Mobile World Congress 2017: Nokia, LG, Samsung, Huawei, Sony smartphones and more

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    Mobile World Congress 2017 has kicked off in Barcelona and will see an explosion of smartphones over the next few days, bringing you the latest hot gadgets from all the big manufacturers.

    It is one of the biggest fixtures in the mobile launch calendar, so here's everything you need to know about MWC 2017 and the smartphones, smartwatches and other devices launched so far or rumoured to appear.

    We'll be updating this feature will all the announcements that matter, so you're full up-to-date on all the important launches.

    What is Mobile World Congress?

    Mobile World Congress is an annual trade show run by the GSMA. The location moves around Europe, but in recent years it has been held in Barcelona, Spain.

    It is the launch platform for many of the year's big smartphones, but it has also given us a range of tablets, smartwatches and other connected devices in recent years.

    Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many of the industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, like 5G, chipsets, VR and other technologies.

    When is Mobile World Congress 2017?

    Mobile World Congress 2017 will be held from 27 February to 3 March. These are the days that the show itself is open, the press days - where the big announcements are made - usually fall before this.

    Sunday 26 February is the big launch day, the day before the show opens to visitors, with a number of confirmed press events, which we've detailed below.

    Hottest phones at MWC 2017

    In brief, here are the major phones launched so far or we're still expecting to see at MWC 2017

    BlackBerry at MWC 2017

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    BlackBerry has stopped making its own phones and has handed the license to TCL. The company held an early launch on 25 February to unveil a new handset, the BlackBerry KeyOne.

    Previously known as Mercury, the BlackBerry KeyOne offers a touch and type arrangement, giving you a full Android experience through the display, paired with a traditional BlackBerry-style keyboard beneath it. It's like the Priv, but without the slide action. It's a new BlackBerry, in a new format, but it's one that might just work.

    Google at MWC 2017

    Google always has a good time at MWC, using it as an opportunity to show off all its Android partners. Google doesn't typically launch at MWC, but we saw the announcement of Android Wear 2.0 on 8 February. We've also seen increasing chatter about the wider availability of Google Assistant.

    Google Assistant was a Pixel exclusive, the coming to Google Home, but has already been confirmed for Android Wear 2.0, Android TV and some future Android smartphones. We're expecting this new Google AI to become the centre of a lot of future communications between your Android devices and other services.

    Huawei at MWC 2017

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    Huawei has a mixed history with MWC, often using the conference to launch new devices, but not always the new flagship, which often gets its own, large, launch event a month later.

    However, this year it decided to use the event to unveil the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus smartphones, weighing in at 5.1 and 5.5-inches respectively. They both run on the latest Kirin 960 octa-core processor, and come with stacks of graphical power for palm-sized devices.

    They also each come with Huawei's Dual Camera tech.

    Huawei also announced the Huawei Watch 2, which runs on Android Wear 2.0 and comes in Classic and Sports formats. They also add GPS functionality, so you can go on a run without the need of a smartphone in your pocket. A Porsche Design Huawei Watch is also on its way.

    LG at MWC 2017

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    LG used its MWC press conference to exclusively unveil the LG G6 - much as we expected. It is a 5.7-inch 18:9 device with a 2880 x 1440 pixel resolution. It is also the first phone with Dolby Vision HDR support to offer better contrast and a wider colour gamut for video playback.

    The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, which is supported by 4GB of RAM so every indication is that it will move like the clappers. The rear camera is made up of two lenses with a 13-megapixel sensor. One of them is wide-angle.

    Price and release date are yet to be revealed, but several networks have confirmed they will be carrying it.

    Motorola at MWC 2017

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    Motorola was rumoured to be unveiling the Moto G5 handset during owner Lenovo's press conference and it didn't disappoint.

    The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus were both launched in the budget phone space, but with premium tech that belies their price point.

    The G5 has a metal body, 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430 processor and 3GB of RAM. There's a 2,800mAh battery inside, plus a 5-inch Full HD display and 13-megapixel front camera. Its larger sibling has a 5.2-inch Full HD display instead, with a faster 2.0GHz octa-core processor and bigger 3,000mAh battery.

    Prices start at just £169 for the Moto G5, so it seems that Motorola has done it again.

    Nokia at MWC 2017

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    Nokia's pre-show hype focused mainly on the return of an old favourite, the Nokia 3310, and the brand didn't disappoint.

    Using the Nokia moniker, manufacturer HMD Global has reintroduced a simple feature phone with the same styling as the 2000 classic handset, but with a full colour screen and slimmer build. It looks the part but don't expect tech miracles - it's not even 3G so is basically just for calls, texts and, of course, Snake.

    Along with the 3310, HMD Global has three Android phones releasing under the Nokia name. The Nokia 3, 5 and 6 are budget handsets, priced from just €139. They come in 5, 5.2 and 5.5-inch screen sizes respectively.

    The Nokia brand is also to be used by, erm, Nokia, it has been announced. It will be releasing a range of new Withings fitness and health products under the name now that it owns the French tech firm.

    Oppo at MWC 2017

    While some Chinese companies, like Xiaomi, aren't attending MWC, Oppo has declared that it is. There's talk about a new technology that is revolving around 5x - possibly that it's going to be offering 5x zoom on smartphone cameras. This might be a dual camera setup like the iPhone 7 Plus, but at the moment, we only have the odd vague tease from Oppo.

    We'll know more on Monday afternoon, 27 February.

    Qualcomm at MWC 2017

    Qualcomm underpins a lot of the technology in modern mobile devices and the company is looking to reinforce the position of Snapdragon 835 as the chipset of choice in mobile devices. We've heard that Qualcomm will be showing off VR-related demos powered by this new hardware, including integration of Leap Motion. There's also wider talk of smart devices powered by Qualcomm hardware.

    Samsung at MWC 2017

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    Samsung wasn't expected to announce the Samsung Galaxy S8 at Mobile World Congress 2017 - that is looking more likely to make an appearance at a separate event in Match. Instead, it used its press conference on Sunday 26 February to launch the Galaxy Tab S3, a new premium Android tablet with an included S Pen stylus.

    The company is also taking on Microsoft and the Surface Book with its own Galaxy Book 2-in-1 tablets/laptops. There will be two sizes available - 10.6 and 12-inches - and both Windows 10 devices come with a detachable keyboard to switch them between notebook and slates. They also come with Intel processors inside and can be used with an optional S Pen.

    Finally, Samsung has unveiled a new version of the Gear VR headset which comes with a dedicated touchpad controller.

    Sony at MWC 2017

    Sony likes to launch devices, often using IFA and MWC as the chance to do so. Having moved on from the Xperia Z family into the Xperia X, there's already rumours that Sony will be using MWC 2017 to update the Xperia X. In fact, there is talk that the company could announce five new devices. The rumours have so far mentioned the Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium.

    Sony has scheduled a press conference for Monday 27 February, so we will know more then.

    Withings at MWC 2017

    As explained under "Nokia" above, the Withings brand is being phased out and replaced by Nokia, now that the companies are one and the same.

    A range of new health products and fitness trackers will be released under the Nokia brand in summer 2017.

    ZTE at MWC 2017

    ZTE has been looking to raise its profile outside China and appearing at MWC is one way to do that. The company has previously confirmed that it is looking to launch a new smartwatch, so that might be on the agenda for an MWC release. This is now looking a lot more likely, with a press event scheduled for 26 February and the recent leak of the ZTE Quartz, a new smartwatch.

    by Chris Hall & Rik Henderson
    Original Source

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