Last year, two brand new Android handsets fought for our attention at Mobile World Congress: The Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9. Both devices made great impressions, but it was the new Samsung phone that was seen as the overall winner and its Galaxy S6 edge in particular won wide acclaim.
The same thing is going to happen this year as well. MWC 2016 will bring us a massive duel between two handsets: LG will announce a revolutionary LG G5 flagship, and Samsung will come out with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.
While the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 will steal most headlines at this year’s big mobile show, other device makers will unveil new products in Barcelona, and BGR will be on the ground covering MWC as it unravels.
Here’s what’s to expect from this year’s show.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are viewed by many as two of the top Android handsets that will release. Rumors say the phones will be available for preorder on February 21st and will hit stores on March 11th.
Samsung beat HTC last year by coming up with a brand new phone design, whereas the HTC One M9 was perceived as an “S” update of its predecessor when it comes to design. This year, it’s Samsung that’s going to keep design virtually unchanged, as the Galaxy S7 will resemble the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will respectively feature a flat 5.1-inch or curved 5.5-inch AMOLED display, along with 3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh batteries. All other specs are supposed to be similar regardless of screen type, including an Exynos 8890 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage, microSD support, 12-megapixel main camera and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The phones will be waterproof and have wireless charging powers, and might bring over some iPhone 6s-like features, including alternate versions of Live Photos and 3D Touch. Even a Galaxy upgrade program similar to Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program could be unveiled at the show.
Samsung’s rival will step up to the plate this year with a new design for its flagship smartphone. The handset is supposed to feature an all-metal design, on par with what top handsets. The most interesting thing about the LG G5 might be its rumored port at the bottom that will let users easily replace the battery.
LG also confirmed the phone will have an always-on display and that it’ll get a brand new Quick Cover accessory. Reports already revealed that the LG G5 will have a 5.6-inch 2K display, a fingerprint sensor and dual-camera on the back, and a USB Type-C port on the bottom. Everything else should be similar to what Samsung’s flagship will have to offer. We’re looking at a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a microSD slot.
It’s not known when the LG G5 will be launched or how much it’ll cost, but we’ll find out more details about it on February 21st.
Finally, LG has already taken the wraps off a bunch of new products well ahead of MWC, including a series of dedicated X-branded mid-range devices that will be showcased in Barcelona.
The giant Chinese company will have a special media event scheduled for Sunday as well though it’ll be tough for Huawei to beat the buzz surrounding LG and Samsung’s newest phones. It’s not clear at this time what Huawei will launch, but last year the company surprised us all by releasing the best looking Android Wear device we’d seen yet. In addition to that, leaks say that Huawei might have a P9 flagship smartphone ready to be unveiled, a 5.2-inch Android handset packing no less than 6GB of RAM. Some leaks say there will be various P9 models to choose from, but we’ll know more details come Sunday.
HTC isn’t ready to share the spotlight with Samsung and LG this year, at least when it comes to new flagship Android launches. The HTC One M10, also known as Perfume, is expected to be unveiled later as HTC prepares a special media event for the handset. However, HTC will be present at MWC 2016 where it might launch other mobile products and further demo its VR capabilities. After all, it was at MWC 2015 that HTC first revealed its ambitions for the virtual reality market.
After having gobbled up Motorola, we’d expect Lenovo to come out with some new devices of its own. Although the Chinese company might not be ready to release a flagship device just yet, we still expect to see at least a few new products from Lenovo at MWC.
Sony will obviously attend MWC 2016, but there are no rumors to suggest the Japanese company will have new devices to show during the event. Sony does have a special event on Monday morning, local time, but we’re not expecting the Xperia Z6 to come along. Even so, anything can happen and Sony could surprise us.
Like Sony, Microsoft might not have new flagship products in store for MWC. But we’re going to see at least a couple of new Windows 10 budget-friendly devices, including the newly announced Lumia 650, but also the rumored Lumia 750 and Lumia 850. Windows smartphones might not be exciting to many people, but the Windows 10 Continuum feature still looks appealing.
BlackBerry — yes, that BlackBerry — should show some of its keyboard-wielding handsets at the Spanish show. If some recent reports are correct, those phones will include Android versions of the Passport and the Vienna.
Companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Alcatel and Nokia will almost certainly have new products at the show, and it might not be fair to group them together in such a manner, particularly considering that some of them have amazing products. However, some of these companies’ smartphones still aren’t available internationally, which means some of the devices supposed to be unveiled at MWC 2015 won’t be available for purchase.
Of these companies, we’d love to see Nokia release an Android handset of its own at MWC, but it might be too early to get our hopes up.