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MWC 2018: What new smartphones to expect

We round up the rumours, leaks and hearsay ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018. Here’s what to expect from MWC this year, including massive smartphone launches from Samsung, Sony, Nokia and many more.

What is MWC 2018?

Mobile World Congress, or MWC to call it by its more popular moniker, is a yearly expo that takes place in Barcelona. This is one of the biggest events in the smartphone calendar, thanks to the huge launches that take place there. In other words, you can expect massive names such as Samsung, Sony and Motorola to reveal their latest handsets, including some much-rumoured devices. From great-value budget blowers to premium flagships, MWC really does have it all.

The expo isn’t limited to just smartphones, however. These days you can also see new tablets, convertibles and other devices launched at MWC.

When is MWC 2018?

The exact start and end dates for MWC always change around, although the event usually kicks off towards the end of February. And while the expo technically lasts Monday to Friday, the launches themselves now stretch beyond those dates.

MWC 2018 officially kicks off on Monday February 26. However, we’ll be seeing Huawei and Samsung launch new devices on Sunday February 25, before it all begins. So be sure to check back then for our hands-on coverage.

What new smartphones can I expect to see at MWC 2018?

Here’s a quick run-down of the biggest launches we’re expecting from MWC. Check out the below video for a rumour round-up, with everything you can expect from this year’s expo.

Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event kicks off on Sunday February 25 at 6pm local time (5pm UK time). The star of the show will be the Galaxy S9 and S9+, which are expected to sport fresh new camera tech and features.

Sony

Sony has already launched three new phones this year (the Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2). All the same, we’re expecting a premium device to be unveiled at MWC 2018, possibly the Xperia XZ1 Premium. Sony’s launch takes place at 8am UK time on Monday February 26.

Huawei

Huawei is also beating the starter’s pistol by holding its press event on Sunday February 25. Sadly that 3pm launch won’t reveal any new flagship phones. Instead, the Huawei P20 will debut at a separate event on March 27, over in Paris. In place of phones we’re expecting new MateBooks to be revealed.

LG

There will be no official press event from LG this year, although we’re expecting some new handsets all the same. For instance, we’ll most likely see a slightly spruced up ‘LG V30+’, which boasts some new AI smarts. We reckon LG will launch some new budget blowers too, including a fresh K-series handset.

Nokia

Again, no proper MWC 2018 conference has been announced. Nokia is expected to show off some new affordable handsets however, as well as potentially revealing its new Nokia 9 flagship. This premium device would boast a glass finish and top-end specs, including the Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Motorola

We could see the launch of the Moto G6 family at MWC 2018, including Plus and Play models to cover a  range of budgets and needs. Expect the G series to be brought bang up to date, with 18:9 aspect ratio screens and perhaps even some dual lens camera tech. If these rumours are true, the new handsets will be serious rivals for the likes of Honor and Huawei.

BlackBerry

No official press conference doesn’t mean that we won’t see any news from BB. The manufacturer is still meeting press out at MWC 2018, hopefully to reveal a new KeyOne-style handset with QWERTY keyboard. We’ll be meeting them at their official booth, so stay tuned for a hands-on with any new gear.