Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off Sunday, and that means we’re about to get a shitload of smartphone news. Samsung, LG, and other popular smartphone-makers use the convention as a launching pad for all their new products. Gadget fiends that we are, we can’t wait.
While there will definitely be major smartphone releases, there are also likely to be some interesting smaller announcements as well. We sifted through the heaps of rumors surrounding the show to find out exactly what will be happening this year. Here’s exactly what you can expect from MWC 2016
For the last couple of years, Samsung has used MWC to build hype around its newest flagship smartphone. This year probably won’t be much different. Samsung will almost definitely release a new 5.5-inch flagship smartphone dubbed the Galaxy S7. The successor to last year’s flagship, the Galaxy S6, the new phone will look nearly identical to its predecessor. We expect it to have a 12-megapixel camera, 2,800mAH battery, and a micro-SD card slot. Although it’s been rumored for months that the phone would include USB-C charging, the most recent leaked photos show a Galaxy S7 with a standard micro-USB charging cable. Plug right into the past.
Samsung’s greatest Android rival, LG, is also an MWC veteran, and this year, the company will provide details about its latest flagship, the G5. The phone is rumored to sport a brand new Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a smaller battery than before. All of that basically means that the smartphone is mostly a bunch of incremental updates across the board. It will be a little thinner, a little faster, and a little zippier all around.
But perhaps the most interesting rumor surrounding the LG G5 is the fact that company will introduce something called a “Magic Slot,” which will allow people to upgrade their smartphone using replaceable parts. The Magic Slot is intended to turn the G5 into something of a modular smartphone, meaning that people can plug in new cameras, batteries and other accessories that would extend the life of the phone far into the future—which brings us to our next trend.
The need to reinvent the smartphone has never been greater, as once booming sales have slowed across almost all manufactures, including Apple. The problem is that rival companies have focused on creating faster processors, better displays, and better cameras year after year. Now that the technology has moved far enough along, people are finding it harder and harder to justify buying a new smartphone. So many companies will begin bundling their phones with new accessories like virtual reality headsets, 360-degree cameras that will film content for those headsets, and extra batteries. Expect more and more things to plug into the bottom of next-generation smartphones.
When the hell will we finally see more flagship smartphones with 4K displays? Probably not at MWC 2016. We’re expecting nicer, brighter displays than ever before—but none of the will reach the same glory that we saw in the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium last year. It’s looking like we’ll have to wait yet another year to cross this one off our wish list.
There’s mounting interest in the fifth generation of wireless broadband data—5G—which will bring even faster speeds to mobile devices that than ever before. Although the 5G standards haven’t been finalized yet, we expect plenty of panels and conversations surrounding the arrival of 5G. We probably won’t see 5G internet in 2016, but there should be a very clear roadmap as to when it might arrival after Mobile World Congress. If smartphones are to remain a part of our everyday lives, faster internet is crucial, and we should learn more about how soon faster wireless internet might arrive.
Lead Image via AP