The annual Mobile World Congress is nearly upon us, and we’re expecting a range of exciting new handsets to be on show. Here’s the full round-up of what’s in store.
MWC is always one of the biggest dates in the tech calendar, so we’re fervently hoping that the 2022 edition will not disappoint us, and that there will be some big new smartphone releases this Spring.
This article collects all the biggest news and rumours about the upcoming event, so you can see what there is to look forward to before it kicks off.
When is MWC?
This year MWC will take place from 28 February to 3 March 2022. It will be held in the same venue that it’s occupied since 2013, namely Fira Gran Via in the city of Barcelona.
Samsung at MWC 2022
Image Credit: Unbox Therapy
You might reasonably expect the highest-profile Android manufacturer to be the star of the show at MWC; however it may well be the case that the brand’s unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S22 (expected on 8 February and pictured above) will be its major event of the month instead. Nonetheless, there may still be announcements of mid-range devices that will take place at MWC, or more information on its planned software developments.
Samsung is heavily rumoured to be launching new Android tablets too in the form of the Galaxy Tab S8 range so that could be saved for MWC.
Last year the brand focused intensively on its wearables software in the wake of its wearables partnership with Google, which eventually bore fruit with the revamped operating system and interface we saw on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
Sony at MWC 2022
Sony has not been present at MWC since 2019, and sadly this trend is going to continue for at least one more year. An official statement on the matter reads as follows: “Sony Corporation has made the decision not to have its own stand at MWC 2022. As the world has largely shifted toward digital and online opportunities, Sony Corporation will communicate in ways that can bring our exciting product news to a wider audience.”
Huawei at MWC 2022
Huawei Mate X2
It’s been officially confirmed that Huawei will be present at MWC this year, boasting the strapline “Lighting up the future” — so what could the manufacturer have in store for us?
A major highlight from previous years was the unveiling of the Mate X foldable phone, but since the Android ban and Huawei’s resulting decline in Western markets, MWC may no longer be such a priority for the brand. Nonetheless, a foldable follow-up would surely be widely welcomed at the show.
OnePlus at MWC 2022
OnePlus 10 Pro
The most highly anticipated phone launches of early 2022 are undoubtedly those of the OnePlus 10 and OnePlus 10 Pro. This latter device received its Chinese release on 13 January, but promised an unveiling “later in 2022” for customers in the US and Europe.
However, it’s improbable that this launch will be delayed all the way until MWC at the end of the following month, so while the new handsets may still be on show there, a full-on launch event seems unlikely.
Xiaomi at MWC 2022
Xiaomi Mi 12
Xiaomi has not had a presence at MWC since 2019, but it could have a welcome return this year.
The flagship Xiaomi 12 landed in China with a big splash on 28 December, but it has yet to be officially unveiled in the West. MWC could potentially be the right place for such an unveiling — and we certainly hope it is — but if not then we can at least expect something to be revealed from the manufacturer’s sub-brands, Redmi and Poco.
Motorola at MWC 2022
Motorola Razr 2019
Motorola is usually a mainstay at MWC, and while the brand may choose the opportunity to showcase some of the mid-range devices for which it is best known, we’re also keeping our fingers crossed that it unveils the Motorola Razr 3 foldable as well. This follows comments in December from Chen Jin, the GM of the Lenovo Mobile Business Group in China, that the brand is “silently preparing the third-generation Razr”.
Honor at MWC 2022
Honor Magic V
Following its separation from Huawei, Honor products are once again available with Google Mobile Services — and the brand recently made its triumphant return to our shores with the Honor 50.
Having launched the Magic V flagship foldable exclusively in China this January, we’re expecting it to arrive here soon, and MWC 2022 may be just the right event for its debut.
Oppo at MWC 2022
Oppo Find X3 Pro
It is thought that Oppo is currently working on the Find X5 series, a follow-up to the excellent Oppo Find X3 Pro flagship (with the skipped number apparently due to the Chinese belief that 4 is unlucky). Rumoured specs include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, a 2K AMOLED screen, and a 125W fast charger — so this is one to keeps your eyes peeled for. There’s no guarantee that it will specifically make its grand appearance at MWC, but it is expected to launch in the first quarter of this year.
Realme at MWC 2022
Another brand with a flagship phone under development is Realme, and apparently this one is so special that it will be the brand’s first product with a “Pro+” designation. That’s likely to mean that the Realme 9 Pro+ will have excellent camera and screen specs, but we’re going to have to wait until its launch — which could be at MWC 2022 — to find out for sure.
There’s no denying that in-person events such as MWC have had a rough couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’re still not out of the woods yet, as is attested to by no-shows from the likes of Sony.
However, there’s reason for optimism this year not least due to the delectable rumours collected above, and nothing excites me more than the possibility of a new generation of foldable phones coming from Huawei, Motorola, and Honor. If the form factor is really to be the future of mobile tech then this budding competition is exactly what we need to see.