC, but we should see some other new Nokia smartphones at MWC.
According to the rumors, the company is working on four new smartphones, ranging from five to 5.7 inches. It may even be planning a new flagship called the Nokia 8, codenamed Supreme. Perhaps we shall see the Nokia D1C, which is on the horizon too. When new updates are available, we will let you know.
MWC 2017: Lenovo Moto - revealing a new X device?
Leaked images from last week were originally thought to be the Moto X (2017), but now we believe it to be the Moto G5 Plus. A seller in Romania has put photos and full specs of the device online, in addition to saying that the device will launch in March. This means the device will likely be revealed at MWC, where Lenovo is confirmed to appear.
MWC 2017: HTC may be revealing the new flagship?
HTC is planning six to seven new smartphones for 2017. Of these, two have already been released, the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, both featuring the HTC Sense Companion AI. We could also see the recently teased HTC Vive-branded smartphone from this video:
HTC 2017? pic.twitter.com/ppONWlT5Mr— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 8, 2017
2017 will also see the release of the successor to the HTC 10, which incidentally won't be called the HTC 11. The flagship not-HTC-11 might be released at MWC 2017. HTC launched the One M9 at MWC 2015, but in 2016 the company skipped showing off the HTC 10 there and had its own virtual event instead. In 2017, the flagship may be at MWC or it could again skip showing off its new flagship at MWC and instead launch it just afterwards in March. According to rumors, it should have high-end specs (Snapdragon 835, 8 GB RAM, and QHD display). Only time will tell.
MWC 2017: more details on Blackberry's new phone
Blackberry's Mercury smartphone was announced at CES and will feature a keyboard, but the announcement details were sparse, so we will be learning more at MWC according to TCL President Steve Cistulli.
Enjoy our official first look at what’s to come from the newest BlackBerry smartphone. More to come at MWC. pic.twitter.com/gHkwepCPbJ— Steve Cistulli (@SteveCistulli) January 4, 2017
MWC 2017: Other manufacturers
Other manufacturers like Asus, ZTE etc. will be at MWC, but we still don't know what they could be presenting. We will have to wait and see.
MWC 2017: Smartwatches - an endangered species
Smartwatches were conspicuously mostly absent from MWC 2016, and they likely will be again for 2017. The market for these devices isn't hot right now, and major manufacturers are preferring to focus on smartphones, VR and other gadgets. For example, recently Moto's head of global product development Shakil Barkat said, "Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year," so the company's annual device roadmap won't contain any smartwatches in 2017. We won't see anything from Samsung, since the company released the Gear S3 at IFA 2016.
What would you like to see revealed at MWC 2017? Which manufacturers will live up to expectations and which will disappoint? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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