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What we can expect from Mobile World Congress 2017

We look ahead to next year’s MWC.

It’s the biggest mobile event of the year, with phone manufacturers, tech journalists and industry experts from all corners of the world flocking to Barcelona to see the latest developments in pocket technology.

More importantly it’s also where we get a first look at some of the most anticipated handsets of next year.

Not least among them is the Samsung Galaxy S8, which is being touted in some quarters as ‘make-or-break’, after Samsung’s much publicised problems with the Note 7’s exploding batteries.

That’s not all, though. If rumours are to be believed, we can also look forward to fresh phones from Nokia, in what marks the second coming of everyone’s favourite Finnish phone-maker. And we may even get new top-of-the-range handsets from HTC and LG, as well as some fresh additions to Sony’s Xperia range.

Naturally, pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the mobile phone industry will be there. Including us, obviously, so watch this space for live updates on all the latest news and gossip from MWC 2017.

When is Mobile World Congress?

Mobile World Congress VR demo

Mobile World Congress 2017 is being hosted in Barcelona from Monday 27th February to Thursday 2nd March and will be jam-packed with events, expos and talks to attend.

Given that the 2017 MWC will mark the 30th anniversary of the event, we can hopefully expect something extra special this year.

What phones will be unveiled at MWC?

Android stall at Mobile World Contress

Every year, phone manufacturers and designers use Mobile World Congress to showcase their latest devices.

From futuristic concept phones that might never make it to market to mainstream handsets already in production, there will be plenty to see.

But which new handsets are likely to be unveiled at the 2017 MWC?

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung s8 concept hero image

Traditionally, Samsung unveils a new Galaxy S phone on the eve of Mobile World Congress. And we’re hoping 2017 will be no different.

Alongside the fairly standard improvements you might expect, such as a better camera and a fresh design, the Galaxy S8 is also rumoured to come with Samsung’s own voice assistant, a 4K screen and an optical finger scanner embedded in the display.

However before you get too excited, we should also probably also say that some tech news sources claim the Galaxy S8 won’t make it to MWC 2017 at all.

Following the debacle of the exploding batteries in some Galaxy Note 7 devices, rumour has it that Samsung will delay the launch of their 2017 flagship phone to avoid a similar scandal.

Still, the BIG REVEAL of Samsung’s latest handset has been a real highlight of MWC in recent years and the Korean company will no doubt be keen to put the high-profile problems with the Note 7s behind them. So we wouldn’t rule out seeing the Galaxy S8 at MWC this year.

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Given that LG introduced us to their G5 handset at MWC 2016, it seems a good bet that we’ll get to see the LG G6 at MWC 2017.

LG has sent out invites to a special media event in Barcelona for 26th February, the day before the annual Mobile World Congress kicks off.

An official LG teaser clip released in January shows smartphone users listing features they would want from a new smartphone. Their requests included waterproofing, multitasking capabilities and, interestingly, a larger screen packed into a smaller device.

LG has promised to meet these demands, including a narrower, 18:9 display that would be ideal for opening multiple windows at once. Judging by this, it's fairly safe to assume that the device will run on Android Nougat.

There have also been whispers that the G6 will feature an OLED screen similar to the tech used in Samsung’s latest flagship phones, and will come with fast wireless charging.

Perhaps the real story, though, is the suggestion that unlike the G5, which let you plug in a range of accessories and parts (AKA ‘modules’ to boost its capabilities, the G6 won’t be a so-called ‘modular phone’.

This follows mixed-reviews for the G5 and user testimonies that it was vulnerable to damage when inserting and removing modules.

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HTC 11

htc 10 colours

Although last year’s HTC 10 wasn’t released until after MWC 2016, fans are still hopeful they’ll get a sneak peek at the HTC 11 at next year's Mobile World Congress.

Having said that, HTC recently unveiled its new U Utra and U Play, but HTC staff were keen to stress that these two new devices will not replace its flagship phone.

If HTC is planning to launch the HTC 10 at Mobile World Congress, it's certainly being kept very quiet. So much so that right now rumours about the forthcoming HTC handset are pretty thin on the ground.

Still, there are whispers that the HTC 11 could feature ‘Sense Touch’.

This technology, first showcased on the HTC Ocean concept phone, would allow users to interact with the handset by swiping or tapping the metal frame along the edge of the phone.

So presumably, you could simply tap the frame to take a photo or swipe it to change the volume or brightness.

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The Sony Xperia Something-or-other

Sony Xperia ZX Detail Hero

XZ 2? X Even More Compact? XA Extra Ultra with Bells on? We’ve given up on trying to guess what Sony’s new flagship phone will be called, given its bewildering naming system.

Still, whatever Sony is planning to call its new phone, we’re really hoping we’ll get to see it at MWC 2017.

Like Samsung, Sony has made a habit of unveiling its latest phones at Mobile World Congress. And with a solid track record of releasing phones with impressive specs, sharp screens and knockout cameras, we’d love to see Sony demo its next handset at MWC, whatever they decide to name it.

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Huawei P10

huawei p9

Huawei often uses MWC to launch a new device, although it tends to hold off unveiling its flagship handset until April.

While Huawei is relatively unknown in the UK, it has mass-market appeal in Asia. And, given its track record of producing premium handsets with excellent specs and outstanding cameras, we're looking forward to seeing what Huawei has to offer this year.

With rumours of a faster processor, improved specs and an even better camera than the P9, we're really hoping for a sneak preview of the Huawei P10 at MWC 2017.

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Nokia 6 and Nokia 8

Nokia 6 hero image

It now seems nailed on that Nokia will unveil at least one new phone at Mobile World Congress, after the company used social media to promise ‘new announcements’ for its European fans on the eve of MWC, 26th February.

The new Nokia 6 launched in China earlier this month, and is currently only available there. Over 500,000 people have registered their interest in the phone, which runs a reworked version of Google Android.

It’s likely that February 26th will see Nokia launch the Nokia 6 globally, as well as unveil plans for the Nokia 8, a new flagship phone aimed at reigniting interest in the long dormant brand.

Former giants of the mobile phone industry, Nokia has struggled in recent years to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. After dominating the pre-smartphone mobile market for many years, it's fair to say that Nokia has never recovered from the hit it took following Apple's release of the iPhone in 2007.

Still, after Microsoft sold Nokia to HMD Global and Foxconn in May 2016, the company officially announced it would be returning to the world of smartphones. And given that Nokia has already reserved a stand in the main hall at MWC and is bringing along CEO Rajeev Suri as one of the keynote speakers, we're hoping Nokia is planning to unveil something really special.

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Category: Features
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