Mobile World Congress 2015 officially kicks off on March 2, but there’s a press preview on March 1. In addition, a few big companies will be debuting their new smartphones on March 1, and subsequently showing off those phones at MWC. The MWC trade show will feature new smartphones and other cool tech from the world’s leading companies. The new products debuted at MWC are sometimes available to purchase mere days or weeks after the show.
Last year’s MWC was notable for the debut of phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the ultra-secure “Blackphone.” This year, while there will be some big product debuts, there are also some surprising gaps in the schedule. While there will be something like 1,900 exhibitors this year, Ars Technica notes that tech giant Sony doesn’t have a big press conference scheduled for this year’s event. We’ll likely see new phones, tablets, and smart wearables from them a little later in the year. In addition, Apple won’t be present at MWC, but that’s not atypical for the company. Their Apple Watch is expected to debut in April. However, despite the lack of new stuff from these big players, there are still lots of other cool products to look forward to at Mobile World Congress 2015. Here’s a preview of five of the coolest things we expect to see coming out of this year’s MWC, which will end on March 5.
1. Samsung Galaxy S6 Smartphone
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 is arguably the most anticipated product launch at MWC this year. As we explained earlier this year in a post about the new phone, code-named Project Zero, the S6 is interesting because it has been designed from scratch. This fresh approach to the Galaxy S line of phones has some Samsung fans very excited. In a comparison of the iPhone 6 vs. the Samsung Galaxy S6, it is possible that Samsung has an edge. The new Samsung phone is rumored to have a metal body, as well as a Exynos 7420 processor. The S6 is also rumored to work with LoopPay, a competitor to Apple Pay. You can get a closer look at renders for this upcoming smartphone in our S6 gallery.
Samsung is also expected to unveil some new wearables at MWC 2015. Samsung has a ton of wearables already, including the Samsung Gear Live, the Samsung Gear Fit (featured on our list of the best fitness trackers), and the Gear S. You can see how the Gear S stacks up against the Apple Watch in this Samsung Gear S comparison post.
2. LG’s New Offerings
Excited about the new LG G4? That’s too bad, because you won’t see it in March. Sadly, LG’s upcoming flagship phone won’t debut until later this year. That being said, LG has some other interesting products in the works. Their previously announced LG Urbane smartwatch will be available for people to go hands-on with at MWC. That all-metal watch is expected to be one of the most high-end Android Wear watches out there, thanks in part to its fancy gold-tone or silverized styling options. According to PC Mag, this watch has a heart-rate sensor and runs a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset. It’s also got water-resistant features.
LG’s also got some new mid-range phones in the pipeline that we’re expected to see at MWC. These phones include the Magna, Joy, Spirt, and Leon. All four handsets will be available as LTE or 3G models. Slashgear notes that the Magna is the most appealing of those four phones. The Magna boasts a mere 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, but it does have a respectable 2,540 mAh battery and a screen that clocks in at around five inches.
3. HTC One M9 Smartphone
In terms of form, the new HTC One M9 should be quite similar to the critically-acclaimed One M8. However, there have been rumors that the rear camera will be getting tweaked in some way. Of course, the specs in the M9 are also going to be a step up from the M8. Details are still sketchy, but BGR reports we’re looking at a device that should have a 2GHz octa-core processor, 32GB of RAM, a 20-megapixel rear camera, and Android 5.0 Lollipop installed. The phone should be on sale in early April, with BGR citing April 9 as a likely release date for this new HTC phone.
4. Connected Cars
Connected car products like Android in the Car aren’t exactly new, having debuted at last year’s Google I/O Developers Conference. That being said, we’re expecting to see a wider range of connected car offerings at MWC 2015. CNBC expects to see many major automakers showing off connected cars at MWC. While connected cars are fairly rare these days, that is expected to change in just a few years. By 2020, CNBC reports, the connected car industry could be worth about $141 billion.
5. The Rise of 5G?
While some parts of the country are still rocking 3G, and only well-connected areas tend to have 4G, there are already plans in the works for making 5G coverage a reality for millions of people.
Nokia is planning to demonstrate 5G tech at MWC this year, with a focus on secure connectivity for the Internet of Things.
5G doesn’t sound like a huge step up from 4G, but it would actually be a massive improvement. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, chief scientist Xiang Jiying of the Chinese telecom company ZTE explained how 5G would differ from 4G from the perspective of a typical user:
5G is expected to have 1,000 times the capacity of 4G. With 4G, you can’t really stream games in real time on your handsets, but it will be possible with 5G…Most of the 5G technology is already technically feasible today, but the biggest challenge is implementation. The process of setting the standard can be very slow. Discussions about how to define the standard alone can take over a year.
According to Tech Crunch, 5G technology is expected to go live in the UK and other select markets around the globe by 2020. However, 5G adoption is expected to be quite slow. To put thing in perspective, one CNET report predicted that by 2020, only about 60 percent of the world will be on 4G.