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MWC 2015 preview: HTC, Samsung, Huawei, LG and more
Mobile World Congress 2015, the world’s biggest mobile expo, is set to begin next Monday in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.
MWC is always exciting for mobile technology fans, but this year the show shapes up to be particularly fun. Where in the past years, some major Android OEMs launched devices outside of trade shows, in 2015 we’re in for a treat – at MWC, Samsung and HTC will introduce their new flagships within hours of each other, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Here’s what you can expect from MWC 2015, in terms of new devices, potential announcements, and coverage from Android Authority.
After a two-year hiatus, HTC is back at MWC, in style. HTC’s press event is scheduled for Sunday, March 1, from 4PM CET (10AM ET, 7AM PT). The Taiwanese company only confirmed the arrival of the new M9, but there’s a good chance we’ll see a few other devices, with a fitness band and a larger version of the M9 also rumored for the event.
We already have a very good idea of what to expect from the One M9, though doubt is still lingering regarding the phone’s design. Specifically, rumors point to two possible designs, one that is extremely similar to the M8 and one that features hidden BoomSound speakers and no black bar at the bottom of the screen. Regardless of how the front of the M9 ends up looking, the phone will almost certainly feature a squarish camera module and the same metallic unibody we’ve known since the M7. For a rundown of the M9’s likely specs and features, check out our rumor roundup.
There’s also been talk about an Ultra (or Plus?) model coming along. The device would feature a larger, 5.5-inch screen, as well as a fingerprint sensor, making it a spiritual successor to the One Max.
HTC has partnered with athletic apparel company Under Armour and is likely to show off the first results of that collaboration on Sunday. We were hoping for an Android Wear smartwatch, but we may only get a fitness tracker. Will there be more?
Unless you’ve been living under the digital equivalent of a rock, you probably know that Samsung is about to unveil the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge at MWC 2015. The company has an event set for Sunday, March 1, from 6PM CET (12PM ET, 9AM PT).
We’ve been rounding up all the credible reports about Samsung’s new flagship here, but if you just want the summary, here it is – the Galaxy S6 will be the first in the series to feature a metal frame, though it’s not clear yet if the device will be all-metal or a combination that includes glass or plastic. Reportedly, Samsung also revamped the software, by emphasizing speed and ease of use over feature bloat. A 16MP Sony sensor camera, wireless charging, and a 14nm Exynos processor complete the image of a compelling offer.
Samsung needs to differentiate its products from cheaper competitors, so it’s going all in on the Edge concept. As teasers have already confirmed, the Galaxy S6 Edge will come with a screen sloping on both sides. It remains to be seen what software features Samsung has dreamed to take advantage of this unique form factor.
Samsung may also release its first round smartwatch, a Tizen-powered device codenamed Orbis. We know little about this wearable, other than that it will feature a rotating crown that doubles as a controller.
Huawei is the third big company to schedule an event for the Sunday before MWC’s official opening. The Chinese company always tries to make a big splash at shows like MWC or IFA, and this year will be no exception.
If you were looking forward to the Ascend P8, it’s likely you will be disappointed, as Huawei reportedly picked a later date for the release of the flagship. For MWC, we’ve heard of a trio of wearables, as well as some new tablets. Huawei will introduce at least one Android Wear smartwatch, that will reportedly be different from other AW devices through its fashionable looks. On the tablet side, we’ve heard of a successor to last year’s MediaPad X1.
Like it’s wont to do, LG already announced what it will show at MWC, and there isn’t a lot to get excited over. LG will give us hands-on time with a poshed up variant of the G Watch R dubbed Watch Urbane. The Urbane keeps the specs and the general shape of the G Watch R but with a more elegant finish that’s more likely to appeal to people who don’t like the R’s aggressive design.
LG also introduced a bunch of mid-range smartphones called Magna, Spirit, Joy, and Leon. Aside the unusual names, these phones don’t really stand out through much, though we will try to bring you a hands-on from the show.
There’s been no official word from Sony concerning a press event and that leads us to believe there will be no big announcement from the Japanese company at MWC. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s up in the air, as the 6-month upgrade cycle practiced by Sony may be one of the reasons for the Xperia Z line’s mediocre performance.
Nevertheless, we may still see some new devices from Sony at MWC – the Xperia Tablet Z is due for a refresh, and MWC will be a good time to take a look at the new budget Xperia E4.
It’s the first major show since Lenovo incorporated Motorola, but it looks very likely that MWC will be all about Lenovo’s own brand. We heard zero rumors about any Motorola device coming in Barcelona, but Lenovo more than makes up for it – we expect to see about half a dozen new Vibe phones, including a camera centric one and a device that features a stylus with S Pen-like capabilities.
We look forward to see what Lenovo has in store – the Chinese giant is growing steadily in the smartphone market and its devices are often a bit different from what we typically see in the West.
Android Authority at MWC 2015
There will be literally hundreds of other smaller players jostling for attention at MWC. From case makers, to app developers, to smaller phone makers and carriers, and everything in between, the halls of Fira Gran Via will be bustling with mobile activity. And we’ll be there to bring you all the stuff that matters.
Android Authority will be represented in Barcelona by a team of five, which is a record for us. That, we hope, means we will be able to offer you timely and high-quality content, both in written and video form. We will be live-blogging Samsung’s and HTC’s press events and we will publish hands-on coverage of all the good stuff as soon as we can. This year we’re trying to give more attention to the smaller players at the show, as well as offer you a closer look at the work happening behind the scenes. We’ll also have a special edition of our weekly podcast straight from Barcelona.
Keep it tuned to Android Authority for all things MWC 2015!