MWC 2016: what smartphones to expect from Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Huawei, and other companies

Mobile World Congress 2016 is just around the corner and we can't get any more excited! Just like any other year, MWC will be the single most grandiose and important mobile tech show... at least for the first half of 2016. 

Traditionally held in Barcelona, Spain, this year's MWC kicks off on Monday, February 22 and end on Thursday, February 25. That's more than enough time for the attending OEMs to put their newest products on display. Of course, we will be there, catering all the important news to you.

While we are less than three weeks away, we already seem to know quite a lot about what devices and gadgets to expect at the trade show. Things like Samsung's Galaxy S7 and LG's high-end device are seemingly set in stone, but we also have a vast flurry of expectations from the other attending manufacturers. 

We've summarized all we know about MWC 2016 down below in order to sate your anticipation to some extent. 

Contents:

Samsung  |  LG  |  HTC  |  Huawei  |  Sony  |  Microsoft  |  Xiaomi


Samsung


Samsung has confirmed that it will introduce its next Galaxy flagship, the S7, during an Unpacked event on February 21. As you most likely know, the S7 is expected to house a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution, a Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 chipsets depending on the version, 4 gigs of RAM, and a 12MP BriteCell camera unit on the back, and a 3,000mAh juicer the keep the show going. Check out all the rumors around the anticipated Samsung flagship in our extensive rumor review



Alongside the Galaxy S7, we should most certainly witness the debut of the Galaxy S7 edge. This one supposedly boasts a 5.5-inch display up front and shares the same hardware setup as the Galaxy S7 save for the battery, which is said to have a capacity of 3,600mAh. According to some fresh leaks, developers will be allowed to utilize the curved edge panels of the phone thanks to the Look SDK. 


Last, but not least, there's a pretty high chance that Samsung will show us its newest toy, a 360-degree VR camera that will enable devs to create virtual reality experiences for the Samsung Gear VR headset. The device is said to be a "compact spherical camera" making use of two 180-degree fisheye lenses that together create 360-degree imagery. Here's is some more info on this intriguing VR camera.



LG


LG will be not only attending MWC 2016, it will also be lifting the veil off of a major new smartphone. No surprises here - it will be the LG G5, the anticipated 2016 flagship of the South Korea-based OEM. Earlier today, a rather interesting and playful invitation confirmed that the phone will be announced on February 21.

We heard that the G5 might come with an intriguing new mechanism that will allow the phone's rumored battery to coexist with its supposedly metal build. Apart from this, we are convinced that the flagship phone will arrive with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, a 5.3 to 5.6-inch Quad HD display, and a dual rear camera setup (16MP + 8MP). Here's everything we know about the LG G5 so far.

Of course, there's always the chance that the G5 doesn't make the cut in Barcelona. After all, LG's invitation for the event is pretty vague - it features a picture of a music box, accompanied by "PLAY Begins". While it leaves a lot to the imagination, the invitation doesn't exactly fuel our expectations for the LG G5.




HTC


To say that Taiwan-based HTC has not been in the greatest shape in 2015 will be a major understatement. Regardless, we are always looking forward to see what the once-domineering Android OEM has been prepping for us. While we are certainly hoping for a flagship, whether it will roll under the HTC M10 or another name, the rumor mill claims that we might not see said device in Barcelona. HTC is said to be prepping a dedicated March event for its next hero device.

But hey, let's not think of the worst possible scenario. There's a pretty high chance that the HTC M10 might see the light of day at MWC 2016. If it does, it might feature a Snapdragon 820 chipset in its European version, while a MediaTek one might make the cut in the Asian one. There's a whole lot of other rumors regarding the phone, too - you can check them out in our extensive rumor review.



Huawei


What do we expect on Huawei's part? Although the major China-based OEM is expected to unveil not one, not two, but a whole lot of four versions of the Huawei P9 this year, one can easily deduce that at least one of them will be announced at MWC 2016, right? Wrong! It seems that Huawei is planning to hold its own event in March and announce some of its upcoming product(s) then.

What to expect from the Huawei P9? We heard that it might sport a 5.2-inch display and rely on the Kirin 950 chipset, paired with 4 gigs of RAM. A 3,000mAh battery is said to keep the lights running, but the highlight of the handset might turn out to be its dual rear camera setup. Supposedly, the main one will be a 12MP snapper, while the secondary shooter might (or might not) capture depth information. Oh, and the P9 might pack a front-facing fingerprint scanner, too.

Does this mean that we are not sure whether Huawei will unveil a new device in Barcelona? Well, for the most part, yes - we've heard nothing certain about its plans for the trade show, but this totally doesn't mean we should lower our guard. Huawei is one of those smartphone makers that can always come up with a surprise announcement. But we wound't count on it, as the large Mate 8 got introduced merely a month ago, so we will probably have to wait a bit before we see a new Huawei device.



Sony


With Sony, one never knows. The Japanese have proven that they are able to cook a surprise as easy as pie, but we don't expect to see the Xperia Z6 at MWC 2016. Instead, we feel that a tablet might be on the way. Whether this will be the Xperia Z5 Tablet or another slate, we can't say at this point. We've heard nothing compelling so far, though Sony certainly has a thing for announcing tablets during MWC. Back at MWC 2014, the Xperia Tablet Z2 was introduced, while at MWC 2015 Sony announced the Z4 Tablet. 


Microsoft


Microsoft's phone division is not doing great. While this is true, new devices with Windows on board should be expected in the future and that's inevitable. Although we have heard nada about a phone that Redmond is readying up itself to announce in the following weeks, we are always open for surprises. Who know, that leaked and seemingly scrapped Lumia 850 might turn out to be real, though we are not counting on it.


Xiaomi


Err, no, you did not read that wrong - it seems that Xiaomi will indeed be present at MWC 2016. The expo will be the perfect forum to show the Xiaomi Mi 5. The flagship of the China-based phone maker is bound to arrive roughly two years after its predecessor was introduced, which is quite the lengthy period in such a dynamic industry.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 has leaked extensively with time and the numerous leaks painted a pretty reliable picture of what we can expect from the "hero" phone. You can check some believable design leaks right below, showing us that the device will arrive with a physical home button with an embedded fingerprint scanner, as well as what seems to be a glass-metal design. Under the hood, we'd be surprised if the Mi 5 doesn't come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and at least 3 gigs of RAM. A 5.2-inch 1080p or 5.3-inch Quad HD display complete the rumored specs sheet of the handset.

You can check out everything we know about the Mi 5 so far in our lengthy rumor review.

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33 Comments

1. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

Force Touch. Everywhere.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Good. Pressure sensitive touchscreens are going to replace normal capacitive touchscreens Like how capacitive touchscreens replaced resistive touchscreens Apple beat Android OEMs to the punch, good on them, but who cares

3. TerryTerius unregistered

Pretty much this. Who gives a damn where new, reinvented, or freshly recycled ideas come from so long as they're bringing something to the table? I'll never understand why people bandwagon enormous multibillion-dollar multinational corporation's of huge power and political influence like they're sports teams. Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, or anyone else you want to name. Everyone copies everyone else just as much as they invent, tweak, or refine. That's how literally all progress in the history of mankind was made.

4. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

Who cares? Every true fan of technology, because Apple's power within the market forced Android manufacturers to provide this technology. So yea, I'd say a lot of people care.

6. realjjj

Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

You are incredibly clueles, Apple hasn't even created the term "Force Touch" , yet alone the tech. And they haven't done anything relevant with it yet.

8. TerryTerius unregistered

The point is that you as the end-user benefit no matter who brings a technology to the market that is widely adopted wholesale or refined. Being a supposed fan of technology is only a mental state, not a quantifiable real world metric affected by the implementation of ideas. A couple hundred (or to be gratuitous a couple thousand) people who frequently comment on tech sites pale in comparison to the billions of smart phone owners around the world at large. Who most likely don't really give a damn.

10. another1

Posts: 157; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

That wasn't my point. My point is that you still should provide credit to the company who markets a new piece of technology well enough for every company within the industry to adopt. Credit should be given to Apple. No other company except for maybe Samsung can pull that off.

11. TerryTerius unregistered

Ah, my apologies for misreading your post. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that. That is one of the benefits of sheer size and mental cachet. That, and some people don't seem to understand the difference between invention and popularizing. The latter of the two can only really be done by the bigger fish in the pond. Ultimately, having a great idea isn't really useful if you never hear about it or get to use it.

20. Furbal unregistered

except the company that actually makes it. Synaptic is the one that will get it to the masses with clearforce

36. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Apple set the stepping stone and because it's Apple were talking about, They are trend setter with many followers. Huawei might try to introduce FT on smartphone ahead of Apple but in the end no one cares...

12. Jason2k13

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Why would people, even true fans care who did it first? Wether its Apple, Samsung or my grandma we will not get free money or a free phone out of it. Who ever did it first, good on them but who cares who did it first?

14. TerryTerius unregistered

To a certain degree it's important when companies don't get credit for what they've done. Mental cachet in the public consciousness, and of course the obvious legal side. But in the material senseā€¦ As a customer it isn't really all that relevant.

30. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

As I have said on. Many posts taking that big battery with the that full end on it with you is a joke, when you can easy buy a wiresless battery pack for the s7 edge and also get a bigger starting battery and the normal better battery life for a Samsung phone, the samsung as the win there, I just hope that Samsung make more of the battery case this year to remove the only thing that buyers may go and get the g5

16. Predator-X

Posts: 44; Member since: Jan 07, 2016

Why everybody copies samsungs home button and why e erybody doing it?? I HATE physical pressing crap button! They all look now like galaxies..

17. Predator-X

Posts: 44; Member since: Jan 07, 2016

Why everybody copies samsungs home button and why e erybody doing it?? I HATE physical pressing crap button! They all look now like galaxies..

5. realjjj

Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

the biggest news by far could be Magic Leap but nothing is certain, we'll have to wait and see.

7. rick_mobile

Posts: 358; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

I just recently started to REALLY appreciate how valuable and convenient it is to have removable batteries, is one of the things I miss the most about my note 4. Instead of pluging in to a power bank on a busy day. Any manufacturer that offers a flagship with top specs AND removable battery will be on my top list this year. Can't way to see what everyone offers!

9. TerryTerius unregistered

Your list basically begins and ends with LG.

13. rick_mobile

Posts: 358; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

yep, looks like it. Unless the next Samsung of Nexus flagship comes with a 3500+ mAh battery in one of their phones; else my options will be limited.

32. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

The s7 edge as 3600 battery and also a wiresless battery case, why the lg G5 comes with a smaller battery and will use more battery and then make you have to take with you a very big long battery that as a big lg end on it with you on the go, hm

21. Xelief

Posts: 62; Member since: Aug 17, 2015

Removable batteries are nice for a variety of reasons. Being able to remove it without taking the phone apart is nice if and when the batterie craps out but the rest of the phone works perfectly fine. Also, when I drained the battery to 0% on my Nexus 5 it wouldn't turn back on again. I read that pulling the battery helps with this issue and, after taking the phone apart and pulling the battery, it did indeed fix my problem. The N5 does not have a removable battery though and it was REALLY inconvenient.

34. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

You can easy just put on your wiresless battery case with the he s7 edge that comes with a way bigger battery to start with and will use less power, why are you going to take a big crap long battery with a big lg end on it, you need to think about it?

37. Xelief

Posts: 62; Member since: Aug 17, 2015

What the actual f**k does anything you said have to do with what I said?

15. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Idk about you but I like benchmark scores and I can't wait to see what the none QHD Mi5 scores in a handful of test. Theoretically it should score the highest out of all Q1 Sd820 powered devices, hopefully its optimized good or it won't score what it should. I know benchmarks don't mean much(2 of them actually do) but I still like them.

28. TyrionLannister unregistered

The real life performance will be the same as QHD phones, so whatever. On-screen benchmarks are pretty much irrelevant. For example, HTC M9 will give you less frame-rate in games compared to S6 or Nexus 6P, despite crushing them both in on-screen tests. Proof: https://www.gamebench.net/en/blog/iphone-6s-gaming-ranked-against-android-rivals Heck, even the iPhone 6S with its 3x more on-screen fps isn't much faster than S6. The scores on iPhone is higher as devs usually optimise games better on iOS. Also there's metal on iOS and most android games are capped at 30 fps, for reasons I don't know. The reason, 1440p screens don't usually render the game in 1440p. In fact, it's closer to 720p. So a 720p screen will have almost the same fps as a 1440p screen in a real life game. Benchmarks are different as they actually render a 1440p game. But in real life, it will never happen. Source: https://www.gamebench.net/en/blog/screenshot-comparisons-galaxy-s6-vs-iphone-6-vs-iphone-6-plus

35. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Samsung also as a tool to change the res in games as needed

18. Bondurant

Posts: 780; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

hope Huawei doesn't screw up an otherwise nice P9 by not using the Kirin 950 and using kirin 935 instead.

19. yann

Posts: 612; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

You can be sure that P9 will be with Kirin 950 under the hood. 935 is history and was used in some series of P8, but didn't come to USA or Europe. It was only available in China. I also expect P9 with huge interest to jump windows phone ship. I'm tired of waiting for stable w10m version and the app gap is too serious for me. Not for games, but hell - even Booking scrap their app for windows 10 mobile. Not to mention bank apps etc.

23. bassembm

Posts: 143; Member since: Dec 27, 2015

LGG5 any day

27. soldier820

Posts: 115; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

lg and Samsung

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