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What to expect at MWC 2016?

Author: Hadlee Simons Updated: 11:32 17-02-2016

The world's biggest mobile event, Mobile World Congress, kicks off on February 22 and we'll be in attendance, courtesy of Huawei.

With the notable exception of Apple, the event attracts a variety of manufacturers, with the likes of Samsung, HTC and Huawei traditionally announcing new devices here.

But what should we expect from these big players then?


LG to reveal G5

The South Korean firm will be hitting Barcelona running as it hosts the reveal event for its G5 at 2pm (3pm SAST) on the day before MWC proper.

Rumours have been running rampant, ranging from dual-camera setups and metal designs to a hardware expansion slot and a small secondary display.

These reports have been bolstered by LG revealing two mid-range phones this week, with one having a dual-camera setup and the other having a second display. If I had to bet on it, I'd say that both features are coming to the more expensive phone.

Could we expect new smartwatches too? Perhaps, but the G5 will definitely be taking centre-stage.


Samsung to reveal S7

Another South Korean company will be in the spotlight at MWC, with Samsung going head to head against LG on the same day (albeit at 7pm/8pm SAST).

Serial leaker Evan Blass reported that the S7/S7 Edge will pack a 12MP main camera with an F1.7 aperture (for better low light snaps), a water- and dust-proof design and the return of a microSD slot.

We're also expecting some other Samsung hardware at the event, as the firm seeks to take advantage of the S7 hype train.


Huawei to take covers off P9?

The Chinese company is also taking to the stage on the day before MWC actually begins, with a 2pm/3pm SAST start time set.

The P8 skipped MWC last year, but Huawei has revealed the P7 at Barcelona before. So we can reasonably expect a new flagship and/or mid-range phones here.

For what it's worth, the company is tipped by some to have four variants of the P9, with a dual-camera model being whispered about too.

If there is one certainty though, it's that the P9 will be packing the same powerhouse Kirin 950 chip found in the Mate 8.

Will Sony reveal anything noteworthy?

The Japanese company generally sticks to a late Q3 or Q4 event to show off new flagship models – but expect Sony to deliver a cheap phone here.

We've already seen leaks regarding the mid-range C6, but Sony has also used the event to reveal a new tablet. So expect a Z5 or Z6 Tablet then.

Otherwise, it seems like Sony's affinity for six-month flagship cycles has well and truly died, so don't expect a new high-end phone here.

Expect Sony news on Monday February 21 at 8.30am (9.30am SAST).




Chinese firm Xiaomi has expanded its global footprint in the past two years, with its Mi 4 flagship hitting India, Singapore and South Africa.

Xiaomi said that February 24 will see the Mi 5 shown off at MWC, so what should we expect from this phone?

We already know that the mobile firm is using a Snapdragon 820 in its upcoming phone (the firm is even listing an 8.20am/9.20am SAST start time), but leaks also point to a front-mounted fingerprint scanner.

As for the camera experience, tipsters are pointing to a 16MP/13MP pairing. Xiaomi president Bin Lin has posted a few sample shots on Weibo for your pleasure.



Fast-growing Chinese brand is also using the opportunity to announce its Gionee S8 smartphone.

The listing for its press conference reveals a phone with "hassle-free photo-shooting features and a pressure-sensitive display". So expect some 3D Touch-style features then.

Reports peg the phone as having a 16MP main camera, an 8MP selfie camera and 4GBs of RAM.

Gionee will reveal the S8 at 2.30pm (3.30pm SAST) on Monday February 22.



The US company has never attended Mobile World Congress in recent years, so I'll eat my earphones if they announce something at the event.

Instead, expect Apple to hold an event next month, where rumours claim an "iPhone 5se" will be revealed.



Evan Blass has shed light on HTC's M10 as well, detailing a 12MP camera (of the Ultrapixel variety) with OIS and laser autofocus, as well as a Snapdragon 820 chip.

Nevertheless, most reports agree that HTC won't be announcing its new flagship in Barcelona, choosing a later date instead.

Published: 08:15 16-02-2016

Posted by on February 16, 2016.

Categories: Features, Technology

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Updated: 22:37 21-May-2018