MWC 2019: What To Expect
MWC 2019 is fast approaching and here at Clove, we can’t wait to see what this year’s event has in store for us. But what exactly is MWC 2019, why should you be so excited for it and what might you expect to see?
What Is MWC?
The Mobile World Congress is an annual event and is undoubtedly the biggest mobile trade show of the year.
It provides some of the biggest players in the technology field with the opportunity to launch their new devices, and ranges from smartphones to smartwatches and tablets to VR headsets. As such, we can be excited to see the grand unveiling of many of the year’s top devices as well as hearing the latest developments in the hottest trends in mobile.
Indeed, MWC also draws many of the industry’s top companies to talk about the future of their devices and long-term ambitions; including 5G and mobile hardware.
What To Expect
Now, we’ve been waiting a while to see what Samsung’s Galaxy S10 might bring us, and we’re sure you have too! Samsung has set a launch date of February 20th for their device – a few days before MWC 2019 kicks off.
But that doesn’t mean that we won’t see anything from Samsung on display!
We’re hoping to hear more details of Samsung’s much-discussed and eagerly awaited folding device that we’ve only managed to get sneak peeks of thus far. We may also discover more about the Galaxy Home smart speaker which was announced at Samsung’s Note 9 launch event in August. We haven’t heard too much about it since, however it was used in marketing images around CES 2019 so you never know.
Now, Huawei often like to use MWC to unveil a host of new products, however this event is rarely used for the launch of flagship products. The release of the latest in line of the lauded P-series is imminent, however Huawei tend to host separate events for flagship launches and so we aren’t hopeful to see the P30 during MWC.
Last year, Huawei may not have brought us any phone updates, however they did announce their Matebook X Pro and a tablet for the first time, so there could be some upgrades in that respect.
What we do know, is that Huawei’s MWC event will be held on Sunday 24th February and we can be pretty sure that it will be live streamed across their various online platforms.
At the end of Huawei’s pre-MWC briefing in Beijing, CEO Richard Yu confirmed that the Chinese giants would be announcing the world’s first foldable 5G device, stating, ‘we look forward to seeing you in Barcelona in February, where we will launch the world’s first 5G smartphone with a foldable screen’. Now that’s something worth getting excited about!
The device will use a Balong 5000 chipset rather than the much-discussed Qualcomm Snapdragon X50, which Yu added is the world’s most powerful 5G modem. This will allow peak download speeds of 4.6Gb/s and is supposedly (according to Huawei), ten times faster than 4G and double the speed of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50, adding ‘we’re still about 6 months ahead of the competition’.
Sony has already sent out invites for their MWC event, scheduled for February 25th; the first day of MWC. Now if you haven’t already seen it, the invitation seems to show a close up of the edge of a smartphone, showing its frame and display – although this is hard to be sure of. Sony’s launch will be live streamed on their official website at 7:30AM GMT or 8:30AM CET.
Sony tend to introduce one flagship device at MWC, followed by another 6 months later at IFA. Indeed, the Xperia XZ2 was announced at MWC 2018, with the XZ3 being unveiled at last year’s IFA. As such, most rumours point towards the announcement of the Xperia XZ4, and this seems to be the most likely scenario. We’d also like to see an Xperia XA and branded accessories, but that’s wishful thinking rather than knowledge!
Don Mesa, Sony’s vice president of marketing, has been keen to emphasise Sony’s reshuffle, stating, ‘we are going to be announcing products at MWC. What we present there will be a first step showing the direction we are going’, and so we’re really excited to see what they have in store for us.
When it comes to 5G capabilities, we’re not expecting too much, as Mesa added, ‘5G is a challenge. Some people may be holding off buying a new device because they’re waiting for it. But we don’t want to rush and put the cart before the horse – the experience has to be good.’
Curating rumours about LG’s expected announcements at MWC 2019 has proven difficult as many different handsets could be announced.
What’s for sure is that LG are also in line to announce a 5G-enabled handset. ‘The new product is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest AP’ Snapdragon 855’’, LG have announced in a blog post, ‘which improves the information processing capacity by more than 45%’.
This is rumoured to be a separate handset from their next mainstream device and, ‘can be enjoyed comfortably without slowing down even when running high-resolution games and large capacity apps at the same time’. The device will feature a 4000mAh battery and a vapor cooling chamber, which has been increased in size by 2.7 times over compared to that of the LG V40 ThinQ, keeping the device cool even during heavy lifting tasks.
Alongside this, LG have sent out a video invite which suggests that it will be announcing a handset that allows users to control their device solely with hand gestures, without the need to touch the screen.
LG have previously announced devices with gesture controls, unveiling televisions in 2013 that allowed consumers to use their fingers to control an on-screen cursor. Now, the video did not specify a model name so we don’t know if this could be the LG G8 or another device.
Rumours surrounding Nokia’s involvement have been far sparser and all we know is that Nokia will be hosting their showcase on Sunday February 24th.
Last year, Nokia used MWC as a platform to launch a number of new devices, including the flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco and the redesigned Nokia 8110, so we’re certainly hoping to see the unveiling of a number of new phones!
It’s currently all conjecture, however many are eager to see Nokia launch the rumoured Nokia 9 PureView that is said to be the world’s first smartphone with a five-camera setup on the rear. Nothing has yet been confirmed by Nokia and so we would take this with a pinch of salt.
When it comes to Nokia’s movements within the 5G world, we’re hoping to see some advancements at MWC 19. Indeed, the official Nokia MWC website states, ‘discover how our end-to-end approach to 5G and innovative technologies will transform business, industry and the human experience.’ Watch this space!
As you may be aware, Xiaomi have really pushed their presence in Europe over the last few years and are now officially producing UK handsets, many of which are available from Clove. As such, this is only Xiaomi’s second appearance at MWC, but early rumours look very exciting.
Xiaomi have now begun to send out invites for their big launch, which looks to be scheduled for February 24th; a day before the official first day.
Now, most rumours point towards a 5G variant of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 that was launched in China at the end of 2018 and is now also available from Clove, although it’s important to remember that nothing has been confirmed.
Indeed, at the launch of the device, Xiaomi confirmed that a 5G variant of the Mi Mix 3 was due in the first quarter of 2019 which would put dates close by. At the China Mobile Partner Conference in Beijing, Xiaomi revealed that 5G will be supported by Qualcomm’s X50 modem which can double the internet bandwidth of up to 2Gbps on mobile devices.
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 is a really innovative device, coming crafted with a magnetic slider that houses the dual front-facing cameras. This allows for a massive 93.4% screen-to-body ratio that is absolutely striking.
If you were keeping up with CES 2019, then you’ll have seen what a big presence 5G had at the event.
Qualcomm’s X50 modem is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and Qualcomm’s president, Christiano Amon, confirmed that, ‘every Android vendor is working on 5G right now’ and that, ‘by the holidays next year, every flagship handset – at least when it comes to those running Google’s Android software and using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor – will tap into 5G.’ As such, it may well be MWC 2019 where we see some of these first 5G-enabled devices.
Indeed, 5G connectivity is one of the key themes of MWC 2019, with MWC’s main website stating that, ‘5G will create speed and flexibility to allow for far greater services and performance with higher reliability. Connectivity highlights the requirements needed to make 5G a reality, from implementation, business models, spectrum and regulation, to the challenges of working with diverse markets.’
As stated, LG are looking to unveil their 5G device and there are many reports that Xiaomi might make a 5G announcement after being teased at their own event last October. But at the very least, we might expect to hear what advances are being made.