Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, which is the biggest trade show for smartphones, is kicking off on February 27. Major manufacturers such as Lenovo, Xiaomi and LG will be present in Barcelona to announce their upcoming flagship phones.
This year’s expo will likely focus on the other side of smartphones. Artificial intelligence (AI) is arriving big way in 2017, and most of the big firms will likely infuse smartphones with AI software. Other than AI, we’re likely to see smartphones with bendable screens, potentially bringing a new form factor for the first time.
We expect 2017 to be the year of Virtual reality/Augmented reality, and most notably new experiences on smartphones. Let’s look at what we expect to see at Mobile World Congress 2017 in terms of notable smartphones.
LG’s most ambitious smartphone at the moment is the G6. The G5 was announced at Mobile World Congress and its successor is said to be launching in Barcelona as well. A report from Korea’s Electronic Times has claimed LG is not convinced with the modular idea for the G6 smartphone, after tasting failure with the G5.
The Wall Street Journal reported an the LG spokesperson said the company will be “scaling back the modularity” for the G6. Initially it was said the G6 would come with an OLED panel; however, LG Display later confirmed the G6 will come with a 5.7-inch 2880 x 1440 Quad HD+ LCD display. It will be the first screen to sport an ultra wide 18:9 aspect ratio, delivering a pixel density of 564ppi for a super sharp and “immersive viewing experience”.
The G5 was praised for its dual rear-cameras, and we’ll continue to see the G6 following the same approach. Other rumours about the G6 have been thin at the moment. But we would’t be surprised to see a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB of internal storage and microSD support. The G6 will no doubt come with the latest version of Android i.e. Nougat.
Also read: LG G6 likely to launch at MWC 2017: Report
Lenovo-owned Motorola does have a press event in Barcelona, and the company started sending media invites as well. The device in question is the Moto G5 Plus. The phone’s design is similar to that of the Moto X that was leaked a number of times in the past, leading many to speculate that Motorola will reintroduce the Moto X series.
The speculative Moto G5 Plus was recently spotted on a Romanian site and it did reveal the full specifications, which include a 5.5-inch FHD display, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB of internal storage, microSD card support, a 13MP rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and a 3,080mAh battery. It may run Android 7.0 Nougat and will include a fingerprint scanner.
At the same time, the leaked photos of the Moto G5 Plus reveals a metal-body phone with a curved back. It is being said the phone will come in gold and silver colour options.
At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, BlackBerry and TCL gave a first glimpse at their new smartphone. The Chinese company TCL is now in-charge of keeping BlackBerry’s legacy alive. While we do have a fair idea about the design and styling, other details for the new phone are limited for now.
Though it still doesn’t have an real name, the Mercury flaunts the same touch-sensitive physical keyboard like the BlackBerry Priv. TCL didn’t reveal the hardware specifications of the Mercury; however, a report from Venture Beat claims the phone will come with a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory. BlackBerry Mercury is due for launch in the first quarter of 2017, and will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress on February 26.
Like BlackBerry, Nokia is eyeing a comeback in the smartphone market and signed up with HMD Global for licensing, distribution and manufacturing of its smartphones. Nokia 6 has been announced for the Chinese market and goes on sale on January 19. But Nokia and HMD have confirmed they are holding an event on February 26, where more Nokia phones are expected.
Apart from the mid-range Nokia 6, the company is planning a high-end smartphone, which is dubbed as the Nokia 8 aka Supreme. In terms of design, it could sport IP68 rating for water and dust protection. Nokia 8 was recently in news when the prototype of the phone was spotted at Qualcomm booth at CES, with some crazy camera optics in tow.
Qualcomm later said the device was a reference device for benchmarking. Apparently, the prototype unit was running a Snapdragon 835 and 6GB RAM. It’s possible that Nokia is going to move forward with the Nokia 8, and we might see this phone at MWC 2017.
Xiaomi Mi 6
Xiaomi is expected to reveal the Mi 6 at Mobile World Congress, and looks like we may get to see at least three variants of the phone with different chipsets. The first model will come equipped with Helio X30 processor and is said to carry a price tag of $290.
The second model will run Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It will cost $360, while the third model will come with a dual curved display similar to the Galaxy S7 edge. The premium model is expected to cost $434.
More recently, Li Wanqiang, co-founder and VP of Xiaomi, revealed that the company will unveil a surprise device in March. If we recall, the Mi 5 was first revealed in Mobile World Congress (MWC) last year, so it’s possible that its successor, the Mi 6, will make its debut in Barcelona. It will be interesting to see what Xiaomi has in its 2017 lineup, especially after the Mi Mix.