The Mobile World Congress is a highly anticipated annual event that sets the tone for the year: The biggest releases are usually unveiled or announced here, barring Apple that hosts its own event around September.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress that kicks off on Sunday, here’s our pick of the top five anticipated smartphone launches:
Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung is hosting its event on February 21, a day before the official kick-off, and is expected to showcase Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. There’s a strong possibility that Galaxy S7 Edge Plus will also be launched.
In comparison with the Galaxy S6, the S7 may be slightly bigger and come with a microSD slot for external storage. The metal and glass construction though is likely to continue. The phone is also rumoured to cost lesser.
The phone will hit some international markets on March 11. Samsung is also expected to play catch-up with the iPhone 6S as rumors point to an iPhone-like pressure sensitive screen as well as a version of Apple’s Live Photos.
LG is up to something bizarre – the company has unveiled a case for a phone that has yet to be announced. It would be safe to bet the LG G5 will be at the show. The company has also confirmed an ‘Always-On’ display that will show time and notifications.
We’re expecting a plush all-metal finish and a battery that can be taken out from the bottom. Also known as the Magic Slot, it will be an eco-system of hardware add-ons and accessories that will allow users to plug-in cameras or a Virtual Reality (VR) headset.
The Chinese manufacturer has already impressed users with some solid smartphone offerings. The company confirmed its presence at MWC 2016 on February 24 with a sneak peak of the Mi 5. Word is the smartphone will feature a 5.2-inch quad-HD display, a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel selfie cam, powered by a 3,000mAh battery.
CEO Hugo Barra has been teasing with images samples of the Mi 5 on his Facebook account and Xiaomi forums. So count on improved camera ability.
The Mi 5 is also expected to get Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820 processor bundled with 4GB of RAM and 16GB/64GB storage options. Xiaomi is also expected to ditch the plastic design for an all-metal finish.
Huawei was a winner in 2015 with the Nexus 6P and Mate S. With no teasers this year, the February 21 event will be a complete surprise. A ‘brand new device’, possibly the P9 or a smartwatch, is what we’re betting on.
Renders of the upcoming P9 leaked a few days ago suggests the flagship will feature a dual-lens camera setup and a full metal design. The P9 is rumoured to feature a 5.2-inch Full HD display, along with its in-house Kirin 955 CPU and a staggering 4GB RAM. The images also suggest that the P9 will be available in white, black/gray, gold, and pink.
We’ll know more by lunchtime on Sunday.
Alacatel One Touch Idol 4S
The Alacatel One Touch Idol 4S could be one of the main highlights of this year’s World Mobile Congress. The company caught attention with its clever smartphone packaging – the phone will be shipped in a box that doubles as a VR headset.
It essentially works in the same way as any smartphone compatible virtual reality headset, with a slot to hold the phone and two lenses through which you see all the action happening. We’re excited to see this one.