News: All the New Phones We Expect to See at Mobile World Congress 2018

All the New Phones We Expect to See at Mobile World Congress 2018

Mobile World Congress is a four-day event that is both a showcase and conference starring prominent figures in the mobile industry. Oftentimes, OEMs will use this event to announce new products for the upcoming year — and this year shouldn't be any different. Here are all the phones we expect to be announced.

This year, Mobile World Congress (MWC) will take place between February 26th and March 1. As of 2011, Barcelona, Spain has been home to the event, which will garner around 100,000 attendees. Rumors indicate some big phone announcements will take place this year. One of the biggest ones we are expecting is also one of the most popular smartphones in the world — the newest Samsung Galaxy flagship.

Samsung: Unveiling the Galaxy S9 & S9+

With the exception of last year's Galaxy S8, Samsung has normally used MWC to announce the latest iteration in the Galaxy S series. Last year deferment of this plan was due to the Note 7 fiasco, but with that blunder out the way, all rumors indicate a return to normal procedure.

One of the strongest pieces of evidence is a media invite and poster sent out by Samsung for an Unpacked event on February 25 at 12 pm EST. The poster (which was also presented in a short video seen below) has a large purple "9" with the tag "The Camera. Reimagined."

The past few weeks, rumors have been swirling about the S9, including specs and design. We rounded up all these rumors in a separate article to keep you up to date. Check out the link below for more info.

  • Event Date: February 25, 2018
  • Event Time: 12 pm EST (6 pm CET)

Huawei: P20 Teasers a Possibility

Last Year, Huawei took full advantage of MWC to announce the P10. Huawei follows a similar product segmentation to Samsung, with the P series being the more approachable flagship and analogous to the Galaxy S series, while the Mate series is for the power user like the Galaxy Note series. These phones haven't typically made it to US shores in the past, but this year may be different.

Huawei has been upping its US expansion efforts the last few years, with this year being the biggest push. While they're off to a rough start thanks to AT&T and the US government, they're still committed to building brand awareness here in the States.

We are not sure of its name as of it yet, though rumors point toward the new flagship being called the P20. We are somewhat skeptical of this name, as the naming scheme iterated by 1 each year, which would mean this device would be called the P11. Nonetheless, a lot of the specs have already been leaked. One of the more exciting features is a rumored triple camera setup which combines together to create 40 MP images.

P20's triple camera setup. Image by XEETECHCARE/YouTube

However, despite Huawei's previous use of MWC, new rumors indicate that this device's announcement has been pushed back to March 27. Potentially because of the recent setbacks in their US expansion, Huawei may move the event as its tries to sort out its next move. The strongest indication of this announcement comes from a press invite sent out for an event in Paris on that day. However, we could still get some information on the P20/P11, as Huawei has a conference scheduled at MWC.

  • Event Date: February 26, 2018
  • Event Time: 8 am EST (2 pm CET)

Nokia: 1, 7+ & 9 a Possibility

When HMD gained the rights to the iconic brand, fans rejoiced over the idea of Nokia reemerging from the ashes with a more successful mobile operating system — Android. As 2017 came to a close, many fans were left disappointed at the lineup. While the Nokia 8 did contain flagship specs, its older design and small display failed to appeal to many fans. Furthermore, it never officially released in the US.

Throughout last year, there has been a rumored second flagship phone which would better compete against the likes of the Galaxy S8 and iPhone X. This new device was rumored to have an edge-to-edge 5.5" OLED display with a dual camera setup designed by Carl Zeiss (just like the iconic Nokia phones of the past).

(1) Nokia 7+, (2) Nokia 1. Images by Evan Blass/Twitter (1, 2)

Rumors of its release circulated all last year but never panned out. Then in December, we were greeted with one of the best possible leaks with FCC approval of a device matching its specs. With this approval we now know three things. First, the device is completed. Second, the phone will be releasing soon. And third, the device will release in the US, as the FCC is an American regulatory body.

The Nokia 9 rumor mill quieted down after that, but recently, HMD sent out press invites for an event on February 25 at 10 am EST — right before MWC. There's a good chance that Nokia could be announcing the heavily leaked Nokia 7+ and Nokia 1, but we're keeping our fingers crossed for the Nokia 9 flagship.

  • Event Date: February 25, 2018
  • Event Time: 10 am EST (4 pm CET)

Motorola: New G6 Variants a Possibility

The latest rumors suggest that Motorola is planning to announce a series of successors to last year's Moto G5 lineup. The phones we're hoping to see are the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play, and most importantly to US readers, the Moto G6 Plus.

While Motorola does not have an event scheduled at MWC, other phone makers are using the media attention around the conference to generate publicity. With the timing of leaks on the G6 front, it's definitely plausible that Motorola could hold a separate event around MWC to announce these phones.

There's no word yet on whether or not any of these phones will be released in the United States, but if history is any indication, we're most likely to get the Moto G6 Plus stateside. It'll be a midrange phone, potentially driven by a Snapdragon 635 SoC, running Android Oreo, and packing a 3,200 mAh battery. To read more on the latest G6 Plus leaks, hit up the link below.

Leaked image of the Moto G6 Plus. Image by Andri Yatim/Twitter
  • Event Date: N/A
  • Event Time: N/A

BlackBerry: KeyOne & PRIV Sequels a Possibility

Since TCL took over, BlackBerry has been on a roll, releasing several well-received smartphones. At CES, we learned BlackBerry will be releasing at least two new smartphones this year, and rumors indicate that they might be announced at MWC.

Rumor has it that one of these devices will be a sequel to the KeyOne. While we're not sure of the name, fans have been calling it the KeyTwo, which would make logical sense, although rumors indicate the code name is Athena.

The first solid indication that one of the new devices would be a KeyOne sequel was a recent Geekbench testing. The model number of a device tested was BBF100-1, and the BlackBerry KeyOne was listed as BBB100-1 on Geekbench before its release in 2017.

In addition, BlackBerry may be reviving the PRIV with a sequel titled Uni. TCL has registered this trademark with USPTO only days before MWC 2018. Last Year, TCL did the same with "KeyOne" right before its announcement, which lends some credence to this rumor.

Furthermore, BlackBerry just received a patent from the World Intellectual Property Organization for a new camera design that's specific for a smartphone with a slide-out keyboard (just like the PRIV). The patent, which was filed in 2016, describes a method of housing a lens underneath the stationary portion of the phone. When the device is open, the rear camera would be used without a lens — however, when closed, the rear camera would slide behind the lens, enhancing its abilities.

Patents for a new camera design potentially found in the Priv 2. Images via WIPO
  • Event Date: N/A
  • Event Time: N/A

LG: New V30 Variant Called 'Alpha'

According to rumors, LG has had a rough start to 2018. Its flagship lineup, the G series, apparently has been delayed to later in the year because LG doesn't agree with its current design. The previous reports indicates they might abandon the G series naming altogether as they were looking to rebrand in the hopes of stopping a multi-year decline in sales.

At first, the G7 was rumored to be announced at MWC, but now it looks like LG will instead announce another phone — a new variant of the LG V30.

The LG V30 is receiving an upgrade.

This new variant is rumored to be called either the V30+, V30 Alpha, or simply the V30. The main difference from the late-2017 iteration will be AI integration. Similar to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, LG will use machine learning to assist in photography, such as recommending and adjusting camera settings based on the object in the photo.

Known as Vision AI, the upgraded V30 can detect up to eight different objects including food, pet, landscape, sunrise, sunset, flower, city, and portrait. Machine learning will also assist with low-light photography as well.

Furthermore, LG will also introduce Voice AI, which works alongside Google Assistant. The new voice assistant integrates into Google Assistant to provide 23 extra commands exclusive to LG devices. And the new AI-based upgrade will be marketed under the name "ThinQ," which will also be included as LG's AI implementation in other devices (such as refrigerators and washing machines).

There is no mention of a hardware upgrade, but the hope is that LG will upgrade the chipset to the newest flagship offering from Qualcomm.

  • Event Date: N/A
  • Event Time: N/A

With MWC, we should get our first introduction to the direction of smartphones in 2018. With the Galaxy S9 leading the charge, we'll have a good indication of the design choices and specs for phone releases later in the year. Which phone are you the most excited about? Let us know in the comments below.

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Cover image via TechEU/Flickr, screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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