In Review

Mobile World Congress 2019 preview: dates, 5G devices, foldable phones and more

The world’s most successful gadget makers will shortly descend on Barcelona

There’s less than two weeks to go before the Mobile World Congress (MWC) opens its doors in the Catalan capital. The industry-shaping show, which runs from 25 to 28 February, is the biggest smartphone event of the year.

The Barcelona event is expected to showcase the latest in smartphone technology, drawing the top names in gadget design from every corner of the globe. 

The only notable absentee from this year’s event is Apple, which chooses to host its own events at its facility in Cupertino, California, throughout the year. 

But for those with their eye on Spain, here’s a rundown of what to expect from this year’s smartphone expo: 

Huawei foldable phone and P30 Pro

Huawei, one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, is gearing up to announce a host of new devices in Barcelona. 

The mobile that is sure to grab the headlines is the Chinese firm’s new foldable smartphone, which the company previewed in a tweet earlier this month. Details about the device are thin on the ground, but the preview image suggests the phone will have a single hinge in the middle of the screen. 

According to the Android rumour site 9to5Google, the flexible phone will also be capable of connecting to 5G mobile networks. The networks, which offer download speeds similar to that of a broadband connection, will be rolled out worldwide throughout the year.

Along with its foldable phone, Huawei is expected to unveil its new P30 Pro, the successor to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S10-rivalling P20 Pro, says Expert Reviews

The device is rumoured to feature a 6.5in OLED display, a four-lens camera at the rear and Huawei’s new Kirin 980 processor, the website says. 

OnePlus moves to 5G

Huawei isn’t the only company releasing a 5G-capable device at MWC. OnePlus, the rival Chinese smartphone maker, has already confirmed that its next device, which is due to be unveiled at the show, will support the high-speed connection. 

The gadget marker hasn’t yet announced whether the 5G device will take the form of the new OnePlus 7, or if an all-new design will be introduced, says Forbes

OnePlus won’t be hosting its own conference at the show, however. Instead, the new device will be showcased at chipmaker Qualcomm’s stall, the news site says.

Oppo’s iPhone rival

The Chinese tech start-up has fast become one of the leading smartphone makers in the market thanks to its cheap yet powerful selection of handsets. 

The firm is expected to reveal an all-new device at the show that will reportedly sport a camera with a 10x optical zoom – significantly mote than the 2X optical zoom in the current line-up of iPhones, says T3

The unnamed mobile will also feature optical image stabilisation, which helps prevent users from taking shaky pictures, as well as a fingerprint scanner built into the device’s touchscreen, the tech site says. 

Samsung foldable phone and Galaxy Sport

Samsung will be unveiling its latest range of Galaxy smartphones at its Unpacked conference, which takes place on 20 February, just a few days before the Barcelona show opens, but the tech news site TNW (The Next Web) says it would come as little surprise if the company kept something “up its sleeve” for MWC. 

The Korean tech giant is expected to demonstrate its new foldable smartphone at the Barcelona event, as well as a cheaper version of its upcoming Galaxy S10 designed to rival the iPhone XR, the tech site says. 

There are rumours the firm will unveil a new smartwatch at the event called the Galaxy Sport, says news site Pocket-Lint. Details of the device are scarce, but its name suggests it will be aimed at fitness fans keen on introducing smart tech into their workout routines.

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