MWC 2017 will be the biggest trade show of the year as far as Android announcements go, even if the hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 will not be unveiled. As always, the highly experienced team from Android Authority will be on the ground, covering all the essential MWC 2017 announcements. We’ve broken down our roundup of what to expect next month by manufacturer, so you can hit the brands you like and skip the ones you don’t. We’ll be updating this post as new information comes to light.
What is MWC and when is it?
MWC stands for Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile electronics trade show, which is held in Barcelona each year. MWC 2017 kicks off on Monday, February 27 and runs through to Thursday, March 2. However, most of the major mobile announcements happen on the two weekend press days prior to the official opening of the show, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest MWC 2017 news starting February 25.
LG at MWC 2017
LG has already confirmed the LG G6 will be announced at a press event on February 26.
In the absence of the Galaxy S8, all eyes will be on LG and the successor to last year’s modular flop, the LG G5. Based on poor sales and corresponding LG Mobile financial woes, the company has gone back to the drawing board with the LG G6 and decided to ditch the modular design concept (a wise move).
We already know a few things about the G6, most of which have been confirmed by LG itself. The LG G6 features a 5.7-inch QHD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 564 ppi pixel density, heat pipes for dissipating CPU heat, enhanced AI and quality tests that are “higher than international standards”. We might also know what the device looks like, thanks to some leaked photos.
It’s looking very likely that the LG G6 won’t be powered by the Snapdragon 835 though, using the tried-and-true Snapdragon 821 instead, due in large part to Samsung snapping up all the early supplies of the Snapdragon 835 for the Galaxy S8. For more info on the LG G6, hit the links below.
Samsung at MWC 2017
Samsung will hold its MWC press conference at 7 PM CET on February 26. Based on device outline seen on its invitation, Samsung is likely to unveil a new tablet at the event, currently suspected to be a sequel to the Galaxy Tab S2.
The Galaxy Tab S3 is rumored to arrive with a 9.6-inch display at 2048 x 1536 resolution, powered by a Snapdragon 820 chipset with 4 GB of RAM. There’s also said to be a 12 MP camera on the back of the device, with a 5 MP front camera, and it’s expected to run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
We don’t know much about Samsung’s smartphone plans, but we do know that the Galaxy S8 will not be unveiled at MWC 2017. Due in part to the extensive investigation into the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 battery fires, Samsung is taking its time to reveal the Galaxy S8 (Samsung typically holds a standalone event for its S series launch in any case). So that means no MWC 2017 reveal, even if the device will be on deck for back-room partner viewings and hush hush carrier meetings.
Speaking of which, it’s said that Samsung may reveal a pair of folding smartphone prototypes at the event, but likely only for industry partners. Speculation suggests both outward-facing and inward-facing products would be shown off, one of which would go into final production for release in late 2017 or early 2018.
The Galaxy S8, meanwhile, may launch on March 29, with an April 18 release date as multiple previous rumors claimed, or on April 21 as the most recent rumor claims. As always, that’s all up in the air until we start seeing invites to press events.
- Samsung Galaxy S8: all the rumors in one place
- Samsung reveals the cause of the Note 7 fires and how it will avoid them in future
Huawei/Honor at MWC 2017
It’s likely that device will be the Huawei P10, even if P series launches have recently been held at standalone events in April (there’s little chance Huawei could have a whole new flagship line without everyone already knowing about it). A second P10 variant, more than the likely the P10 Plus, has also been rumored.
The Huawei Watch 2 with LTE connectivity seems a shoo-in at this point and the Huawei MediaTab T3 tablet has also been leaked. Announcements surrounding the Huawei VR headset or new markets for the Huawei Mate 9 Pro could also be in order.
Meanwhile, a mid-ranger from Huawei recently passed through China’s TENAA, which could make an appearance, and the Honor 8 Lite from Huawei’s sub-brand also looks like it could be on the cards.
The Honor Magic was at CES recently and it’s a very nice looking phone, one we sincerely hope gets a global announcement too.
TCL/BlackBerry at MWC 2017
The BlackBerry Mercury will officially be unveiled at MWC 2017 on February 25.
Based on our early experience though, BlackBerry is shaping up to have one of the more interesting Android phone announcements at MWC (now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type), even if TCL Communications is more responsible for it than BlackBerry.
HMD/Nokia at MWC 2017
HMD Global, the new “owner” of the BlackBerry brand, will announce new information during a keynote speech delivered by the company’s CEO Rajeev Suri.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see new devices and possibly even a global launch for the already-announced Nokia 6. Considering the Nokia 6 has been selling like hotcakes, we’re certainly hoping HMD is feeling emboldened by its early success and has some big news in store for Nokia fans.
Sony at MWC 2017
Sony could be revealing anywhere between one and three phones in Barcelona. The Xperia XA (2017) has already been leaked and can be seen in motion in a leaked video, while two Sony phones with the model numbers G3112 and G3121 have been doing the rounds on benchmark sites lately.
Last year Sony announced the Xperia X, Xperia XA and Xperia X Performance at MWC 2016, so we could potentially also see a new X Performance successor.
One of Sony’s devices may also feature MediaTek’s recently announced Helio P25 chip — it’s expected Q1, 2017 and the Xperia XA made use of the Helio P10 processor.
HTC at MWC 2017
HTC hasn’t announced any plans to be at MWC 2017 yet.
The company did just skirt convention – as it usually does – by announcing new devices just outside the typical CES-MWC window. The HTC U Ultra and U Play were announced on January 12, just after CES wrapped up and last year the HTC 10 was announced just after CES.
Evan Blass leaked an HTC teaser video recently showing a number of new devices, including an HTC Vive-branded handset. There’s no telling if or when any of those devices will be announced though, so we’ll wait for further confirmation from HTC.
Some mid-range devices in the Desire line might be announced at MWC, but HTC has already stated it will cut its smartphone launches in half in 2017. The existence of the endlessly-rumored HTC smartwatch has also been officially denied by HTC’s president of smartphones and connected devices, Chialin Chang.
Chang also recently confirmed that HTC will have a new flagship when the Snapdragon 835 arrives – but not for MWC.
Lenovo/Motorola at MWC 2017
Lenovo and Motorola can announce new products at each other press conferences, so we could be seeing new devices from Lenovo as well as the rumored Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus in Barcelona. Lenovo may also introduce some new Moto Mods, including the Tango 3D camera mod talked about last year. Besides that, though, we don’t have any credible information to go on, so we’ll await more definitive details as we draw nearer the event.
It’s no secret that Lenovo has had a tough time reviving the Moto brand, but sales of the Moto G series have historically been Motorola’s saving grace.
Xiaomi at MWC 2017
Last year, Xiaomi attended its first MWC and held a press conference to launch the Xiaomi Mi 5. The recently-leaked Xiaomi Mi 6 therefore could have been scheduled for this year, but Xiaomi has since confirmed it will not be in Barcelona.
Xiaomi’s plans for global expansion have been rumored for ages but with Hugo Barra announcing his imminent departure from Xiaomi in favor of heading up Facebook’s VR efforts, Xiaomi is in need of a new global frontman.
Google at MWC 2017
Google will have a presence at MWC 2017, but we can’t confirm any announcements yet.
That said, the company has promised to officially release Android Wear 2.0 in the first quarter of the year, and the two Google watches LG is supposedly building would be a perfect fit for an MWC announcement. However, Evan Blass has claimed Android Wear 2.0 will be released on February 9 alongside the new Google smartwatches.
Google reportedly has plans to push its Android One program in the U.S. in 2017, so we might well see some more information on that during the show. Of course, with Google I/O 2017 being scheduled for May 17-19, Google might want to hold any major announcements back for its developer conference.
Alcatel at MWC 2017
Alcatel will hold its press conference at 9:30 AM on February 27 and has issued invites to the event featuring the slogan “Light Up.”
Alcatel is predicted to launch as many as five smartphones at MWC 2017, one of which could be its next flagship, the Idol 5. What’s more, rumors suggest Alcatel may introduce the Idol 5 with modular functionality like found on Moto Z, alongside an LED panel module which would move in time with music — hence the Light Up invite tagline.
Alcatel announced the A3 XL during CES recently, but MWC has traditionally been the time to let the Idol series shine.
ZTE/OPPO/LeEco at MWC 2017
None of these companies have yet sent out invites to MWC events.
ZTE announced the Blade V8 Pro during CES and has admitted…problems…with its crowd-funded Hawkeye phone. But some rumors put ZTE at the helm of a groundbreaking mobile announcement at MWC, so we’ll just have to wait and see. The ZTE Android Wear watch is also planned for an MWC reveal.
OPPO has been pretty quiet of late, with no confirmed MWC plans. The company has, however, been regularly announcing new devices primarily for the Chinese and Indian markets. LeEco just dropped some smart bicycles at CES, so if we’re lucky we’ll see something that’ll fit in your pocket in Barcelona, perhaps the LeEco X10 which has recently been spotted on benchmark sites.
That’s everything we know about so far at MWC 2017. What are you hoping to see at the show? Let us know in the comments.