Mobile World Congress (MWC) is one of the largest tech shows of the year. Fresh off the back of CES, the latest and greatest smartphones of 2018 will be unveiled or on display at the Barcelona event.
Below we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about MWC 2018 and what to expect from Samsung, Sony, Apple, Huawei, Nokia and more.
MWC 2018 dates
MWC 2018 runs from 26 February to 1 March in Barcelona. While it was set up for, and as its name suggests, the release of smartphones, in recent years its remit has extended to wearables as well as enterprise software and hardware and even VR.
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The main show takes place at Fira Gran Via although events are held across Barcelona.
MWC 2018: What to expect and highlights
MWC 2018: Samsung
Although, technically, Samsung doesn’t unveil its latest flagship at MWC, it takes advantage of having the tech community in the city to lay on its own Unpacked event. Last year, however, it broke with tradition likely due to the furore surrounding the “exploding” batteries on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, meaning the Galaxy S8 launch was much more muted.
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This year we know Samsung is using MWC 2018 to take the cover off its much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9 and it looks to be doing so with aplomb. Invites have gone out for the S9 event on 25 February, with the press conference kicking off at 6pm CET.
MWC 2018: Apple
Apple reserves its major phone launches for its own event, typically held in September, meaning it doesn’t have a presence at MWC. We’re expecting the tech giant to follow suit for MWC 2018, but the company may want to showcase its new watch or HomePod smart speaker.
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Alternatively, we wouldn’t be surprised to see leaked images or similar of the iPhone 11 appearing around the same time as MWC 2018 which could detract away from some of its competitors’ big reveals.
MWC 2018: Sony
Sony went quite hard on its announcements at CES 2018 and showcased its budget and mid-range Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2 handsets so we’d be surprised to see a vast number of new releases from Sony at MWC 2018.
Instead, the firm will likely use the show to unveil its latest flagship after launching the Xperia XZ Premium flagship at last year’s show.
MWC 2018: Huawei
Following in the footsteps of the Huawei P10, a Huawei P11 launch is all but inevitable at MWC 2018, as is a cheaper P11 Lite and larger P11 Plus.
The firm, traditionally, would save its major launches for its own event later in the year but it has suggested it wants to shift this to MWC 2018 to catch the March/April release date cycle, and run alongside its rivals. Huawei’s vice president of handsets product line Bruce Lee recently told Android Central: “In the future, we will probably launch the devices at Mobile World Congress.”
MWC 2018: LG
LG used last year’s MWC to unveil the LG G6 but it was quickly bettered by Samsung’s Galaxy S8. This year, LG will be looking to outdo its rival with the LG G7.
MWC 2018: HTC
HTC’s smartphone arm was recently bought by Google – after making the Pixel 2 – so we’re unlikely to see any handsets from HTC at MWC 2018.
The HTC U11 Plus was the firm’s last release before the company was absorbed so that may have been its last hurrah, too.
Instead, HTC Vive – the VR arm of the Taiwanese firm – could showcase its virtual reality set up at MWC 2018.
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