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Samsung’s Galaxy S24 has taken over Barcelona for MWC 2024

Published Feb 23rd, 2024 7:08PM EST
Samsung's massive Galaxy S24 Ultra ad in Barcelona, Spain.
Image: Chris Smith, BGR

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Like every year for the better part of a decade, late February finds me in Barcelona, Spain, where the Mobile World Congress takes place. Until a few years ago, MWC was also the home of Samsung’s latest Galaxy S flagship phone.

Samsung would unveil the newest Galaxy S models while simultaneously mounting a massive marketing campaign. The entire town would be covered with Galaxy S posters teasing or showing off the new Galaxy S model in the days ahead of the Sunday event.

Few others were able to mount similarly enormous campaigns. Huawei was one of the few phone makers that actually fought Samsung head-on.

Now, at MWC 2024, Samsung has once again taken over Barcelona as if it’s about to unveil the Galaxy S24 series. And nobody is really trying to outshine the Korean phone maker. That’s especially surprising considering the Galaxy S24 phones went on sale more than a month ago, with Samsung reportedly making a killing in sales.

The Galaxy S24 sold better than expected, including in Europe. And it looks like Samsung doesn’t want the phones coming out of MWC 2024 to outshine the Galaxy S24 and its Galaxy AI.

The massive poster pictured above takes over the facade of a 7-story building in the center of Barcelona. It advertises the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which is the most powerful model.

If you’re buying the phone in Europe, the Ultra is also the only model that features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. The Qualcomm chip outperforms the Exynos 2400 that powers the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus

As I said, it’s not unusual to see Samsung make such an effort in Spain. The difference is that Samsung is doing it more than a month after unveiling the Galaxy S24 series. Not only that, but Samsung doesn’t have a big event set for MWC this year. So, let’s zoom out. 

Samsung's big Galaxy S24 poster took half of a building in Barcelona, Spain. Apple's flagship retail store is on the ground floor of the other half.
Samsung’s big Galaxy S24 poster took half of a building in Barcelona, Spain. Apple’s flagship retail store is on the ground floor of the other half. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Here’s the same photo in a different context that needs some explaining. In the lower right corner, right above the BGR logo, you will see Apple’s flagship retail store in Barcelona. It’s typically very crowded, as Apple retail stores often are. 

The placement of that massive Galaxy S24 poster isn’t accidental. And it gets better. Across the street from the Apple store, you’ll find a temporary Samsung booth, where the company is currently demoing the Galaxy AI that runs on the Galaxy S24 phones.

Samsung has used the same spot over the years to showcase other flagships. 

This all makes sense, of course. Samsung is looking to sell as many Galaxy S24 units as it can as quickly as possible. Of course they’re plastering the city center with ads. But it’s more than that; Samsung is running a live experience for the Galaxy S24, inviting people to try the Galaxy S24 in Barcelona between February 15th and February 29th (when MWC ends).

Samsung's temporary Galaxy Experience Space, where you can try the Galaxy AI running on Galaxy S24 phones.
Samsung’s temporary Galaxy Experience Space, where you can try the Galaxy AI running on Galaxy S24 phones. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Electronics stores also feature Galaxy S24 areas promoting the phones and special deals. I was prompted to take advantage of said deals in a pop-up store focusing on Galaxy S24’s AI. I then found flyers in public transportation advertising the phone and Galaxy AI. 

This is a massive marketing push that has no real opposition. Huawei is no longer the strong player it was a few years ago. It won’t host a big launch event this year, either. In its place, we have Xiaomi and Honor, both with events on Sunday. They will probably unveil Android flagships that will rival the Galaxy S24 series. But their marketing efforts in the city are non-existent.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra and the Honor Magic 6 Pro are expected to be revealed at MWC 2024. The former launched in China on Thursday. Honor has been teasing the next-gen Magic Pro model online for weeks now. Yet there are no teasers in a city where tens of thousands of people are going to attend one of the world’s biggest mobile-centric trade shows.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.