The 2019 staging of the Mobile World Congress is around the corner, and that means one thing: a series of wet dreams for smartphone fanboys who will look forward to their favourite manufacturer, be it Samsung, Sony or Huawei (HTC has pretty much waned – with zero rumours of a successor for the buttonless U12+), to launch a device that will somehow quench the staleness of modern smartphones that are trying a little too hard to sway customers in a market that steadily approaching a plateau.
That aside, if you have been following the mobile space for some time, you already know that the next wave of devices will probably avoid screen cutouts aka notches by all means necessary, pack the latest silicons with possible annoucement of early 5G-supported phones, and there is even a chance that Samsung or Xiaomi will release a foldable handheld (at this time, it is a safe bet to assume all OEMs are spending sleepless nights trying to streamline their not-so-ready foldable pocket computers just for online buzz and fitting into the top-tier smartphone narrative).
In the last couple of days, we have covered a couple of devices that will show up at MWC. Most of the coverage is based on credible rumours that have since proved interesting; Samsung is allegedly fitting dual front snappers on a punch hole for its S10+, Nokia is prepping a camera-centric successor of the Nokia 8 with a Penta-system on the rear, and Sony has probably scheduled an XZ5 launch prior to a possible announcement of the XZ3 that honestly does not need a successor right now. To this end, let’s dive into it, and we will keep it short.
The show will go live as of February 25, but we will not be surprised some companies make their announcements earlier than the scheduled time. Of course, the fair will be held in Barcelona, Spain.
Samsung will announce the S10 trio on Feb 20, five days earlier from the official opening of the show.
Leaks and tips have done the internet a favour, so we basically know what the phones will pack: as mentioned, punch holes will have a field day, although we are not sure whether Samsung will sneak in more tech in those holes. Otherwise, the S10 series will pack the best chip from Qualcomm (S855) for the Western market and China, as well as an Exynos equivalent (9820) for the rest of the world. We also expect the flagships to pack some tricks and firepower in their camera prowess, with software goodies under the brand new One UI and Android 9 Pie. It is also rumoured the phones will support reverse wireless charging as pioneered by the Huawei Mate 20 series, as well notable improvements in battery performance as the S9/S9+ performed dismally.
Samsung may also be revving up to launch a foldable phone dubbed the Galaxy F, or Galaxy X, or Galaxy X Infinity Flex. We really do not know, but we are confident a bendable device is in the pipeline; maybe not even during MWC, but some time later on.
Lastly, word has it that the South Korean manufacturer may skip on 5G talk till October when the Note10 will go live.
Similar to Samsung, Huawei is said to be testing a flexible device it plans to unleash at the right time, which could be at MWC, or not. It is also possible the Chinese OEM will announce the successor of the P20 series from 2018: the P30 and P30 Pro. The highlights of the P30s are based on camera performance as we saw with the P20 Pro that pushed the tri-camera setup to the masses.
It is also possible Huawei will announce a 5G phone as the manufacturer is one of the key corporations tasked with pushing the 5G agenda.
We have already highlighted the offerings of Nokia 9, which, to recap, may ship with five cameras at the rear that will effectively push it to a league of its own as far as camera module count is concerned. Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 has the highest number of back snappers at 4, and if Nokia escalates it, then the madness can only go too far.
LG no longer sells its phones in Kenya, unless you import or buy one from third-party retailers. Now, we do not know what LG will, which is often eclipsed by Samsung, bring to the table other than the G8 ThinQ. However, LG’s offerings have been pretty unexciting; its phones do the bare minimum, and are only appealing to diehard fans that take advantage of the V-series’ video recording capabilities. On the bright side, it is also worth noting that its LG that pioneered the transition to skinny 18:9 display ratios, which have since taken the industry by storm after the eventual death of 16:9.
We will keep you apprised of changes to these rumours, and report on the show’s progress as soon as it starts in late February.