From 22-25 February, the very latest in tech will be revealed. We caught up with some of the UK's top tech press to see what we should be looking out for...
From 22-25 February, the very latest in tech will be revealed, as lids are lifted on tomorrow’s tablets, phones, wearables and connected devices at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Before we all get to see what’s coming, we caught up with a few of the UK’s most prominent tech journalists to see what they’re looking forward to, and what they think the big news will be at this year’s show…
MWC 2016: What to expect
Gareth Beavis – Phones, Wearables and Tablets Editor, TechRadar
“What’s going to be big? That’s easy: the Samsung Galaxy S7. There won’t be anything that comes close to that. LG needs to bring a decent phone, and the fact it’s finally launching a flagship at MWC must mean it’s pretty confident. Sony and HTC look like they’re going to be a little quieter, which is a shame, but we’ll still see some decent tablets and wearables that capture the imagination.”
Tom Morgan – News Editor, Stuff
“MWC is usually Samsung’s time to shine, but the Galaxy S7 has been leaked – a lot – and doesn’t look all that different from the S6. Waterproofing and a microSD card should be decent upgrades, but the more exciting reveal could be the Gear 360, a 360° camera for shooting VR video.
“An HTC smartwatch could turn a few heads too, but it’s LG we’re most excited about…”
“An HTC smartwatch could turn a few heads too, but it’s LG we’re most excited about. If the rumours are true, the all-metal G5 will get a removable bottom for swapping in accessories and upgrades. Microsoft, Sony and Motorola should all have surprises as well, so all in all, this year’s show is shaping up nicely.”
Tom Tamblyn – Technology Editor, Huffington Post UK
“We’ve seen MWC evolve over the last couple of years into a far less predictable show – it’s not just a showcase for the latest ‘iPhone rivals’ anymore. Samsung’s beautiful, curvy S6 edge made a huge splash last year, and arguably beat the iPhone 6s to the smartphone throne, but it was HTC’s shock reveal of the Vive virtual reality headset that stole the show in Barcelona.
“This year? Well, we can expect a more muted unveiling from Samsung with the S7 and there’s potential for a new smartphone from HTC too, but virtual reality is almost certainly going to be the buzzword of the conference. Alongside a final look at HTC Vive before its hopeful release, we’re still waiting to see the result of Samsung’s partnership with Facebook-owned Oculus, so keep your eyes peeled for something big there.”
Michael Sawh – Editor, Wareable
“If the rumours prove accurate and Apple does announce its second generation smartwatch in March, this year’s Mobile World Congress would be the perfect opportunity for its closest rivals to gain the upper hand.
“Samsung is likely to have something big to talk about, especially after revealing its new health-focused bio-processor chip late last year that has been tipped to appear in devices in early 2016. Don’t rule out the appearance of some new Android Wear watches as well with the likes of Huawei, Sony and LG the most likely to show off new Google-running smartwatches.
“Samsung is likely to have something big to talk about…”
“We shouldn’t of course forget about VR. With the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR headsets set to launch later this year, expect to see an influx of more mobile VR headsets with LG and Alcatel tipped to take on Samsung’s Gear VR.”
Max Parker – Features Editor, TrustedReviews
“As the name suggests, Mobile World Congress is still big on smartphones, and this year we’re expecting a bevy of new devices from all the biggest names in the industry. Samsung is sure to show off the Galaxy S7, and hopefully HTC might unveil the next addition to its One series.
“But the standout announcement could actually come from LG. The Korean company looks like it’s gone back to the drawing board with the LG G5, ditching the plastic build and going all out metal. Alongside the rumours of a modular design with multiple accessories to match, the G5 could steal the show.”
Chris Barraclough – Editor, Recombu
“MWC is always massive for consumers, with loads of sexy new smartphones finally revealed by the biggest mobile manufacturers. I’m personally looking forward to seeing LG’s new flagship phone (or phones). The G3 and G4 were two of the best Android handsets of their time, so here’s hoping the G5 makes it a glorious hat-trick. Who knows, we might even see an update of its flexible displays.
“You can also expect plenty of Internet of Things contraptions and wearables to launch at MWC 2016, as well as some fresh new tablets – I’ve got everything crossed for Sony to reveal a follow-up to the excellent Xperia Z4 Tablet.”
Gerald Lynch – Editor, Gizmodo UK
“It’s got to be about VR really. Excitement in smartphones has long-since plateaued, as even cheaper devices become capable of most conceivable purposes. It’s hard to “wow” with a phone now, no matter the brand. Wearables is an interesting area in that it’s an acknowledgement by the brands for a need to diversify, but beyond Fitbit-wearing fitness diehards, it’s clear that Joe Bloggs doesn’t really see the point in, say, a smartwatch.
“But VR is something entirely new (if you allow the early 90s stuff to be written off as a noble, experimental fad). It’s not an add-on like a wearable, it’s a whole new area of experience, one that taps into our love of sci-fi and adventure – and our tendency to enjoy things that don’t require too great an exertion of energy.
“MWC 2016 will be the first time we’ll get wind of next-gen mobile VR headsets…”
“MWC 2016 will be the first time we’ll get wind of next-gen mobile VR headsets, and what we presume will be the late-stage final details of the impressive HTC Vive. Samsung will also have lots to prove and reason to be bullish – it’ll be riding a wave of excitement alongside its VR partner Oculus, whose consumer Rift headset will also be on the verge of launching.”
Luke Johnson – Technology Editor, Digital Spy
“I think we can safely say that the Galaxy S7 will be great, and there’ll be enough wearables to fill your arm from wrist to shoulder, but for me, I’m excited to see what LG does at MWC 2016. The LG G3 was a shining beacon of hope for the company’s smartphone efforts. Sadly last year’s G4 undid a lot of the good work – seriously, a leather-backed phone? Just no.
“With LG putting more focus on MWC this year and with a radically redesigned G5 reportedly in the wings, could we finally get a device to rival the big boys?”
So, that’s what the experts think we can look forward to from MWC! The show is just days away, so keep it locked to Vodafone Social for more – we’ll be bringing you all the news and most exciting revelations from Barcelona in due course!
The best of CES: Check out our round-up of all the best cutting edge tech that appeared at the Consumer Electronics Show!
By Pete Dreyer