The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona lost much of its lustre last year when Huawei and LG – two of the big three international brands that have traditionally used the mega trade show as a platform for mobile phone launches – decided not to announce their new flagships there.
That left the Samsung Galaxy S9 as the lone major product launch at the show.
This year, the event is bouncing back with its most jam-packed line-up yet. Not only are Huawei and LG back in the mix with new releases, but Chinese brands including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus – none of whom had been a major presence at MWC before – will also join the fray with new product announcements.T
Perhaps to avoid the crowd, Samsung has opted to hold the launch event for its new flagship in San Francisco five days before the Barcelona trade show. But considering the proximity of the two dates, and that the Korean phone maker will also exhibit at MWC, you could consider the launch news as part of the MWC announcements.
While the Barcelona event will no doubt hold a number of surprises, here is what we can expect to see.
Samsung has confirmed it will show off its new Galaxy S10 flagship phone, which will feature the same hole-punch display (basically a selfie camera embedded inside a hole drilled into the screen) seen in the Honor View 20 already.
But Samsung’s take should be superior as the S10 will have an OLED screen instead of the LCD one used by Honor. The new design will give the S10 a nearly full-screen face, while it will very likely use a triple-camera system and run on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 processor.
More excitingly, however, is the foldable phone that the company already teased late last year. Likely to be named the Galaxy X or Galaxy F, this will be a true foldable phone in the sense that it will be one large OLED panel that can be folded in half for a smaller form factor when not in use.Previous attempts at foldable devices, such as the ZTE Axon M, relied on two panels connected by a hinge.
Huawei overtook Apple as the world’s number two phone brand by units sold last year, and it has very publicly stated that its goal is to overtake Samsung next. So it is not surprising that Huawei has all but confirmed that it, too, will unveil a foldable phone at MWC.
Little is known about Huawei’s implementation, but according to a source the phone will also be capable of handling 5G cellular reception. This shouldn’t be surprising, as Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications company and a leader in the development of 5G tech.
It is worth considering, however, whether a 5G phone has any practical use this early in the year. We’ll explain more at the end of this article.
Fans are also expecting Huawei to unveil its follow-up to the company’s spring flagship P series at MWC, but reliable sources tell us that is not happening. Instead, Huawei is saving the P30 for a later launch event in Europe. The P30 is expected to use a waterdrop notch design with four rear cameras in the top tier “Pro” model. More