MWC 2019: Here’s what we expect to see
What is MWC? Mobile World Congress is one of the biggest and most exciting events in the mobile industry every year. It’s where a lot of big players like Samsung, LG, Sony, and Huawei usually show off their latest and greatest phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other tech products.
When is MWC? MWC formally kicks off Monday, Feb. 25, and ends on Thursday, Feb. 28. However, a lot of products will be announced at press events a day or two before the show officially starts.
Where is MWC? As with every year, MWC will take place in Barcelona, Spain, at two venues — Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc.
Most companies are keeping details under wraps, for now, so we’re not entirely sure which products they’ll announce at MWC 2019. However, we can make some educated guesses based on the latest rumors and the products that made their debut at last year’s show. Here’s a roundup of what we expect to see at MWC 2019 from companies like Samsung, Huawei, Nokia, and many others.
Samsung at MWC 2019
Unlike last year, Samsung won’t reveal its latest Galaxy S phones at MWC. The devices will debut on Feb. 20 in San Francisco, five days before MWC, but the company could show off its long-awaited foldable phone at the event — rumored to be called the Galaxy F.
There’s also a chance Samsung could announce the Galaxy Sports smartwatch at the show, the successor to the Samsung Gear Sport. Unofficial renders of the watch have leaked a few weeks ago, revealing that it may come with Bixby on board, run Tizen 4.0, and sport 4GB of storage. The watch might come in black, silver, and rose gold.
In addition to the foldable phone and Galaxy Sports smartwatch, Samsung might also introduce new wireless earbuds and a new fitness tracker. Some specs of the rumored Galaxy Buds include Bluetooth 5.0, a 58mAh battery in each earbud, 8GB of internal memory, and a 252mAh battery in the case. There aren’t as many rumored details for the Galaxy Fit and Fit E.
Samsung could also use MWC to introduce a few 2019 Galaxy A smartphones. They weren’t revealed in December or early January like last year and the year before, so we could see them in Barcelona.
Some — or all — of these devices could also debut alongside the Galaxy S10 series in San Francisco. However, we think Samsung is saving something for MWC, as it usually announces a device or two at the show in Barcelona.
Huawei at MWC 2019
According to the latest rumors, the company could take the wraps off the P30 series in Barcelona. The latest leak suggests one of the phones will come with a triple-camera setup on the back, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a headphone jack, which was missing on the P20 series. However, it’s possible the company will announce its new flagship phones at a separate event sometime after MWC, just like last year with the P20.
Huawei’s Richard Yu announced on Jan. 24 that the company would unveil a 5G foldable phone at the trade show. Details about the device are scarce at the moment, but we have heard it may sport an 8-inch display and pack the latest Kirin 980 chipset under the hood.
Huawei even teased the foldable phone in an event invite sent out to the press. The invite reads, “Connecting the future.” That tells us the foldable phone will likely feature 5G connectivity.
The company also said it plans to launch 5G smartphones powered by its new Balong 5000 5G modem and could also reveal a new tablet at MWC 2019. It announced the MediaPad M5 at MWC 2018, so we could see its successor at this year’s show.
We’ll learn much more during Huawei’s MWC 2019 press conference, which is set for February 24 at 8:00 AM EST.
LG at MWC 2019
According to various reports, LG will announce the G8 ThinQ at MWC 2019. Alleged renders of the device recently leaked showing it may look very similar to its predecessor. However, LG said the renders are “not real,” so we have no idea of how the phone will look. As far as specs go, we hope to see a triple-camera setup like on the V40 ThinQ, a headphone jack, and the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset, among other things.
Rumors have it LG will announce a phone with an optional second display at MWC 2019.
LG is also rumored to announce a phone with an optional second screen. There’s no word on whether LG will market this as a variant of the G8 or as a completely new series. It’s said the additional screen will arrive as part of a case for the phone, and will presumably make use of the USB-C port or perhaps a proprietary connector.
Like Samsung, Huawei, and many other manufacturers, LG is also working on a foldable phone. Details about it are scarce at the moment, so we don’t believe it will be officially announced at MWC 2019. However, LG could show off an early prototype or perhaps just share some info about the upcoming device.
Only a few days ago, LG officially revealed a set of new budget Android smartphones. The LG K40, LG K50, and LG Q60 won’t be threatening flagships any time soon, but they all boast the company’s FullVision screens (5.7-inches for the K40, and 6.26-inches with a waterdrop notch for the rest).
Finally, LG is also reportedly working on a 5G-enabled V-series smartphone. This would be the first time new entries in LG’s V and G series launch simultaneously. Confirmed specs include a 6-inch display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset, a 4,000mAh battery, and a vapor chamber cooling system.
It could be the same phone that Evan Blass recently gave us a peek at. The phone looks very conventional and looks to be Sprint and LG’s first 5G smartphone. At least it looks to support
LG’s MWC 2019 press conference is set for February 24 at 1:30 PM EST.
Sony at MWC 2019
Unlike most other phone makers, Sony updates its flagship every six months or so. The company announced the Xperia XZ2 at MWC 2018 in February and the Xperia XZ3 and IFA in August. At MWC 2019, Sony is expected to take the wraps off the Xperia XZ4, which is rumored to come with the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset, a triple-camera setup, and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
There’s also a chance we’ll see the Xperia XZ4 Compact make its debut at the show. We came across leaked renders of the device in December, suggesting the phone will launch soon. However, a Sony executive recently hinted the company might be killing off the Compact series, meaning the XZ4 Compact won’t be released at all.
Nothing has been confirmed yet, so things can still go either way. If Sony decides to keep the Compact series alive, the Xperia XZ4 Compact will most likely make its debut at MWC 2019.
Interestingly, we’ve seemed more rumors about the Xperia XA3 phones, which might fall under a new Xperia 10 moniker. According to rumors and renders, the phones will have very tall displays and mid-range specs. They’ll also come in at least two models: the regular Xperia 10 and an Xperia 10 Plus.
We’ll learn much more about Sony’s upcoming plans during its MWC 2019 press conference, which is set for February 25 at 2:30 AM EST.
OnePlus at MWC 2019
OnePlus has confirmed it’s working on a 5G phone and that it will launch “before the end of May,” though we’re not expecting an MWC launch. It will initially be available in the U.K., exclusively via the wireless carrier EE.
The OnePlus 5G phone could retail for as much as $850.
The handset will likely look like the OnePlus 6T, sport the Snapdragon 855 chipset, and cost around $200 to $300 more. This means it could retail for as much as $850, making it the most expensive device OnePlus has ever produced. However, company co-founder Pete Lau said the device will actually be priced without profit in mind. So the reason for the price hike will be the high cost of 5G components.
Lau also said the 5G phone probably won’t sell in large numbers, as the technology is still in its early phase. However, he thinks that may change in 2020.
OnePlus confirmed that it’ll show off its 5G smartphone prototype at MWC 2019. That said, the company’s statement made it sound like it’s more interested in showing off 5G capabilities than it is about showing off the device itself.
Curiously, OnePlus revealed a new micro-site prior to MWC which allows people from around the world to send a message to MWC attendees. It’s not quite clear yet what OnePlus is doing with the messages, but the micro-site suggests it will have something to do with 5G.
Oppo at MWC 2019
Oppo promised to demo its 10x hybrid optical zoom technology at MWC 2019. The company’s press event is scheduled for 8:00 AM EST on February 23, which is two days before the show kicks off. The new camera tech uses a triple-camera setup and is quite an improvement over the 5x hybrid optical zoom Oppo announced at MWC 2017.
The company might also show off its new in-display fingerprint scanner, which already debuted in China last week. The sensor is said to be 15 times larger than the current solutions available and can read two fingerprints at the same time for improved security.
Additionally, we might see a foldable phone from Oppo at the show. A company executive has confirmed Oppo is working on such a device and hinted it may be announced in Barcelona, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
HMD/Nokia at MWC 2019
Rumors suggest we’ll see the highly anticipated Nokia 9 PureView at MWC 2019. What makes the phone so interesting is it could come with five rear cameras. It’s also expected to sport an in-display fingerprint scanner, the Snapdragon 845 chipset, and a 6-inch display. The Nokia 9 PureView will likely be part of the Android One family, which means it will offer a clean, bloat-free software experience.]
We could see the Nokia 9 PureView and Nokia 6.2 at MWC 2019.
There’s also a chance we’ll see the Nokia 6.2 at the show in Barcelona. We’ve come across several rumors about the device, which suggest it will be a mid-range phone featuring a 6.2-inch punch-hole display, the Snapdragon 632 chipset, and up to 6GB of RAM.
Nokia could announce a few more mid-range and entry-level devices at the show, but there’s no word on which ones. We’ll find out soon enough, as its MWC 2019 press conference is set for February 24 at 10:30 AM EST.
Xiaomi at MWC 2019
Xiaomi’s MWC event will take place on Feb. 24, and the company is rumored to announce a 5G variant of its Mi Mix 3 slider phone. The handset is said to pack Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 modem under the hood, which is capable of download speeds up to 2Gbps.
The company could use the event to reveal a few more devices, although there’s no word on which ones. We likely won’t see the Mi 9, as we haven’t heard a lot of rumors about it so far. Besides, its predecessor was launched in May last year, three months after MWC 2018.
More likely, Xiaomi will share more info about the new in-display fingerprint scanner it showed off via a video last week — check it out below. Its active authentication area is 25mm x 50.2mm, quite a bit larger than current in-display fingerprint scanners on the market.
The company could also have its foldable phone prototype at the trade show. It’s just a prototype for now, so there’s no telling if it’s ready to display at a trade show as big as MWC.
That said, Xiaomi recently patented a smartphone design with curves on all sides. The company could apply the design for its foldable smartphone or for something else entirely.
We’ll learn much more about Xiaomi’s plans during its MWC 2019 press conference, which is set for February 24 at 4:30 AM EST.
Many other companies will be at MWC 2019, including HTC, Vivo, and Asus. We don’t know which products — if any — they’ll announce at the show. We’ll make sure to update this post as soon as new rumors hit to keep you up to speed with all the latest.