Mobile World Congress 2019: What to expect from the World’s biggest mobile show
Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile event of the year, seeing the launch of many of the year’s top smartphones, smartwatches and tablets, as well as seeing the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile, such as 5G.
Generally speaking, all the big brands attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) in one way or another. The exception is Apple, although the trends outlined at MWC very much include the iPhone.
With 2019 just around the corner, we’re looking forwards to Mobile World Congress 2019 and all the launches it will bring.
What is Mobile World Congress?
Mobile World Congress is an annual trade show run by the GSMA (it’s for trade rather than members of the public). The location theoretically moves around Europe, but for many years it has been held in Barcelona, Spain.
It is the launch platform for many of the year’s big smartphones, but it has also given us a range of tablets, smartwatches and other connected devices in recent years – even reaching over to 2-in-1s and tablets.
Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many of the industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, like 5G, mobile chips, VR and other associated technologies.
When is Mobile World Congress 2019?
Mobile World Congress is scheduled to run from 25-28 February 2019. Those are days that the show is open, the keynotes are running and the exhibition halls are open.
However, the big announcements are likely to be on 24 February. This is often the day that a number of press conferences are held, just before the show actually opens.
What will launch at Mobile World Congress 2019?
Asus at MWC 2019
Asus has been pretty enthusiastic about Zenfone launches recently and the Zenfone 5 was pretty good. Getting onto the World’s smartphone stage to launch the next version of its mobile device makes perfect sense.
BlackBerry at MWC 2019
BlackBerry often uses MWC to make some sort of announcement. At the moment there’s very little being said about BlackBerry’s future plans, so we can’t be certain what might be announced at MWC.
Honor at MWC 2019
Honor often has its place at MWC, sharing some of the spotlight with parent company Huawei. Depending on the launch cycles, we may see Honor unveil a new handset at MWC, or it might wait until Huawei has launched a new model and then follow with a variant a few months later.
Huawei had a storming 2018 and to keep momentum up, we expect to see Huawei launch the P30 in Barcelona. It’s likely to schedule this to challenge Samsung, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it happened on 24 February. There’s little in the way of rumours so far, but we’d expect to see a lot of the Mate 20 tech rolling over into the new P model.
LG has been a little variable with launches in recent years, famously delaying the G7 launch, but offering the V35 ThinQ at MWC 2018 instead. Whether this strategy will continue, or if LG will return to launching its flagship in Barcelona remains to be seen. Reports are saying that MWC will see LG showing off 5G technology, however.
Motorola Moto G7
Lenovo is likely to keep the Moto momentum up with the launch of the Moto G7 at MWC. The company has been easing up the quality of the handset, but now finds it priced high against the likes of Honor with rival affordable handsets.
- Moto G7 release date, specs and rumours
Nokia at MWC 2019
Nokia has announced a large number of phones as it attempts to fight its way back into the limelight. From retro re-releases to a full range of affordable Android One devices, Nokia has been pretty exciting over the past 24 months. There’s little clue as to what we might see at MWC – apart from maybe the elusive Nokia 9 – and rumours of the PureView trademark coming back into use have people excited.
- Nokia 9 specs, rumours and features
Oppo folding open at MWC
Oppo, like other Chinese brands, has been making a lot of noise. For MWC 2019 it’s likely that we’ll see a folding phone from Oppo. The company has confirmed that it is working on a folding phone and that it might reveal more in Barcelona.
Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
Samsung will likely dominate MWC 2019 with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10. It has been 10 years of the Galaxy S and we’re expecting a lot of changes to come to Samsung’s flagship phones. Rumours suggest a display with a punch hole camera, three cameras on the rear and a selection of different sizes. Samsung would typically hold its press conference on 24 February, although rumours have suggested 22nd February.
- Samsung Galaxy S10 specs and release date
Sony Xperia XZ4 and XZ4 Compact
Sony launches lots of phones and MWC is likely to see the launch of the XZ4 and a smaller XZ4 Compact. The company launched the Xperia XZ2 in 2018, but then launched the XZ3 in August. Early rumours are already suggesting that we’ll see a new Xperia device launched in Barcelona with three cameras on the back. You can expect an announcement on 25 February.
- Sony Xperia XZ4 rumours, specs and details
Xiaomi at MWC 2019
Xiaomi isn’t new to MWC, but it has been increasingly raising its profile outside of the homeland China – and 2019 is set to be the biggest year year. Exactly what we might see announced at MWC we can’t yet say, but it could be a Snapdragon 855-powered 5G handset.