Update: MWC 2018 is where the Samsung Galaxy S9 will launch and we may see the Huawei P20 debut there, too. Here’s the latest info on big MWC launches.
MWC (or Mobile World Congress to give it its full name) is one of the biggest events on the mobile calendar, with 2017’s Barcelona show bringing us the LG G6, Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Huawei P10 among dozens of other devices.
With the next show starting on February 26 we’re only weeks away, and rumors about the phones we’ll likely see are pouring in. You’ll find all the latest news below, along with a wish list of what we want to see.
There’s not much MWC 2018 news yet, but Samsung has confirmed that it will launch the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus at the tradeshow on February 25, one day ahead of the official MWC start date.
The Galaxy S9 and its larger sibling are rumored to have a similar design and screen to the Galaxy S8 range, meaning a metal frame, a glass back and an almost bezel-free curved display, but with more power, an improved iris scanner and a potentially far upgraded camera, with two lenses in the case of the S9 Plus and a variable aperture in the case of the S9.
The Huawei P11 – or Huawei P20 as it might be called – will also probably land at MWC 2018, as a Huawei exec has said that the company will “probably launch devices at Mobile World Congress” in the future. The Huawei P11 is rumored to have a bezel-free screen, a system like Apple’s Face ID and a rear camera that could be as much as 40MP, among other things. With nothing yet announced for MWC 2018 we’re free to dream of all the things we might see, or at least hope to see. The following are among our most wanted.
1. Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung didn’t entirely skip MWC 2017, in fact it even held a press conference, but instead of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus (which arrived later) we got the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. t’s understandable that Samsung would want a separate event away from the madness of MWC to launch its biggest phone, but then the S8 is big enough that it would easily be the most popular launch of the show, so a separate announcement isn’t really needed.
All of that changes now that it’s 2018. Samsung is ready to take the big stage at MWC 2018 and unveil the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, according to the leaks and Samsung’s own Unpacked 2018 invite.
2. A folding phone
It’s felt like folding phones have been just over the horizon for years now, but there’s growing evidence that 2018 could be when we’ll finally see one, and MWC 2018 would be the ideal place for it to launch.
Hopefully when it does launch it will be more than just a gimmick, and won’t cost so much we need to sell our kidneys to buy it.
3. A smartwatch renaissance
MWC 2017 gave us the Huawei Watch 2 and Huawei Watch 2 Classic, but not much else in the way of wearables, despite the fact that Android Wear 2.0 launched shortly before the show.
We were hoping that the first major Android Wear update would be accompanied by a shower of new smartwatches, but it wasn’t to be.
More began to land over the course of 2017, but only from a few manufacturers, so hopefully MWC 2018 will be used as an opportunity for companies to get back into the Android Wear game in big numbers.
But we don’t just want new watches, they also need to do genuinely new things and improve on the existing models to make them more desirable.
Better battery life tops our list of wants from them, since a watch we need to charge every day is not the future we envisioned.
4. More from Nokia
The big success story from MWC 2017 wasn’t a flagship smartphone that costs hundreds – it was the reboot of the iconic Nokia 3310.
Launched to whip up interest in the Nokia brand again, the new 3310 was used to draw attention to the return of the famous name to the mobile market. It arrived alongside a trio of Android phones, but we’re hungry for more.
We’d love to see HMD Global (the firm that’s licencing the Nokia name) produce a Samsung and Apple-rivaling handset at MWC 2018. We’ve since had the Nokia 8 and that didn’t quite cut it, but perhaps the Nokia 9 will land at MWC?
5. A real iPad rival
There hasn’t been much of interest in the world of Android tablets lately, other than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, which itself was announced at MWC 2017.
At 2018’s show we’d like to see a larger number of slates, and for at least some of them to genuinely match up to the iPad Pro 2 duo.
MWC 2017 saw the launch of numerous bigger and better phones across the low, mid and high-end, but the improvements were usually the expected ones – sharper screens, faster chipsets and so on.
Innovation wasn’t absent, but it was in short supply, so while we certainly wouldn’t say no to all the usual improvements next year, we hope they’re accompanied by more truly new, different and interesting things.
7. Big phones from small companies
While smaller companies weren’t absent from MWC 2017, they generally failed to grab much attention, and that’s not just because they’re not household names, but also because – in many cases at least – their announcements were genuinely less interesting.
We’d like to see more lesser known brands grab headlines with exciting announcements at MWC 2018.
That might be tough for small companies, but there’s potential for huge – but little known in the west – companies like Xiaomi to do it.
8. The next generation of fitness trackers
As well as an absence of smartwatches there wasn’t much for fitness fans to see at MWC 2017 either, so we’d like to see an influx of sporty wearables at MWC 2018.
And as with smartwatches these need to be significant improvements on what’s gone before – perhaps somehow automatically tracking a wider range of workouts than most of the current selection, like weights and yoga.