2018 MWC Preview
January 22, 2018
MWC 2018 is close and its time to take a look at what the key mobile players have in store for this year’s show:
TCL has confirmed that it will launch at least two new BlackBerry phones in 2018, but we don’t know what it’s working on or when it’s planning to take the wraps off them, though speculation has it that there could be a follow-up to last year’s surprisingly decent BlackBerry KEYOne. As the firm didn’t have anything to showcase at the CES 2018, there’s every chance it could be preparing to announce something special at MWC 2018.
Figure 1: Blackberry KeyOne
Google is expected to use MWC 2018 as a platform to expand the reach of the Google Assistant. Rumors suggest a refreshed version of the Assistant because Google typically throws lavish events at independent venues when it’s announcing new hardware, so it’s more reasonable to assume that it’s going to demonstrate the power of Google. No hints that we might see a Pixel 3.
Figure 2: Google Home Automation
Bruce Lee, Huawei’s VP of Smartphones, revealed last year that Huawei would “probably” launch all future flagships at Mobile World Congress – so it’s safe to assume that it will have at least one smartphone to highlight at this year’s show.
Recent leaks indicate that will be the P11, a photography-orientated smartphone with a 40MP triple-lens camera, complete with a five-times hybrid zoom and a 24MP selfie shooter. In addition, the manufacturer is expected to uncover the successor to the Huawei Watch 2 at MWC 2018.
Figure 3: Huawei P11
We’d thought that LG would unveil its next flagship, the LG G7, at this year’s Mobile World Congress, but recent reports have poured cold water on the rumors. Apparently, LG is rebuilding the G7 from scratch and the handset might not see light of day until April, making a standalone launch more likely. However LG will have some kind of presence in Barcelona – and most likely a press conference – and potentially launch a new smartwatch.
Figure 4: LG G6
It’s looking like Lenovo-owned Motorola will launch a new Moto E, Moto G and Moto X at MWC 2018 – though nothing’s set in stone. We could also see an updated version of the Mirage Solo, the company’s standalone Daydream VR headset. Recently leaked information points towards the unveiling of the Moto G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play, each of which should offer some solid specs at an affordable price.
Figure 5: Motorola MotoG6 Play
Nokia is gearing up to announce the Nokia 9, a flagship designed to compete at the highest level, as well as details surrounding the global launch of the Nokia 6 (2018) – which was launched in China on January 10
Figure 6: Nokia 9
As we reported, Qualcomm was busy at CES this year, and sources suggest that the semiconductor giant has a trick or two left up its sleeve for Barcelona. The safe money, of course, is on its new Snapdragon 845 SoC appearing on the Galaxy S9, but we could also learn more about the first wave of consumer audio products to feature its nascent Low Power Bluetooth QCC5100 SoC
All signs, including a statement from the firm’s very own mobile chief, point towards Samsung unveiling the much-anticipated Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. It could also use the gathering as an opportunity to announce a new wearable – or two. And might even shine a light on the elusive foldable smartphone we a glimpse of at CES in the Samsung Display private suite.
Figure 7: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Sony’s already launched three of its four smartphones, which are set to hit the shelves in 2018, leaving one for MWC 2018: the flagship Xperia XZ Premium 2.
The handset is rumored to be smaller – in height, thickness and width – than the original 5.5-inch Xperia XZ Premium, which was announced at MWC 2017, and is thought to feature an ultra-tall 18:9 screen. The Xperia XZ Premium 2 might actually be called the XZ Pro. Sony has confirmed its MWC 2018 press conference plans, with the firm set to hold an event on Monday, February 26 at 08:30 CET. Sony Xperia XZ Pro with 5.7″ OLED 4K Display Reportedly Launching at MWC 2018. Sony might be gearing up to announce a new flagship smartphone. That’s according to a report in Chinese news site MyDrivers, which states that the company will take the wraps off the Xperia XZ Pro at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona. Previous rumors pegged the phone for the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, but the launch appears to have been pushed back to next month. If the report is to be believed, the Sony Xperia XZ Pro will have a 5.7-inch, 4K OLED display in an IP68 chassis, meaning that it’ll be able to withstand dust, sand, and up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water for 30 minutes. Complementing the Xperia XZ Pro’s flagship build are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip paired with 6GB of RAM, with 128GB of onboard storage and support for expansion via a micro SD card. (A second variant will reportedly have dual SIM slots.) It’ll also have a 3,420-mAh battery and some version of Android Oreo. The Xperia XZ Pro will have a dual camera setup consisting of an 18MP shooter with a 1.33μm pixel size and a 12MP camera with a 1.38μm pixel size. The front-facing camera is 13MP, but there isn’t any information regarding its pixel size or aperture yet. The Sony Xperia XZ Pro is rumored to cost about 6000 yuan ($930), which puts it in flagship territory with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus, Google’s Pixel 2 XL, and Apple’s iPhone X.
Figure 8: Sony Experia XZ
The elephone U Pro is outfitted with a 5.99" curved screen with 1080p resolution, boding well for battery life, and is powered by Qualcomm's upper midrange Snapdragon 660 chipset. It also offers a decked-out version with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage. When we add the dual camera at the back, with 13 MP Samsung sensors, and the wireless charging, the package becomes one of the best bangs for the buck you can get in the world of curved displays. The dual camera on the back sits vertically, just like on the eventual Galaxy S9+, and the semi-elliptical finger scanner comes right underneath. Elephone's new flagship will come in at sub-$500, and the U Pro will be available this month.
Figure 9: elephone U Pro