To put the Mobile World Congress into context for you non-tech nerds, it’s the tech industry’s Superbowl, World Cup or Wrestlemania. It’s where the biggest guys in the industry come together in Barcelona and announce their upcoming products being released this year. Of course, Apple don’t like sharing the spotlight with the competition and announce new products at their own keynote events. We not only see the newest smartphones on the market but also tablets, wearables and hopefully a couple of VR Headsets this year.
Last year we were introduced to Samsung’s Galaxy S6, the HTC M9, the Huawei Watch and the innovative Galaxy S6 Edge. So what can we see this year and what would we like to see from some of the companies that will be there on the
MWC 2016: Samsung
Last year we saw the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, which did not disappoint. There was a design overhaul as Samsung moved towards an aluminium body as opposed to the plastic looking Galaxy S5. The stylishness of the Galaxy S6 earned it a spot it the “fashion” movie of the year, Zoolander 2. Also, the sheer the power coming out of it was incredible. Not so popular was the choice to get rid of the SD card slot installing a non-removable battery and opting out of waterproofing. Sure, these all seemed to be downgrades from the Galaxy S5 but when you use it you can see it’s far from a downgrade.
Samsung at MWC 2016: What we want to see
Some rumours have been knocking around already, but there are the perennial upgrades we’d hope for. As always, better battery life is always nice, so we’ll have some of that Samsung. Also, paying an extra 100 for an extra 32GB of storage was ridiculous when the year before you could pay a base price for a Galaxy S5 and pay €20 for a 32GB SD card, saving 80 bucks. In other words, don’t do an Apple on it Samsung and bring back an SD card slot. And if ye could bring back the water resistance for shower tunage, that would be great too.
Few will deny the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, but it would be great to see increased functionality from the curved areas of the screen. Last year the Galaxy S6 Edge yielded minimal usability. Many who bought it said they wish they got the regular Galaxy S6 instead owing to the Galaxy Edge does so little and it’s annoying trying to hold it. If we’re going to spend an extra €100 or €200 for curved glass,we need it to be justified Samsung.
Samsung at MWC 2016: What to expect
One of the main upgrades the public wants to see year after year. Let’s face it, smart phones have more or less replaced cameras, so if a smart phone is going to be a number once choice for cameras, manufacturers really need to up their game. Samsung hears you. The rear camera is rumoured to be 20MP, with f-2 aperture for even better low light conditions. The front camera is rumoured to be a very impressive 13MP, which Snapchat users and selfie takers will be beaming to hear. However recent updates have played down the 20MP camera rumour and reckon it’ll have a 12MP with a better sensor and quicker auto-focus.
What good is it all if it dies all the time? Battery life is a main attraction to consumers these days. If our battery isn’t going to last the day, I want it charging fast! And Samsung are looking to bring just that with their fast charging technology. It is rumoured that the Galaxy S7 will take about 40 minutes to get a full charge. You’ll also have the option for wireless charging. Not only this, they have also recently trademarked the term ‘Always on Display’. Apparently it gives us updates on weather, time, notifications and more whilst using little battery power.
As for removable batteries? It doesn’t look like Samsung will be opting in again, but they are bringing out a rumoured 3000 mAh battery for the Galaxy S7 and 3600 mAh for the Galaxy S7 Edge, two big upgrades on last years battery capacities.
It also looks like for now we will still not be getting an SD card slot in the phone. So if you’re looking to upgrade but 32GB doesn’t do you, be willing to pay a hefty price for an 64GB model..
MWC 2016: HTC
HTC is like the Spurs of the Smart Phone of the tech industry. Still considered a heavy weight and one of the best brands around, but they still can’t keep up with the likes of Arsenal, Man City or Leicester… apparently. I had the One M8 and the One M8s, I got the chance to use the One M9, and afterwards, I felt no desire to upgrade to it. It had a couple of features like telling you about restaurants and landmarks in your location (available through a software upgrade anyway), but the battery was still poor. The battery was possibly worse then the One M8 as its running an octa-core processor. With my upgrade due this year, I’d like to see something good from the One M10 because I am a big fan of their phones and design.
HTC at MWC 2016: What we want to see
The front facing speakers need to stay as this is probably one of HTC’s best features, it’s very attractive to music listeners and the overall audio quality is much better then some phones I’ve compared it to including Samsung and Sony. Design-wise, the curved back really does fit your hand very comfortably and you don’t feel like you might drop it unlike other models with squarer backs.
Some things do need to change though, including the battery. While using the One M9, I noticed it died quicker then the One M8. This is probably because of the massive upgrade to an octa-core processor. They did upgrade the battery, but it wasn’t big enough to handle the power and it needs to be addressed.
A big priority for HTC needs to be giving the phone new features instead of upgrading existing ones which they’ve been getting away with since the One M7. Water proofing would be an upgrade camera users would appreciate. If you’re going to have a 20MP camera, it would be nice to take these vivid pictures underwater too. It also is probably time to enter the finger print scanner game also.
HTC at MWC 2016: What to expect
Nothing… at least at MWC 2016. HTC have announced they will hold their own event in April to release the phone.
The CEO has come out and said we should expect significant improvements and innovations from their latest flagship. With leaked images (right) emerging with a radical, if not Samsung/Apple looking design, change may be on the horizon. Water proofing is rumoured along with wireless charging; two features that are becoming more common with flagship phones. There is also expectation we could see a finger print scanner built into the home button. If these rumours are true, the One M10 is a big upgrade from the One M9 and could be a good runner this year
It’s expected that the One M10 will support Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 820 chipset, which most manufacturers will probably be adopting this year, including Samsung’s Galaxy S7.
The One M10 is rumoured to don a 3000 mAh battery as opposed to the One M9’s 2840 mAh. Hopefully this battery will prove enough to be able to handle the 820 processor.
MWC 2016: Sony
Sony have announced that they will be there on the 22nd. But they have kept their plans on the lowdown, so we’re not sure exactly to expect. It’s unlikely we’ll get an Xperia Z6 or any other smart phone since their flag ships are only a couple of months old. But they’re are rumours of a Xperia Z6 and Xperia Z6 compact tablet, and with the Sony Smartwatch 3 over a year old we’ll surely see some sort of upgrade in the wearables area. So nothing much to expect from Sony right now, so we look forward to what they have in store for us.
MWC 2016: LG
No surprises here, LG have already announced the G5 will be unveiled on the 21st in Barcelona. But will they have anything else up their sleeves?
LG at MWC 2016: What we want to see
We’re already pretty sure it has an ‘Always on’ mode similar to what is rumoured on the Galaxy S7. It’ll also come in 64GB and with the option of adding up 200GB of memory in their SD card slot. The camera is said to be a dual 20MP, with an 8MP front camera. With a 5.6” screen, it’s also meant to have 4K screen resolution. The screen is also said to have an Edge-like feature similar to the Galaxy S7, but some released pictures apparently of the G5 disprove that rumour.
One of the biggest rumours, probably by any smart phone manufacturer this year, is the possibility of an eye-scanner to unlock the phone. LG are supposedly working with IRIENCE, a South Korean-based technology company that specialises in eye-scanning technology. The eye scanner will be the most secure form of security on any smart phone and could see the beginning of the end for the finger print scanner. It’s supposed to able to read your eye from about 50cm, so your phone can still be unlocked at a reasonable and realistic distance from your face when you normally hold your phone. Although it is supposed to be slower then the finger print scanner so could either be hot or a flop.
The last and most mysterious thing to expect from the G5 is the ‘Magic Slot’. Apparently there is going to be a slot that you can stick something into. Most rumours are saying it’ll be a battery expansion pack. But the battery is also supposed to be getting upgraded to 4000 mAh, a big upgrade from the G4’s 3000 mAh.
MWC 2016: Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality at MWC 2016: HTC
Enough about phones for now. This year we are expected to see HTC’s first rendition on the Virtual reality world. The HTC Vive. The screens inside the headset are rumoured to be longer then what we see on the Oculus Rift, meaning we can now look up with our eyes rather then moving our whole head to look up, but that’s not the best part by far.
With the headset, you also get 2 wireless infra-red cameras,which bring us up to a to a total of 73 motion sensors including the 2 controllers that come with it for gaming. So you can now walk around your virtual reality space with more freedom. They also work with more then one headset at a time, so feel free to have a virtual reality party on Mars with your friends! Another cool feature gamers will be raving about is HTC’s partnership with Valve. Valve are looking to release and open API so that their SteamVR games will be available on multiple headsets.
Virtual Reality at MWC 2016: Samsung
While the approach isn’t as scientific as HTC, Samsung’s Gear VR is an impressive piece of kit. Using the Samsung handset in the VR headset slashes the cost of a VR experience while still having the joy of seeing an Oculus logo on it. VR is set to be a really big part of tech in 2016, with Samsung playing their part. The forthcoming Unpacked Event is even set to be streamed in 360-video.
Tomorrow is the big day when it is all going to kick off and you’ll be able to catch everything live from the Samsung Unpacked event here with Goos3D. This is just a small handful of some awesome tech that is going to be revealed tomorrow. From the choices above, i’ve got my eye on that G5. If I sell a kidney that is.