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MWC 2017 starts this Sunday, here’s what to expect

If you aren’t already excited about MWC 2017, now is probably the perfect time. The official proceedings kick off on February 27 and the Barcelona venue closes its doors on March 2. However, there are press events already lined up for this weekend, so the first exciting announcements are now mere hours away.

As usual, we are already on location and will be keeping you up to date as the MWC unfolds. But, before we kick things into high gear and announcements start pouring in, we thought you might enjoy a quick recap of all the rumors and inside info we accumulated over the past few months. So, without further ado…

LG

Starting off with what is likely the star attraction – LG will be unveiling the eagerly-anticipated G6 flagship on stage. The event is already scheduled for Sunday, February 26 at 12:00 local time. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of information we already have on the handset from leaks and rumors. Frankly, a quick search in the news section yields so many results, that even we find ourselves somewhat overwhelmed.

To sum things up, It’s expected to pack a 5.7-inch 2,880×1,440 touchscreen (18:9 aspect ratio), Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chipset, 13 MP resolution for both rear cameras (one will be wide-angle with a 125-degree field of view), a wide-angle front-facing unit too (though in this case it’s just a 100-degree field of view), and a battery capacity that’s at least 3,200 mAh. The phone is water and dust resistant. Other than that, there are official teasers to check out as well. So, if the G6 has you interested, stand by for our initial impressions, ahead of the launch around March 10.

In other LG news, the Korean manufacturer did announce the LG X power2, which might be present at LG’s MWC booth as well. The same goes for the companys new pair of Android Wear smartwatches – the LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport. If you want the scoop on those, we already have you covered with some early hands-on experience.

Nokia (HMD Global)

The other big MWC topic that has the potential to suck up all the Barcelona spotlight is definitely Nokia. Another quick news search should suffice in illustrating the level of excitement the titan’s return to smartphones has managed to stir up. Said return was already began with the Nokia 6.

This initial effort was met with rather polarized fan responses and some flat-out specs criticism. Still, whichever side of the argument you stand on, there is no denying that people are talking about Nokia once again and HMD intends to ride that popularity wave as best it can. Enter a total of three additional Nokia devices, which will, allegedly, make an appearance at MWC.

The new Nokia 5 is said the be equipped with a 5.2-inch 720p touchscreen, 2GB of RAM, and a 12 MP main camera. It will be powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC as the Nokia 6 and should retail for 199. Joining it will likely be the Nokia 3 – an entry-level Android handset, with an expected price point around the 149 mark.

Last, but definitely not least, HMD is apparently planning a homage to a true Nokia legend – the 3310. It is said to be a Series 30+ feature phone, styled in appropriate retro fashion. The new 3310 could very well be just the right kind of publicity stunt HMD needs to recapture retro fan love.

Samsung

On towards the camp Samsung. The Korean giant definitely has the new Galaxy S8 and S8+ pair on its roadmap, but, by all accounts, they won’t be unveiled at MWC. Samsung is planning a separate event in March, to get the undivided fan and press attention. But there might still be a cool flagship announcement lined up for MWC week, just not a smartphone one.

The Android-powered Galaxy Tab S3 has been leaking left and right over the past few months. It’s already been certified by the FCC, Bluetooth SIG, and Wi-Fi Alliance, so an MWC unveiling followed by a swift market release is all but certain at this point.

From what we can gather, the Tab S3 is shaping up as a high-end, productivity-oriented offer. It is said to ship with Samsung’s signature S Pen accessory and all the features it enables out-of-the-box and also support a convenient 2-in-1 style keyboard accessory. Specs should include a 9.7-inch, 2,048×1,536 pixel, Super AMOLED panel, Snapdragon 820 chipset and 4GB of RAM.

A new Galaxy Xcover 4 has been showing up in benchmark listings and certifications lately as well. So, we might just see a new version of the rugged smartphone in Barcelona.

Huawei

Huawei has a few big announcements lined up for this year’s MWC. First up is the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus pair of smartphones. These will almost definitely be unveiled on Sunday at Huawei’s pre-Mobile World Congress event.

Currently, the P10 is expected to be powered by the Kirin 960 chipset aided by 4 or 6GB of RAM. Internal storage will range from 32GB to 128GB, while on the back there will be a Leica-branded dual camera arrangement like on the P9 and Mate 9. As for the P10 Plus, we expect a bigger panel and perhaps up to 8GB of RAM.

Huawei should also reveal its fresh new EMUI 5.1 software alongside the pair of handsets.

As for other hardware, a recent company teaser pretty much confirmed the Huawei Watch 2 will be showcased at the event as well. A few renders of the wearable have already surfaced, hinting and Android Wear 2.0, as well as a SIM card slot.

BlackBerry

BlackBerry is planning another return to its typical attire at MWC 2017. That statement probably needs some clarification. The TCL-owned brand wasn’t entirely missing from the smartphone map as of late, as testified by the DTEK50 and DTEK060. While not necessarily bad, however, any true BB fan will tell you that those were rather disappointing, due to their “rebranded Alcatel” nature.

However, a recent press invitation for the DTEK70 proves TCL is finally ready to set the glorious BlackBerry brand back on its original track and separate it from the Alcatel line. Just like the Priv, the new DTEK70, also known as Mercury, is said to come with a full QWERTY keyboard, working in tandem with a 4.5-inch touchscreen – a classic BlackBerry setup.


Consider yourself invited to virtually attend BlackBerry Mercury/DTEK70's launch

Consider yourself invited to virtually attend BlackBerry Mercury/DTEK70’s launch

The handset allegedly also houses a powerful Snapdragon 821 chipset and we have little doubt that the Canadian company has packed it to the brim with its own signature brand of highly-valued business-grade software.

Alcatel

Speaking of TCL, its Alcatel brand has a track record of showing up at MWC with a slew of new devices, often of the mid to low-end variety and with amazingly confusing names and model numbers.

As per the company’s invitation for a February 27 press event in Barcelona, we might be looking at some sort of “light show” model, geared at a younger crowd. In total, 5 new phones are expected.

Allegedly, the LED light display from the invite comes from one of the accessories of a modular Alcatel device. We don’t know a lot more about the mysterious handset, apart from a hinted 13MP main camera and 320 price tag. Apparently, however, its main attraction will be interchangeable back-plate modules, much like the Moto Mod family.

Sony

If rumors are to be believed, Sony will also come packing at MWC 2017. Besides some stray renders and photos here and there, a recent leak spilled the beans on a whopping 5 new handsets.

Starting from the top – the Sony Yoshino – a new 4K, 5.5-inch flagship, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB or perhaps even 6GB of RAM and a Sony IMX400 sensor. Then there is the Sony BlancBright – a 5.5-inch QHD device, with a Snapdragon 653 chip, 4GB of RAM and the same IMX400 camera sensor.

Further down the lineup is the Sony Keyaki (zelkova). It is said to stand at 5.2-inches with a modest FullHD panel, MediaTek’s Helio P20 chipset and 4GB of RAM. Then, there is the final pair of devices, which will likely be budget offers. The Sony Hinoki (cypress), with a 5-inch HD display, MediaTek Helio P20 chip, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. And finally – the Sony Mineo. The source shares little actual info on this device except for its alleged price tag of $350.

Lenovo/Motorola

It’s long been rumored that Lenovo would unveil the Moto G5 and G5 Plus midrangers at its MWC event in Barcelona, and this is pretty much confirmed by at least a couple of extensive leaks.

Moto G5

The Moto G5 is said to feature a 2,800 mAh removable battery. Also, a 5.2-inch display with FullHD resolution, Snapdragon 430 CPU and 2GB RAM. As for the bigger G5 Plus, current information suggests a 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 625 CPU and 2GB RAM, but at least there is 64GB internal storage. Both devices sport the same design with a massive bezel on the front.

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

As for the Lenovo mothership, we havent really heard anything in the smartphone department. However, the Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus tablet did leak a couple of times.


Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus leaked official promotional renders
Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus leaked official promotional renders

Lenovo Tab3 8 Plus leaked official promotional renders

It is shaping up as a decent mid-range offer, with an an 8-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash, a 5 MP front-facing unit, stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and a 4,250 mAh battery.