Sony’s big PlayStation press conference isn’t the only gadget event going down this month. Next week in Spain, the world’s biggest phone makers and app developers will converge in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, a giant expo much like CES – but non-stop smartphones.
We’ll be covering all the happenings from it live, but in the run up to the mobile bonanza, we take a look at what to expect, from Windows Phones galore to a few big name no shows…
Nokia’s next big thing
Nokia is holding a press conference early on Monday morning, and we can’t wait to see what it’s got in store. The Finns have mostly managed to keep things under wraps, but there are a few exciting rumours whizzing around: MWC may be where we meet the Lumia Windows Phone with a full-on, 41 megapixel PureView sensor like the Symbian-ridden 808 cameraphone.
Nokia’s also been rumoured to be working on a Windows tablet to take on the Microsoft Surface – we don’t know for sure if it’ll be on show, but at the very least, expect a successor to the Nokia Lumia 920.
Big name no shows
While Mobile World Congress was the venue for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S2 Android smartphone two years ago, times have moved on, and many of the biggest names on mobile now launch their new handsets at their own events. All the rumours point to Samsung giving the Galaxy S4 its own launch event in a few weeks’ time, while HTC has scheduled its own one for tomorrow, just days ahead of Mobile World Congress. Apple meanwhile has shunned these events for years, so don’t expect a new iPhone or iPad next week – in Barcelona, anyway.
The Chinese invade
In their absence, you can expect to hear a lot more from the Chinese upstarts. Huawei and ZTE both showed off impressive phones at CES in Las Vegas last month – including the gigantic Ascend Mate phablet – but they kept mum on a release in the West. With the world’s press gathered in one of Europe’s finest cities, might they announce release dates for their tasty new smartphones? Here’s hoping.
Samsung’s iPad mini rival
Samsung may not be showing off the Galaxy S4 in Barcelona, but the company is believed to be working on an eight-inch rival to the iPad mini, and it’s coming soon. Expect to see this cut-price slate next week – whether we’ll see Samsung’s rumoured low cost seven inch tablet next week as well remains to be seen though.
Asus goes insane
One thing you can rely on at a tradeshow: Asus will turn up with something ridiculous. Last year, it was a phone that powered a tablet. This year, it’s reported to be working on a “Fonepad”, a seven inch tablet that can also make calls, Dom Joly style. Will it be at Barcelona? Will it be utterly absurd to use? We’ll find out next week.
Stay tuned for all the coverage from Mobile World Congress next week. In the meantime, what are you hoping for? Let us know in the comments below.