With the year’s biggest mobile show just around the corner, tech enthusiasts are geared up to see what it has on the platter. While the wearables section could possibly make the most noise at the show, its confirmed that the smartphone will also witness some “big announcements”. From Samsung’s flagship S5 and HTC’s private smartwatch preview to Nokia’s Android-powered device and Tizen-based Galaxy smartwatch, MWC has been creating a lot of buzz. So we’ve sifted through rumours and official announcements to jot down what we can expect to be launched at the MWC 2014.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung is all set to pull the curtains off its flagship Galaxy S5 on February 24 at the company’s ‘Unpacked 5’ event slated to be held at MWC. After the massive success that was 2012′s Galaxy S3, the sales of last year’s Galaxy S4 have been quite poor as the high-end smartphone market hit a ceiling. The company will hope to remedy this problem by pushing out a new smartphone in the S-series as early as possible and slowly bring down the price of the existing high-end range. Samsung seems to be in a hurry and doesn’t want to wait until April like last year to begin selling its flagship.
Though Samsung has been tight lipped about the S5’s specs, most of them are already out in the form of leaks and rumours. The device is rumoured to feature an eye-popping 2560×1440 pixels resolution, resulting in a massive pixel density of 560ppi. It is likely to feature a polycarbonate body just like the previous models and has reportedly ditched its ambitious “iris scanner” plans to go with a fingerprint scanner instead. A gold variant of the device has also been tipped. Check out our round-up of Galaxy S5′s expected specs and features.
Samsung Galaxy F
While Apple opted for polycarbonate body for its “cheaper” iPhone 5c, Samsung is now rumoured to build a metal version of the Galaxy S5. The metal variant of the S5 is likely to be called the Galaxy F. An earlier leak had shown the metal frame of the phone, which led many to believe that Samsung is shedding its plastic roots. Of course just a metal frame does not tell us much about the materials for the exterior, but plastic build for high-end phones has been the biggest criticism against Samsung for many years. So it would make sense that Samsung is finally trying to change things around.
As we draw closer to the Mobile World Congress, news and rumours around the Nokia Android phone are also getting stronger. On the Nokia Conversations website, the company had put up a rather telling image earlier this week. The image showed four black arrows on a bright green background, all pointing towards the centre. A closer look at the image and the arrows appeared to form a green X. Nokia had also changed the shade on its Facebook and Google pages to the vivid green that’s part of the teaser image. While the change in colour lasted briefly, it hinted at Nokia donning the Android green for its upcoming MWC event.
Highly speculated to launch at the MWC, the Nokia X aka Normandy is believed to run a heavily skinned version of Android 4.4. KitKat, making it look more like a Windows Phone, rather than your average Android phone. There has been wide speculation that Nokia may push out its low-end Asha series running on Android OS, and camouflage it with a completely different UI, something we’ve seen Amazon do in the past. On the other hand, company’s high-end Lumia device would still run on Windows Phone OS. Going by the leaks and rumours so far, this looks more and more likely.
LG G2 Mini
LG introduced a refreshing change in smartphone design with the launch of the G2 last year. The phone fared quite well in our review. It’s now official that the company will be announcing the G2 Mini at MWC 2014. The company released a teaser titled ‘Knock and Discover Tomorrow’, which shows the G2 Mini with the same rear mounted keys as its big brother. It is rumoured to feature a qHD (960×540 pixels) display, 1.2GHz MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 processor and the latest Android 4.4 KitKat version.
LG G Pro 2
By the end of January, LG had confirmed that it will launch the G Pro 2 in February. Now, the teaser video released by the company confirms that the G Pro 2 will be unveiled at the MWC alongside the LG G2 Mini. The company has also confirmed that the device will feature a 13MP camera with enhanced OIS and 4k recording. The rear camera is reportedly capable of recording 4K videos (3840 x 2160 pixels). The G Pro 2 will also get a 2.1MP front-facing camera and LG claims to have added some improvements to it. The G Pro 2 will be the company’s largest smartphone yet and is widely expected to have a 5.9-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixel resolution) display. That would also make it the first LG phone with such a high resolution display and one of the first in the market, if LG manages to launch it soon after the announcement. It could also feature a finger-print scanner, which presumably will be seen in most of the upcoming smartphones in 2014.
Sony Xperia Z2
At MWC this year, Sony could launch the Xperia Z2 (codenamed Sirius), successor to the Z1 launched last year. Just ahead of the event, snapshots have leaked showing the Z2 with bezel-free, edge-to-edge display. While the specs of the device are yet unclear, it is believed to be a significant improvement over its predecessor. The screen of the device is touted to be the key highlight. Most likely it will retain all the weather-proof capabilities. We wonder if Sony will follow the herd and add a fingerprint scanner to the device. Some other rumoured specs include a 5.2-inch display, 4k video recording support, Qualcomm’s 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 MSM8974AB processor, 3GB of RAM and 20.7-megapixel rear camera.
If the spec sheet is to be believed then Sony’s brewing some tough competition in the premium smartphone space. The company is also expected to launch its flagship tablet at the event. The tablet – codenamed Castor – is powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor. The company is expected to launch them in both 4G and Wi-Fi variants.
Nokia Moneypenny, Lumia 1525, Lumia 1820
If rumours are to be believed Nokia has a slew of handset announcements lined up for the Mobile World Congress this month. Nokia will reportedly roll out its first dual SIM Windows Phone 8.1-based device at the event. Apart from the OS and SIM capability, not much is known about the device yet.
Nokia is also expected to announce the rumoured Lumia 1525 and Lumia 1820 at the event. With a metal unibody design, the Lumia 1820 is likely to feature 5.2-inch display with 2K pixel resolution, 32GB onboard storage, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, 3GB of RAM and 3400mAh battery. The Nokia Lumia 1525 may come with specs on similar lines, but is likely to rope in a larger 6-inch 2K display. Nokia is also rumoured to announce the Lumia 1520V with 4.45-inch screen and a 14MP camera at the event.
Huawei Ascend P7 and other lineup
Huawei has trolled Apple and Samsung in its latest teaser video that gives a sneak peak into the lineup of devices it plans to launch at the Mobile World Congress 2014. The one minute video confirms that the company will be launching a slim tablet, smartphone with a good front-facing camera and a new multimedia device.
Now, the new smartphone could be the rumoured Ascend P7 that is believed to help users click the best selfies with its 8MP front-facing camera. The tablet could be the MediaPad X1 Android tablet featuring a 7-inch display. Some other rumoured specs include 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 1920×1200 resolution, 6,000mAh battery and optional LTE connectivity.
ZTE Grand Memo II LTE, updated ZTE One
The Chinese phone maker ZTE is set showcase its Android and Firefox devices at the MWC this year. The Android-based One is a 6-inch phablet called the ZTE Grand Memo II LTE. The company also plans to launch the updated variant of its Firfox-based ZTE Open at the tech trade show.
Tizen-based Gear 2, Samsung Galaxy Band
Despite the not-so-popular Galaxy Gear, Samsung isn’t ready to give up on smartwatches yet. Just before CES, the company had hinted that it plans to bring the Galaxy Gear successor, and the latest chatter by people related to the matter suggest that the device will be announced at the MWC. Moreover, the next iteration of the Android OS is likely to run on Samsung’s own Tizen OS, and not Android.
Earlier reports claimed that Samsung plans to build a fitness-focussed smartwatch dubbed Galaxy Band. The criticism that the Gear received has probably led Samsung to re-brand the smartwatch and not follow the Gear nomenclature, or it could just be a new product category from Samsung. The Galaxy Gear has already seen a price drop twice and is now selling around Rs 15,000.
Sony Smartwatch 3
We may see the successor of the Galaxy Gear battle it out with the new Sony Smartwatch 3 post MWC. The Smartwatch 3, successor to the Smartwatch 2, is likely to be a complete overhaul of the existing device. It may carry forward some features found in the predecessor such as receiving text and email notifications directly on the smartwatch. It is also likely to have support for Bluetooth and NFC, while Sony should ideally improve app functionality and bring support for third-party apps too.
Looks like everyone wants a piece of the smartwatch pie! Word has it, HTC is also working on a smartwatch that it plans to showcase at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. However, it will be a private preview and the device won’t be going into production anytime soon. The HTC smartwatch prototype is based on the Qualcomm Toq. It features a Mirasol display, Bluetooth connectivity, fitness tracking, several days of battery life, fitness tracking, and will also support push notifications. The report further says that the prototype won’t be shown to public because the company hasn’t sketched any plans for production of the device yet. Besides the Toq-based smartwatch ptrototype, HTC is also working on two other wearable devices.