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. Here, we'll keep you updated on the latest news of the event. Blackberry just presented the Blackberry KEYone at the company's press conference on Saturday, and there will be many livestreams for other manufacturers today.
Mobile World Congress in 2017: What, when and where
At MWC, the who's who of the mobile communications sector gathers in the Catalan capital to present the highlights of the first half of the year to the public. This year, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is taking 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.
Our video preview: what to expect from MWC 2017
|Samsung||February 26, 7 pm|
|LG||February 26, 12 noon|
|Sony||February 27, 8:30 am|
|Huawei||Febraury 26, 2:30 pm|
|Lenovo||February 26, 4:30 pm|
|Nokia (HMD Global)||February 26, 4:30 pm|
|BlackBerry||February 25, 7 pm|
|Honor||March 1, 8 pm|
Blackberry just announced its 2017 smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone, at their MWC press conference, a smartphone of 4.5 inches with a feature-packed physical keyboard and Android 7.1 Nougat running on board. The aluminum-built compact smartphone with a soft-touch textured back will be available starting in April around the globe and will sell for the price of $549 in the USA. Similar pricing will be available in other regions.
What’s cool about the Blackberry KEYone: the physical keyboard is more than what it seems as it is also a touch-sensitive control pad, allowing you to program every letter to launch any app, plus you can setup various shortcuts for emails and weather. It also hides a fingerprint scanner integrated into the space bar. Indeed, the KEYone is “Distinctly Different”, Blackberry’s selling slogan, as it gives fans of the physical keyboard they want, all in a neat near-stock Android package with all the newest features of Android 7.1 Nougat, such as multi window view. What more, Blackberry is taking security seriously this year, doing such things as encrypting the Snapdragon 625 processor and promising regular security updates (including ones from Google) for the entire life of the device.
We were at the press conference and had a chance to take a close look at the phone. Here is our hands-on review:
LG's press event is scheduled for Sunday, February 26 at noon. You can watch the livestream just below. At MWC, the South Korean firm will reveal their latest flagship, the LG G6. The G6 is expected to be available globally from March 10, according to rumors. There have been many leaks about this device in the weeks leading up to its unveiling.
Samsung's press event is scheduled for February 26 at 7pm, and it will be live streamed on Samsung's website. The manufacturer won't be revealing the Galaxy S8 just yet, but the Galaxy Tab S3 was teased by the company, and rumors have been swirling about a foldable smartphone.
Huawei's press conference will take place on February 26 at 2:30 pm. It will be livestreamed here. During Huawei's event at CES this year, we found out that the Huawei Mate 9 would have an official US release, and so soon after that, we expect to see the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus at MWC.
Nokia (HMD Global) has their press event at 4:30 pm on February 26, and it will be available for livestream below. The company has already recently released the China-only Nokia 6, so it could see a global release 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.
Lenovo's press event is scheduled for February 26 at 4:30 pm, and it should be available for livestream here. Leaked images of the Moto G5 and G5 Plus have been popping up online for weeks now, so we can expect to see these devices at MWC. Lenovo could also release the Moto X.
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:
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. 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. Only time will tell.
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.
Quite a few people were looking forward to seeing what new products Xiaomi would present at MWC 2017, and all indications were pointing to the possible release of its new flagship device, the Mi 6. A company spokesperson has confirmed that Xiaomi doesn't have any new devices to showcase at MWC 2017 and so will be skipping the event completely.
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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