Mobile World Congress 2014 preview

Tech trade shows are like buses. You wait all year for one and then two come along at the same time

 

The Consumer Electronics Show may have just shut its doors for another year, but in just over a month one of the biggest events in the mobile business opens its doors.

Mobile World Congress will see almost every big name in smartphones descend on Barcelona, Spain. Think of it as the mobile world’s E3 or Geneva Motor Show.

So what can you expect from the big names of the industry? We’ll, we’ve rounded up what we know – and what we think we know – will be on show.

Samsung

After taking the wraps off a new range of tablets, you would be forgiven for thinking Samsung has nothing else to show off – aside from the Samsung Galaxy S5.

However, it does look like the South Korean company will be launching a number of devices at the show in Barcelona.

Among the handsets rumoured to be debuting at the show are shrunken versions of its existing smartphones and tablets, including a Galaxy Note 3 Lite and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite.

We might also see a mid-level variant of the Samsung Galaxy Grand, dubbed the Galaxy Grand Neo.

In addition to the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, there’s talk that Samsung could still have a couple of tablets up its sleeve ahead of the event. One of those could be a huge 13.3-inch Android/Windows dual boot tablet.

And as if that wasn’t enough, some reports have suggested that Samsung may even show off multiple Tizen devices.

However, one thing you can be sure of is that Samsung won’t be launching the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress.

Comments from a vice president at Samsung pretty much put pay to any suggestion that we’ll see the follow up to Samsung’s flagship smartphone before March.

Nokia

This year’s Mobile World Congress will be the first since Microsoft completed its purchase of Nokia.

It’s also a pretty significant one for Nokia in other ways. The last 12 months have seen it slowly but surely increase its market share in Europe, largely at the expense of BlackBerry.

So what can you expect from Nokia this year? Aside from a multitude of slides reinforcing its growing market share, there is talk it will unveil the Lumia 1820 and Lumia 2020.

The latter is Nokia’s rumoured 8-inch tablet, while the 1820 is said to be a 5.2-inch smartphone with a 2K display, 3GB of RAM and a Lytro-style camera.

Mobile World Congress is also likely to be where we get to see Windows Phone 8.1 Blue pre-loaded on smartphones for the first time.

It comes with a multitude of updates to Windows Phone’s notification system, multitasking options and a voice-based personal assistant.

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