With Mobile World Congress (MWC) drawing near, we’ve prepared a comprehensive ‘what to expect’ guide for the event.
For those who don’t know, MWC is the world’s largest mobile industry trade show. The GSM Association of London hosts the event every February in Barcelona, Spain.
The conference takes place between February 25th and 28th. However, like with past years, several companies, including Huawei, plan to hold pre-MWC events on February 24th.
It’s important to note that many of the 5G devices announced at MWC will likely not make their way to Canada. This is because Canada’s 5G infrastructure isn’t in place yet, and likely won’t be until 2020. If any the 5G smartphones announced at MWC come to Canada, it’s likely they’ll arrive here at a later date than in other countries like the U.S., U.K., South Korea and China.
Huawei will launch a 5G-capable foldable display smartphone in Barcelona, according to the company’s Richard Yu.
Yu shared this tidbit at a 5G event in Beijing in January. Unlike Samsung, Huawei has been mostly quiet about its upcoming foldable phone, and there haven’t been any major leaks of the device.
Huawei is not expected to show off its new P30 series at its keynote. Most rumours indicate the company will do that in March.
Huawei is hosting its pre-conference event on February 24th at 8am ET/5am PT.
At one point, it was rumoured LG would reveal its own foldable handset at MWC 2019, as well. Since then, the narrative has changed. Now it’s believed that the company could unveil a 5G-capable V50 ThinQ handset.
LG teased that one of its new phones will feature touchless gestures. However, it’s unclear whether the the G8 ThinQ will include the feature.
Another rumour indicated that LG would showcase a smartphone with an attachable rear-facing display. Again, similar to the touchless gesture feature, it’s unclear if the G8 ThinQ will feature this modular attachment or if LG has a surprise handset up its sleeve.
The 5G-capable LG V50 will likely not come to Canada. The V50 leak suggests that the device will only be available in certain markets.
LG’s MWC event will take place on February 24th at 1pm ET / 10am PT.
Sony will also have a presence at MWC 2019. Some rumours suggest that the company will unveil both the Xperia XZ4 and the Xperia 10 at the conference. Both these handsets are expected to feature a tall 21:9 aspect ratio.
Sony’s MWC event takes place on February 25th at 2:30am ET/ 11:30pm PT.
MobileSyrup expects Microsoft will unveil HoloLens 2, its next-generation augmented reality headset, at MWC. The company will probably touch on some Azure Cloud-related topics, as well.
Microsoft’s MWC event will take place on February 24th at 11:00am ET/ 8:00am PT.
OnePlus recently announced that it will show off its upcoming 5G handset at MWC 2019. Event attendees will have the chance to take a sneak peek at the handset at the Qualcomm booth in Hall 3.
While some rumours have indicated that Asus will unveil the ZenFone 6, a handset that reportedly features a triple rear-facing camera array and an oddly placed waterdrop notch, it’s unclear if we will actually see the phone at the conference.
Asus has not announced an MWC 2019 keynote.
Motorola recently revealed its midrange Moto G7 series.
It’s possible we’ll also see a foldable RAZR handset.
One leak suggested Motorola planned to hold its own event before the conference, but with MWC only a week-and-a-half away that seems unlikely.
It seems more likely, if in fact, Motorola plans to release a foldable RAZR smartphone, that we’ll see it announced at a separate event after MWC.
China’s Xiaomi plans to unveil a 5G-capable variant of the Mi Mix 3. Xioami doesn’t sell its smartphones in Canada.
Rumours suggest that HMD Global, the current owner of the Nokia brand, will unveil a smartphone with five rear-facing cameras at MWC. It’s unlikely this handset will come to Canada, though if Nokia announces new low and mid-range models those could potentially make their way here. Rogers inked a deal to start selling Nokia handsets through Chatr subsidiary, which would be a good fit for any new low-cost models from the manufacturer.
Don’t expect too much from HTC — we’re likely still months away before an official reveal of the HTC U13.
What we don’t expect
We don’t expect any major announcements from Samsung. The South Korean tech giant is holding its own ‘Unpacked’ event on February 20th. The event will include the announcement of the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, as well as potential 5G variants of the latter two. Alongside the S10 series, rumours indicate Samsung will also unveil a new version of the Gear IconX, which reports had said Samsung will market as the “Galaxy Buds,” as well as a new Active variant of the Galaxy Watch.
Apple usually doesn’t have a presence at MWC. We won’t likely hear about any hardware-related announcements from the company until later in the year.
While Google will have a presence at MWC, the company will not reveal any products until later in the year. According to a recent report, the company plans a slate of devices, including a Pixel-branded smartwatch, as well as a new, more affordable Pixel.