Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona from Monday 28 February to Thursday 3 March. It is typically the world’s largest mobile technology trade show, where some of the biggest smartphone brands announce their latest devices and new technologies.
In recent years, the show’s focus has been on the transition to 5G and the rise of foldable smartphones. But there’s always room for a handful of non-smartphone announcements, be it new laptops or smartwatch updates.
In 2020 the show was canceled and in 2021 it was a quiet affair. 2022 could be a little different, with major announcements expected from different phone manufacturers. Samsung, which launched its new Galaxy S22 line earlier this month, has also planned an event. So let’s take a look at what to expect from Europe’s biggest mobile show.
A Samsung mobile device that is not a phone
Samsung will kick off its livestream event ahead of MWC on February 27. The company has traditionally used MWC as the launch pad for its flagship mobile devices, but in recent years it has launched those phones weeks in advance. This year’s Galaxy S22 is already in stores. This means we’ll likely see a new Galaxy Book laptop instead. In our preview of MWC on The Vergecast Last week, Monica Chin said the company is one of the most exciting companies in laptop design right now.
Even more laptops
The ‘mobile’ in Mobile World Congress does not only represent smartphones, laptops are also present at the fair. While many manufacturers tend to show off their laptops at CES, we expect to see even more at MWC.
Acer has already unveiled its new Swift 5 laptop with a 16:10 display, and we’re likely to see other new notebooks from companies like Lenovo. We may even see a new MateBook from Huawei.
Big phones from some of the biggest companies in China
This year, we can still expect new smartphone entries from major Chinese manufacturers, including TCL and Oppo, who have just unveiled their flagship Find X5 Pro. Huawei will most likely also show off a new line of phones with its HarmonyOS operating system. In previous years, it has used MWC as a launch pad for its foldable phones, so it wouldn’t be out of reach to see a Mate X2 successor this year.
A Pixel 6A?
Designs for what appears to be a Google Pixel 6 successor leaked this week — and while that probably won’t show up at MWC, a leak last year suggested a Pixel 6A could be arriving. Anyway, expect the search giant to reveal something.
Oh no, O-RAN and 6G?
Finally, expect some updates in the mobile communications space. The O-RAN Alliance is planning a series of demonstrations to show how AI can efficiently run 5G networks. O-RAN, or Open Radio Access Network, is the same technology that Dish is working on in the US. So far, it’s been a technology that makes great promises, but massively fails to deliver. But it could be different this time!
And if you’re already tired of 5G, get ready. Nokia has plans to start talking about “6G”.
You can follow all the stories about MWC on The edge by checking out our story stream.