After a pandemic-hit couple of years, MWC (Mobile World Congress) is now back. It's the most important phone and mobile tech show of the year, hosted in Barcelona, and attended by the biggest names in the industry. It's where we get many of the very biggest mobile product launches of the year, and MWC 2022 is no different.
Whether you're looking for the best smartphones of the year or eager to see some of the best foldable phones, best laptops and best tablets coming our way in the coming months, you're going to want to check out everything happening at MWC 2022 this week. Everyone else involved in mobile phones and mobile technology will be doing the same and T3 is in attendance in Barcelona right now reporting live.
MWC 2022 is now underway, starting on Monday 28 February, and already there have been plenty of big launches from Huawei, Samsung, TCL and Realme, among others. Here's everything of note that has happened at MWC 2022 so far, as well as what we're expecting throughout the rest of the week.
MWC 2022: what's been announced so far
Chinese brand ZTE has launched a new V40 Blade series of phones, with the flagship new model being the ZTE Blade V40 5G. As you would expect from the name, this model is 5G compatible, which differs from the other phones in the range, the ZTE Blade V40, ZTE Blade V40 Pro and ZTE Blade V40 Vita, which are all 4G devices.
One thing that seems to unify all these phones, though, is that they have large screens and big batteries. The V40 Vita, for example, has a whopping 6,000mAh battery stack and partners that with a 6.75-inch HD+ display. The V40 and V40 Pro meanwhile both offer 6.67-inch screens.
Detailed internal specs haven't been announced yet, nor pricing and release information, but once more it is quite easy to deduce that these are going to be budget to mid-range mobiles, which is something we're seeing from most phone makers at MWC 22. The market definitely seems to have shifted and most makers are now fighting out for budget and mid-range market share.
Nokia has also launched new phones at Mobile World Congress 2022, and as we expected they are at the budget end of the market, which very much feels like a theme for MWC 22.
There's three new phones to be precise, the Nokia C2 2nd Edition, Nokia C21 and Nokia C21 Plus. These are C range phones, which is Nokia's most budget line, with the G and X ranges coming above.
In terms of pricing, the Nokia C2 2nd Edition is pricing in at £75 (roughly $100, AU$140), while the Nokia C21 Plus will cost £100 (around $130, AU$190) at launch.
For that very modest entry fee you get phones with 60Hz screens, 4G connectivity and low-level internal specs. Regardless, though, for the money we're not sure what more you could demand.
What's quite interesting about the C21 Plus is that you can seemingly opt between two different battery sizes, with 4,000mAh and 5,050mAh varieties on offer. Considering that phone comes with a 6.5-inch screen, though, we'd opt for the larger.
Chinese firm Honor, a sub-brand of Huawei, have come out swinging at MWC 2022, with the Honor Magic 4 and Honor Magic 4 Pro unveiled.
Both these phones look impressive but the Magic 4 Pro is the standout, with specs that rival the very strongest Android phone of 2022 so far, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The Magic 4 Pro comes with a 6.81-inch 120Hz 2K screen, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 12GB RAM and 512GB storage space (at max spec), as well as 5G connectivity and a triple rear camera array of 50MP main, 50MP ultra-wide and 64MP periscope lenses.
What really stands out is the Magic 4 Pro's charging capabilities, with 100W wired and 100W wireless charging on offer. That is ridiculously quick charging and something that puts a marker down in the sand for other makers to try to beat.
In terms of pricing, the Honor Magic 4 rings in starting at €899 (roughly $1,000, £750, AU$1,400) and the Magic 4 Pro demands €1,099 (around $1,230, £920, AU$1,700). So, very much flagship-grade prices there, but the specs match.
Xiaomi has now unveiled its Mobile World Congress 2022 new releases, which include the Poco X4 Pro 5G and the Poco M4 Pro. Pocophone, for the uninitiated, is a sub-brand of Xiaomi and tends to focus more on budget devices.
This budget focus is revealed here in the Poco X4 Pro 5G and the Poco M4 Pro's pricing, which rings in at €299 (about $460, £250, AU$460) and €219, (around $250, £180, AU$340) respectively in base configurations.
In terms of a pecking order, the X4 Pro 5G is the more well-specced phone, offering 5G connectivity and a 108MP main snapper. The M4 Pro, on the other hand is a 4G device and comes with a 64MP main snapper.
In terms of screens and specs, the X4 Pro 5G comes with a 120Hz 6.67-inch screen and Snapdragon 695 processor, while the M4 Pro comers with a 90Hz 6.43-inch screen with Helio G96 processor.
Both phones can be specced out with 6/8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of storage space.
So, very much mid-tier to budget in specs, but the pricing is very competitive and the design interesting.
Day 1 of Mobile World Congress 2022 kicked off with Realme launching the Realme GT 2 and GT 2 Pro, as well as Realme Book Prime and Realme Buds Air 3.
The standout device is the Realme GT 2 Pro, which is the firm's first proper flagship-grade phone. It comes with a 2K resolution 6.7-inch screen with 120Hz refresh rate and brace of 50MP main cameras, both wide-angle and ultra-wide. There's a macro-focussed microscope camera included, too.
The GT 2 Pro is powered by the new Qualcomm flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, too, so it should post some pretty impressive benchmark scores when tested.
In terms of pricing and release date, the Realme GT 2 Pro is launching in Europe and the UK on March 8 and will be on offer in 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB models. Pricing starts at €749.99, which is about £599.99 / $800 / AU$1100.
We'll have a review of this device shortly, so keep your eyes peeled.
On day -1 of MWC 2022 (a press day) we saw Huawei, TCL and Samsung launch some new products of note.
Samsung launched two new laptops, the Galaxy Book 2 Pro and 2 Pro 360. These laptops are kind of successors to the 2021 Samsung Galaxy Book Pro and come equipped with, depending on spec, with either 13.3-inch or 15.6-inch displays.
These screens use Super AMOLED display tech and come with FHD resolutions. In terms of internal specs, the systems come with Intel Evo 12th-Gen Core i7 or i5 processors, Intel Iris X graphics chips and up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space.
Naturally, both systems ship with Windows 11.
Mobile tech firm TCL has announced five (yes, five!) new smartphones at MWC 2022. As you would expect from the brand, which is very much geared around producing affordable products, these are devices aimed at the best cheap phones market, and include the TCL 30, TCL 30 Plus, TCL 30 5G, TCL 30 E and TCL 30 SE.
As can be seen in the TCL 30 series launch image above, all these phones look quite similar but do differ in specs, with the 30 E the entry level device and the 30 5G the flagship. Notable features across the range, though, include a 50MP main snapper and large 5,000mAh batteries.
These Android phones don't have prices or release dates yet, and we don't know which regions they'll launch in, either, but we're expecting them in European and North American markets at some point in 2022.
Huawei also has had a busy pre-first day at MWC 2022, announcing at new budget tablet, the Huawei MatePad, as well as an E-Ink tablet and portable Bluetooth speaker.
The MatePad at first glance looks like a very interesting proposition, looking like an Apple iPad and pricing in under it ($279 for the base configuration). This model comes with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD.
The screen is a smart 2K resolution number, too, with 10.4-inches of real estate on offer and an 84 per cent screen to body ratio.
A 12-hour video playback battery life is also strong and, if you so desire, you can buy a Huawei M-Pencil stylus to use with it, too.
The kicker, as ever right now with Huawei products, is that unlike other tablets from, say, Samsung or Amazon, Huawei's MatePad doesn't offer access to the Google Play Store, but Huawei's App Gallery instead. If you're happy not using Google apps, though, then the selection on the App Gallery is strong.
MWC 2022: when does it start and end?
MWC starts on Monday 28 February and finishes on Thursday 3 March, though as we've said, you can expect some press events to fall outside those days as well. This show isn't open to the general public: you need to be in the industry or a journalist to get access to MWC.
As in previous years, MWC 2022 is happening at the Fira Gran Via exhibition venue a little way outside the centre of Barcelona. It's a chance for phone makers to show off new products, for analysts and experts to talk about emerging technology, and plenty more besides.
MWC 2022: news and rumours
Some manufacturers and mobile companies make it very clear what to expect at Mobile World Congress in advance, looking to build up some hype around their products, while others keep quiet about what's in the pipeline (which is a different way of building up hype).
As a result, we usually have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the show before it starts. We haven't heard too much about what to expect so far from MWC 2022, but we'll be updating this page regularly, so keep checking back for the latest MWC rumors and reports.
One name you won't see here is Apple. The company shuns MWC, so we won't be hearing about the iPhone 14 or the Apple Watch 8 in Barcelona this year. Google isn't going to launch any handsets at MWC 2022 either, though it might use the event to showcase Android and support its partners.
MWC 2022: Sony
Sony has said that it won't have a physical presence at MWC 2022, what with the global pandemic and everything, though we might still get some announcements from the company. Sony traditionally uses MWC to showcase new tech, perhaps more than any other manufacturer.
This time around it looks as though the Xperia 1 IV smartphone or the cheaper Xperia 10 IV handset might see the light of day around the same time MWC 2022, as their respective predecessors showed up in April 2021. If Sony stays true to form, expect stylish designs and relatively high prices.
MWC 2022: Samsung
Samsung has already made its biggest mobile announcement of the year, unveiling the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The successors to the most recent folding phones – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip – are more likely to come in August, since that's when the last versions were revealed.
We know Samsung will have an event at MWC 2022, taking place on Sunday February 28th. And we know that it will involved new laptops, with some great-sounding software updates to bring an Apple-like cross-device experience to Windows and Android. We might see a more affordable handset get unveiled by Samsung at MWC 2022, or perhaps a new wearable (although bear in mind that the Galaxy Watch 4 only arrived in August).
MWC 2022: Nokia
Nokia has already announced a couple of phones in the run-up to MWC, both of which are very much designed to hit the things Nokia phones were known for in the pre-smartphone days: huge battery lives, and toughness. They're called the Nokia G11 and G21, and they come with 'Super Battery Saver' mode, for when you really need your phone to keep going.
But we expect more from HMD Global (which runs Nokia) at MWC 2022, too. There may be more phones at different prices, and the company makes some of the best cheap wireless earbuds, so there may be updates to those.
MWC 2022: Motorola
Motorola continues to crank out great value budget handsets (as well as the occasional foldable phone), but up to this point we haven't heard any specifics about what Motorola could be unveiling at MWC 2022 (if it isn't unveiling anything at all). We'll have to wait and see on this one.
There's no doubt Motorola has phones in the pipeline right now – that's always the case – and the Motorola Edge 30 is one rumoured handset that could see the light of day at MWC 2022. It's possible that a 2022 version of the Motorola Razr clamshell foldable could make its debut at the event too.
MWC 2022: OnePlus
OnePlus has already launched the OnePlus 10 Pro this year, so while we may hear from OnePlus during the course of MWC 2022, it seems unlikely that the company will use the occasion to launch any actual new hardware.
At the time of writing we're still waiting on the cheaper OnePlus 10, and we're also expecting some more affordable OnePlus phones in the Nord line during 2022. For now though, it seems as though it could be a quiet Mobile World Congress as far as OnePlus is concerned.
MWC 2022: Huawei
Huawei remains a major mobile player in China and Asia, but much less so now in Europe and the US after the trade bans imposed on it. With the P50 Pro launching in some locations in March, it's likely it'll be at the show, but may not have big announcements for us.
Having said that, a year on, we're still waiting for a successor to the Huawei Mate X2, so it's possible that there might be a foldable handset waiting in the wings from Huawei at Mobile World Congress – although if there is, we haven't heard much in the way of leaks and rumours about it.
MWC 2022: Xiaomi
Xiaomi has already unveiled the Xiaomi 12 powerhouse phone in China, with a wider global launch expected in February – could the company use the opportunity of MWC 2022 to show it off to a bigger audience? It's certainly possible.
Xiaomi is also responsible for brands like Poco and Redmi, so there's the possibility that one of these phones will make an appearance at the show. Xiaomi usually has a presence at MWC, even if there's no new hardware to talk about.
MWC 2022: the rest
For any other smartphone brands you'd care to name, including Chinese outfits Oppo and Realme, it's a case of wait and see when it comes to Mobile World Congress this year. We're certainly not expecting major handset launches from anyone else that we haven't already mentioned.
You can also expect the likes of Qualcomm and MediaTek to be present at MWC 2022, promoting their components to their industry partners and to the wider world. Of course we will be covering all the major announcements from the show, so keep checking back here for more details.
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