MWC 2017 in Barcelona may officially kick off on February 27, but most of the major announcements take place before that. In fact, it is all set to kick off tomorrow with BlackBerry who along with its hardware partner TCL Alcatel has an event scheduled for late evening. With just over 24 hours before the announcements start, here’s a look at all the launches and announcements expected to take place at MWC 2017.
BlackBerry: TCL Alcatel’s press conference is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Feb 25 at 11:30 PM IST. The company is going to showcase the BlackBerry Mercury, which it had teased a little during last month’s CES. Even though BlackBerry OS is dead, TCL Alcatel will try to appeal to hardcore BlackBerry fanatics with a physical QWERTY keyboard, which will have most of the keyboard functions that we first saw in the BlackBerry Passport. One key difference could be that the space bar could also double up for the fingerprint sensor. We can’t say we are big fans of the idea, we will find out how it works. Of course, the phone will run on Android with BlackBerry’s “OS” on top. Apart from the BlackBerry Mercury, we could also hope to see other smartphones and accessories that TCL Alcatel usually unveils during MWC.
TCL Alcatel is the only major brand that’s hosting a launch event on Saturday, with most companies preferring Sunday, which will kickstart with LG’s press conference.
LG: There’s hardly any surprise about what LG will showcase on Sunday (4:30 PM IST) at its MWC press conference. Apart from the leaks, the company itself has revealed a lot about the LG G6, which sports a unique 5.7-inch 18:9 QHD+ display, which is expected to be as close to a truly bezel-less display as possible. The G6 will come with a unique user interface, which LG teased last week, that will take advantage of the 18:9 display with square windows.
Earlier this week, LG also revealed detailed the cameras on the G6. The smartphone will come with a dual 13-megapixel rear cameras with 125-degree field of view, which it says resembles how the human eye sees things. Unlike the G5, this time both the cameras will work in tandem. The company also revealed the various modes you can choose, including a 1:1 mode for clicking square photos, especially for Instagram. The camera too will take advantage of the display aspect ratio and users will be able to see the last photo clicked alongside the camera’s viewfinder, “just like camera film roll”. Other modes include 360-degree mode as well as a food mode.
The smartphone is also expected to feature Snapdragon 821 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB storage options, a 12-megapixel selfie camera, 3,200mAh removable battery, 32-bit Quad DAC for superior audio performance, and IP68 certification for water and dust resistance. The LG G6 however won’t be the only smartphone to take stage on Sunday. The company has also unveiled the X400 and X Power2 mid-range smartphones, which too are expected to share the stage.
The LG X400 features a 5.3-inch 720p display, MediaTek MT6750 64-bit octa-core processor, 2GB RAM and Mali T860 GPU. The smartphone also features a 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 2,800mAh removable battery, and connectivity options like dual-SIM card slots, 4G LTE support.
The LG X Power2 was announced earlier today, and its highlight is the 4,500mAh battery. LG claims that the battery is good enough to last 15-18 hours on a single charge. The rest of the specs include 5.5-inch HD In-cell Touch display, 1.5GHz octa-core processor, 16GB storage, and a microSD card slot. The smartphone also features a 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, and 4G VoLTE support.
Huawei: Soon after LG’s press conference, Huawei will be hosting its MWC event (6:30 PM IST). The Chinese company has confirmed that it will be launching the P10, which as the name suggests, will be the successor to the P9. If the leaks are anything to go by, the Huawei P10 is set to look fairly similar to the P9 with slight tweaks.
As for the specifications, the Huawei P10 is expected to come with a 5.5-inch flat screen display, Kirin 960 chipset, 4GB/6GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB/128GB internal storage options. Like its predecessor, the P10 too will be coming with a dual-camera setup co-developed with Leica. Rumors hint that pricing for the p10 will start from RMB 3,488 (Rs 34,100 approximately) for the 32GB variant, and going up to RMB 4,688 (Rs 45,900 approximately) for the 128GB variant.
Apart from the smartphones though, Huawei has all but confirmed that it plans on unveiling a new smartwatch as well. Based on the leaks, the Huawei Watch 2 seems to feature a sportier look, and the renders also show a SIM card slot hinting at cellular connectivity. The Huawei Watch 2 is expected to come in at least three color variants, and will run on the recently released Android Wear 2.0.
The highlight of the day, however, will no doubt be HMD Global’s event, which kicks off at 9:00 PM IST. The company will be launching a host of Nokia-branded smartphones, and if the Nokia 6 was anything to go by, there’s still some huge anticipation around the iconic Finnish brand.
Nokia: With the Nokia 6 already available in China, leaks suggest, we could see some more smartphones like the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 8. As the names suggest, these smartphones will be placed across price segments starting from affordable and going up to the premium range. Rumors also hint at one more more Nokia-branded tablets running on the Android OS.
But what has really created a buzz is a recent report claiming that HMD Global could launch a modern rendition of the iconic Nokia 3310. Back in the heydays, the Nokia 3310 was a household name thanks to its incredible battery life and near-invincibility. It will be interesting if this new version will be able to strike the right chords, and reports claim it could cost as low as $60 (approximately Rs 4,000).
Lenovo/Motorola: Kicking off almost simultaneously with Nokia’s event will be Lenovo’s press conference with all rumors so far pointing towards two new Motorola smartphones — Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. Leaked renders and alleged hands-on photos have hinted towards a metal body and an upgraded design over last year’s Moto G4.
The Moto G5’s expected specs include 5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 430 SoC, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and a 2,800mAh battery. The Moto G5 Plus, on the other hand, is expected to come with a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 625 SoC, 4GB RAM, 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, and 5-megapixel selfie camera. Rumors also claim that the Moto G5 could be priced around $200 (Rs 13,400 approximately), while the Moto G5 Plus could be priced around $250 (Rs 16,800 approximately).
The pre-MWC events are set to conclude with Samsung’s event set to kick off at 12:30AM IST. But if you are waiting for the flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone, you will be disappointed. Samsung has pretty much made it clear that it will be unveiling a new tablet.
Samsung: Based on the rumors we have come across so far, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is expected to feature a 9.6-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB/128GB internal storage options. Reports further claim that the tablet will feature a 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 5,870mAh battery, USB Type-C port, and fingerprint sensor. The tablet is also expected to come with an optional S Pen stylus.
Besides the Galaxy Tab S3 tablet, Samsung could everyone first glimpse at its next-generation Gear VR headset. This VR headset is widely expected to be launched alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ in March. The new headset is expected to come with a dedicated controller and an updated cover to accommodate the upcoming Galaxy S8. Reports also suggest that Samsung could unveil the fourth-generation Galaxy Xcover smartphone on Sunday.
February 27 will kick off early with Sony hosting its event early in the morning at 8:30 AM local time (1:00 PM IST). Gionee is also set to host its event a bit later in the day, which kicks off at 3:30 PM IST. The likes of ZTE or OPPO aren’t really hosting a launch event, but will showcase their latest products at their respective booths.
Sony: Though details are a bit scarce, Sony is expected to unveil the XA (2017) smartphone at MWC 2017. Other rumors claim that Sony could unveil as many as five smartphones across different segments. Based on what we have come across so far, the Xperia XA (2017) is expected to come with a 5-inch display, 23-megapixel camera, 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB Type-C port.
Gionee: Gionee is widely expected to unveil a new A-series. Part of the series will be the A1 that is expected to feature 5.5-inch 1080p display, octa-core SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB onboard storage. The smartphone is also expected to feature a 13-megapixel rear camera, 16-megapixel selfie camera, and a 4,010mAh battery. There is also expected to be another variant called A1 Plus, and prices for the new smartphones are expected to start from around Rs 22,500.
ZTE: 5G connectivity may still be a distant dream, but ZTE believes it is still the right time to unveil a smartphone supporting the advanced network. The company is expected to launch a smartphone, called Gigabit, which will offer top-of-the-line specifications and features. Rumors also suggest that ZTE could launch its first-ever Android Wear smartwatch, dubbed Quartz.
February 28 will see two Chinese companies hosting events — Coolpad and Meizu. This is the first time Meizu is participating in the mobile expo.
Coolpad: Coolpad has all but confirmed that it plans to unveil the international variant of its Cool S1 smartphone, which was launched in China back in December. As the name suggests, this is the third smartphone from the partnership between Coolpad and LeEco. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 821 SoC paired with 4GB and 6GB RAM options. Other specs include a 16-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel selfie camera, 4,070mAh battery, and connectivity options like 4G support and USB Type-C port.
Meizu: Unlike Coolpad, Meizu hasn’t been that forthcoming on details about what it plans to unveil at MWC. It’s invite featured the charging symbol along with the tagline — ‘Faster than Ever’. It is expected that the Chinese company will unveil its new fast charging technology, and maybe also a smartphone featuring that technology.
OPPO: OPPO is riding high on a successful 2016 where it largely ruled the smartphone market in China. At MWC though the company isn’t lining up to make any big smartphone launch announcements. Instead, the company has teased that it will be showcasing its ‘5x’ smartphone photography technology. Though details are scarce, the company promises that this new technology will give users “unprecedented ability to capture highly detailed images.”
HTC: HTC too is believed to be participating at MWC, but it won’t be launching any flagship smartphones. Leaks suggest it could unveil a mid-range smartphone dubbed HTC One X10. Successor to the One X9, this smartphone is expected to come with features like 5.5-inch 1080p display, MediaTek MT6755 octa-core chipset, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. The smartphone could also come with a 16-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel selfie camera, and is likely to be priced somewhere around $288 (approximately Rs 20,000).
BGR India will be on the ground in Barcelona, so stay tuned for our coverage of MWC 2017.
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