“Samsung Galaxy S9, Nokia 9, ASUS ZenFone 5 and more – here are all the new smartphones expected at the largest mobile show in the world”
Mobile World Congress, or MWC as it’s commonly known, is the annual phone show that happens in Barcelona each year. We’ve seen big brands like Samsung, LG and Sony take to the stage year after year to unveil their flagship smartphones, and the event has become a global platform for flagship phone announcements. The 2018 edition of MWC is almost here, scheduled to take place from February 26th to March 1st.
With just a few days remaining before the curtains are raised, excitement and anticipation are reaching all-time highs. So let’s go over the list of key smartphones and tablets that are expected to be unveiled at MWC 2018.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
The Galaxy S9 duo from Samsung is probably at the top of the list for every tech enthusiast this year. The delay due to the faulty batteries in the Note7 meant that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ missed their MWC launch schedule last year. But it looks like everything is back on track for the South Korean giant now, as it has confirmed the launch of its next flagships at a pre-MWC event. The S9 will carry forward the same design as their predecessors (yes, the Bixby button will still be there), albeit with minor tweaks here and there. The shift in the position of the fingerprint scanner to below the camera will be a welcome change. Other specifications include QHD+ Super AMOLED displays, Exynos 9810 SoCs (or Snapdragon 845 in the US), IP68 certification for water-resistance, 64GB of storage, 8MP autofocus front cameras and Android 8.0 Oreo. While the S9 will feature 4GB of RAM and a single 12MP primary camera with variable aperture, the S9+ will offer 6GB of RAM and 12MP dual cameras.
Apart from the S9 and S9+, the company might also announce a brand new tablet in the form of the Galaxy Tab S4, which reportedly ships with a 10.5-inch 2K display and is powered by last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.
Related read: What to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Nokia 9, Nokia 1 and Nokia 7 Plus
The Nokia 8 (review) was a good flagship… but not great. But with the upcoming Nokia 9, HMD Global might just have a winner on its hands. The 9 will supposedly be launched with a 5.5-inch or 5.7-inch 18:9 display and minimal bezels. Then there’s the talk about top-of-the-line hardware including a Snapdragon 845, 4 or 6 gigs of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage. Add to that a pure vanilla version of Android Oreo, and the smartphone is already looking like a performer. Now we just have to wait and watch how much of this turns true at MWC this year.
What’s more, there are rumours that the company might also announce the global launch of its new Nokia 6 (2018) that was launched in China recently. The brand is also expected to launch the Nokia 1 – its most affordable smartphone running Android Go (Oreo) edition. The handset will reportedly feature entry-level specs and will come with a gig of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and an HD display of unknown size. Lastly, the brand is also expected to unveil its first Android One smartphone at MWC in the form of the Nokia 7 Plus. The handset will reportedly feature a 6-inch 18:9 full HD+ display, and will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor.
Related read: What to expect from the Nokia 9
Huawei MediaPad M5 lineup, Matebook and new smartwatch
Unlike most smartphone manufacturers, Chinese tech-giant Huawei will not be showcasing any smartphones at its MWC booth this year. Instead, the company is allegedly planning on launching a range of MediaPad tablets in the form of the M5 8, the M5 10 as well as the M5 10 Pro. As their names suggest, the M5 10 Pro will be the company’s high-end tablet model and will reportedly feature a unibody metal design. The tablet will allegedly sport a 10-inch 2K display and will be fuelled by the company’s homebred Kirin 960 SoC. The MediaPad M5 10, on the other hand, boasts the same specifications, however, unlike the M10 Pro, will reportedly not ship with support for a stylus. The aforementioned tablets are expected to launch in 4G + WiFi or 4G-only variants.
As far as the specs of the MediaPad M5 8 are concerned, the tablet will allegedly be powered by the same processor as its pricier siblings, but will ship with a smaller 8.4-inch 2K display. The tablet is expected to come in two different models of WiFi only or 4G + WiFi. Alongside the MediaPad tablets, the company is also rumoured to unveil a newer model of its MateBook series laptop as well as a brand new smartwatch.
Sony Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact and XZ Pro
Japanese smartphone manufacturer Sony is looking to upgrade its roster of smartphones at MWC too, and if the rumours are to be believed, then we might see the first bezel-less devices to come out of the company’s stables. The brand is planning to ditch its OmniBalance design language in favour of a new build with sleeker bezels on all sides and the Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact will be the first smartphones to feature this updated design. While the XZ2 is rumoured to come with a 5.7-inch FHD+ panel, the XZ2 Compact will boast a smaller 5-inch FHD+ display. Both the smartphones will supposedly be backed by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 SoC and will ship with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. For optics, Sony’s flagship duo will reportedly feature the same 19MP f/1.8 sensor which made its debut on the XZ Premium (first impressions).
The company is also expected to take the wraps off the Xperia XZ2 Pro on the show floor which will supposedly ship with a bigger 5.7-inch 4K display and 6GB of RAM. The handset is also expected to come with 128GB of storage out-of-the-box. All the aforementioned smartphones will run Android Oreo from the get-go.
ASUS is another brand which is speculated to update its smartphone lineup at MWC this year with new ZenFone 5 models. While not much is known about the models, a recent leak gave away quite a few details about an entry-level member of the new series. The report suggests the device would pack an 18:9 display, and come powered by Snapdragon 430 SoC and 3GB of RAM. We can also expect a Snapdragon 845-powered flagship smartphone to be announced.
LG V30 (2018) and new K-series smartphones
Korean tech giant LG has confirmed that it will launch an AI-powered version of last year’s V-series flagship in the form of the V30 (2018). The handset comes equipped with the company’s proprietary Vision and Voice AI which should help it to deliver better camera performance as well as assist users with convenient voice commands. The company has also announced two new smartphones in its K-series – namely the K8 and the K10 – which will be showcased at its booth. The latter will come in three different models dubbed the K10, the K10+, and the K10α.
All three models of the K10 series feature the same core specifications, albeit ship with different RAM, storage and camera configurations. The LG K8 on the other hand is backed by a quad-core processor of unknown make and sports a 5-inch HD display.
And everything else…
While Xiaomi has confirmed its presence at MWC, the brand is not expected to make any major announcements at the show. HTC and Motorola, which will have booths at MWC are also not expected to be making any announcements. We are expecting new launches from Alcatel, Nubia, ZTE and Coolpad though, and we’ll have those details for you next week. 91mobiles will be on the floor at MWC, so stay tuned for all the coverage from the show floor.