In three days’ time, the enormous doors of the hall in Fira Barcelona will open to reveal this year’s hottest devices. Although Xiaomi is out of the exhibitors list and Samsung has postponed the announcement of Galaxy S8 for March, there are still plenty of reasons to go to MWC 2017 or at least, follow it with interest. Here are 10 things you can’t miss this year #mobilemagic
First of all, although Mobile World Congress officially opens on February 27th, all the big companies unveil their flagships one or two days before.
Tomorrow, Blackberry Mercury will “open the festivities”. This is the first smartphone manufactured by TCL but engineered by Blackberry. It’s said to come with the latest version of Android OS, a Sony IMX378 sensor with 12 MP resolution and support for 4K video, Qualcomm Snapdragon 635, 3GB of RAM. It retains the QWERTY keyboard that has always distinguish it from other brands and this time, the keys are capacitive enabling different functions.
Nokia 6 & Nokia 3310
Sunday, Nokia is coming back to the smartphone scene with a couple of devices. First of all, the most-talked about smartphone of late, Nokia 6, is rumored to launch with Android Nougat, Qualcomm 430 system-on-chip, 16MP rear camera and an 8MP front shooter. There’s also talk about a Nokia 8 with a Snapdragon 821 processor, 24MP rear camera with OIS and 12MP front camera. The latter could offer up to 128GB of storage, propelling this smartphone in the top handsets for 2017 but you should take this with a grain of salt. HMD Global, the company that is leading these efforts under the Nokia name, is also going to make old dreams come true by rebooting the trusted Nokia 3310. It’s not clear how different the device is going to be but it’s how they say, good things come to those who wait… so be patient. All in all, it appears that HMD Global will present 3 or 4 devices this year.
By far, the most eagerly awaited device at this year’s MWC is LG G6. Last year, LG took a risk that didn’t quite pay off with the modular G5. Now, they’re going for an almost bezel-less smartphone, with a long, unusual body at 18:9 body ratio, Qualcomm SNapdragon 821, 16MP dual rear cameras , several camera modes – targeted at Instagrammers – , water and dust-resistance. Something tells us hardware won’t disappoint either so you might want to make room in your top smartphone brands for LG, too.
Two different models for the successor of Huawei P9 are expected at MWC. The above render from @evleaks shows only slight changes in design and functionality. There’s no fingerprint sensor on the back of the Huawei P10, as was the case with Huawei P9, suggesting the manufacturer might have moved it to the front of the phone, under the physical home button. The main feature of the device remains the dual rear camera introduced with P9, which is now powered by 20MP and 12MP sensors, while the front one comes at 8MP. P10 should clock in at 2.3GHz with its octa-core Kirin 960 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of onboard storage. P10 Plus is mostly a mystery, except it will probably feature a curved screen and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.
Sony Xperia X 2
Sony has also jumped on the bandwagon of bezel-less smartphones. Sony Xperia X2 is probably going to ditch the company logo in order to reduce those top and bottom bezels and go for a curvier design. As far as specs go, there’s a big chance of debuting with Snapdragon 653 SoC and 4GB of RAM. Oh, this isn’t the only surprise Sony has in store for us; as a matter of fact, they are planning on diverting the attention from Nokia’s devices with a total of four new handsets.
ZTE Gigabit Phone
ZTE is taking a different approach this year. At IFA 2016, Axon 7 Mini was the highlight at ZTE’ stand, the company focusing on audio quality. This time around, they are planning to unveil a phone that allows download speeds of 1Gbps, ushering in a new era of 5G connectivity. The Gigabit Phone is pretty much a mystery, if you don’t count the camera rumor. It seems that the device will allow you to shoot 360-degree VR and 4K video with instant cloud storage.
Samsung Tab S3, foldable prototypes
No, we’re not referring to Samsung goodie bags, but other devices the company will present this weekend in an attempt to soften the blow of postponing the release of S8. Samsung Tab S3 is bound to be iPad Pro’s big rival this year. Recent images show a 4:3 format, a home button, capacitive keys on the front and a minimal back. Samsung is probably going for a metallic body instead of a glass one, from what we can see. Obviously, the biggest clue concerning the accessories is the presence of the S-Pen, wider and chunkier than the one developed for their smartphones.
Samsung is also expected to show one or two foldable smartphone prototypes at the congress. These have to be the items I, personally, can’t wait to test (and I’m not the only one, right guys?). Imagine bending your smartphone with ease when you want to place it into your small jeans pocket! You would finally have the best of two worlds: small body, big display. In the summer of 2016, we were debating the changes such smartphones would trigger in our daily lives; for instance, you could have an 8-inches tablet morph into a 5-inches smartphone.
Yet, months passed and we haven’t seen much in terms of design from Samsung so far. The only sure thing is the Spring release of S8 and this weekend’s reveal of the flagship’s official look and launch date.
Huawei Watch 2
Huawei is set to release a smartwatch too. After weeks of rumors, one thing is for sure: it will come with the latest version of Android Wear. There’s a big chance that Huawei will present various versions of the watch, some with LTE connection. Leaker Evan Blass has posted the first images with the sport model of Huawei Watch 2, the one with LTE. This one features a plastic, removable band, aslot for nanoSIM card and three color versions (orange, black, speckled grey):
This is the sportier Huawei Watch 2, in three colors https://t.co/kgFCNAWFfd pic.twitter.com/eUK9xivOgg
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) 23 februarie 2017
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