MWC 2018: What you can expect to see at the show

The Mobile World Congress 2018 officially kicks off next Monday, although several press events will make Sunday a "must watch" for new products as well. Through rumors and announcements, we have a good idea of some of the reveals we will be seeing, but there always tend to be surprises. Here's a look at some of the things we know are coming to the show next week.

Samsung Galaxy

Samsung always makes a splash with its pre-MWC press conference the Sunday before the event, and this year should be no different. It is expected that the company will be unveiling its new Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. The biggest upgrades to these new devices are expected to be in the camera and a Snapdragon 845 processor.

Based on some of the leaked images we have seen, the new units are expected to have a repositioned fingerprint sensor, but the overall design is expected to still be close to that of the Galaxy S8 with curved edges and bezel-less design.

The devices are expected to launch next month.

The press conference will begin on Sunday at 6 p.m. Central European Time, 5 p.m. GMT and noon ET.

Other Smartphones

  • LG is expected to show off an updated version of the V30, but any other reveals for its G7 device are rumored to be coming around June.
  • Sony has teased a new smartphone reveal, likely to be the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Sony will have a press conference on Monday at 8:30 a.m. CET, 7:30 a.m. GMT, and 2:30 a.m. ET.

  • Nokia is also expected to make a splash, as rumors have circulated that the company could unveil several devices at the show, including the Nokia 7, Nokia 8 and Nokia 9. A Nokia 1 Android Go phone is also expected. The company's press conference is on Sunday at 4 p.m. CET, 3 p.m. GMT, and 10 a.m. ET.
  • Google will be in attendance showing off Android Go and Android One phones made by third-party partners.
  • ASUS is expected to show off a new ZenFone 5 and possibly a Lite version as well. The company's press conference will be on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. CET, 6:30 p.m. GMT, and 1:30 p.m. ET.
  • Alcatel should have its 5, 3V and 1X devices on display at the show as well. The 5 and 3V have already been on display at CES last month.
  • Although Huawei has a press conference (Sunday at 2 p.m. CET, 1 p.m. GMT, and 8 a.m. ET), the company is not expected to show off any of its flagship phones. It just released its Mate 10 Pro earlier this week.

More Hardware

We haven't heard too much about hardware other than smartphones for the show. However, that doesn't mean that some tablets and laptops won't be in attendance. For example, Samsung is rumored to be showing its Galaxy Tab S4, powered by an octo-core Snapdragon 835 and a Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU.

It is likely we'll see details on other hardware through the weekend before the show starts.

Chips Ahoy

Qualcomm is expected to be in attendance showing off more of its Snapdragon 845. In addition, expect an appearance by the Qualcomm 670 SoC, built off the 10nm process and containing an Adreno 615 GPU.

In addition to CPUs and GPUs, Intel will be showing off its upgraded XMM 8000-series modem chips, which will be capable of handling 5G when it finally becomes available. The company will have a chip in a new 2-in-1 device that will be doing a 5G livestream from the show.

Speaking of 5G, it is possible that various companies will be on hand touting their readiness for the new wireless speeds. Samsung, AT&T, Huawei, and others have been making regular announcements on their development progress for 5G networks and the modems that will handle them.

AR, VR, and AI

Expect Qualcomm to show off its new XR platform that is designed to bring room-scale VR to mobile. Standalone headsets powered by the Snapdragon 845 and an Adreno 630 GPU are expected to compete with the likes of Oculus Go and the Vive Focus.

With Google and Apple having released their AR kits last year, other manufacturers and developers will likely show off what they have accomplished with the dev kits in that time.

And as long as we are keeping with the two-letter acronyms, AI should get more of a presence at the show as well. Huawei's just-released Mate 10 Pro comes with a Kirin 970 AI chip. However, some analysts have warned to be wary of companies throwing the term around. Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC earlier this week:

"We believe that AI is going to be a fundamental element of all devices and services in the future, the way in which it is being marketed right now feels reckless. From the perspective of consumers, they are not going to buy AI. They are going to buy products which use AI and deliver a fantastic experience."

Keep Watching Neowin

We'll be keeping up with all the breaking news from the event, from the press conferences to the press releases throughout the week. Be sure to check back regularly for all of our MWC 2018 coverage.

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