It's MWC 2023 o'clock, as Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona, Spain, commencing Monday 27 February and finishing up Thursday 2 March 2023. It's a full return for the show, presenting some of the best phones the year has to offer.
However, as I'll get into below, MWC 2023 won't be a full return for every major brand. Mobile World Congress used to be the go-to showcase for many launch events, with Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked typically taking place during the show, but that particular event now happens sooner, as do many other manufacturers' product reveals.
So what can you expect from MWC 2023? Myself and T3 colleagues are on the ground at the show checking out the latest and best Android phones, among other concepts and fun exhibits, to bring you a round-up of all the best kit from the show...
Want to see the best in show? Take a look at the T3 best of MWC Awards 2023.
Xiaomi at MWC 2023
Xiaomi launch cycles are a bit weird though: the company reveals its latest flagship for China in December, then the rest of the world has to pretend it doesn't exist until, well, MWC time or thereabouts. That's why the 13 series was no surprise. Although I was surprised by just how stunningly good the 13 Pro's cameras are.
OnePlus at MWC 2023
It's confirmed that OnePlus will be on stand at MWC, but with the OnePlus 11 already announced (and reviewed) at a major India launch event earlier in February, the company will be putting added interest onto its OnePlus Tab tablet.
That's certainly not all though: on 20 February the brand revealed its OnePlus 11 Concept images (above), showing off that device's "flowing back". It's a design concept that shows-off the cooling pipelines, albeit in illuminated form. And at the show we can no doubt expect a fuller release.
There's more too! OnePlus used the second day, Tuesday 28 February, to confirm that it also has a foldable phone in the works. Information is thin on the ground at the moment, but OnePlus will be looking to join the best foldable phones fray soon.
Huawei at MWC 2023
There was no big flagship launch from Huawei, but its stand was massive – 20% bigger than last year. What we did see was the Huawei GT Cyber, a smartwatch that pops out of its casing and can be popped into one of five other case designs and colours. It's another piece of outside-the-box thinking in the smartwatch space that certainly has advantages for those that want to have a single watch for all occasions. It's just a shame we won't see it in the UK or US any time soon.
Motorola at MWC 2023
More #MWC2023 magic from @MotorolaUS.This is the 'Rizr' rollable concept and it's mind-blowingly accomplished! 🤯#motorolaRIZR pic.twitter.com/7L0vNNLJRXFebruary 28, 2023
Motorola has been a little bit quiet of late, so surely it's approaching time that the brand dropped a major new launch? I've reviewed the Edge 30 Ultra, Edge 30 Fusion and Edge 30 Neo, each of which brings various exciting headline features to their respective markets... but is it too early for an Edge 40 Ultra? I'm afraid so.
At CES 2023, Motorola revealed its we-mean-business (literally) device: the ThinkPhone by Motorola. MWC, however, has been the location for a behind-closed-doors look at a rollable concept phone, which I've seen and really enjoyed. Take a look at it in action in my Twitter video embed above!
Lenovo at MWC 2023
Oh hey I'm just a rollable laptop! Interesting concept from @Lenovo at #MWC23 pic.twitter.com/wzuLO2JsEIFebruary 27, 2023
Motorola isn't the only one showing off rollables, as Lenovo has a one-of-a-kind laptop concept on its stand on the show floor. As you can see from my embedded Tweet above (poor framing, sorry!) the screen unrolls to extend the aspect ratio.
I think that's a super solution to maintaining a compact form-factor in the stowed device, but when you want some additional height for working you can get it at the click of a button. Great for digging into spreadsheets and the like, no doubt. And one of the more practical uses of flexible OLED displays that I've ever seen.
Apple at MWC 2023
No, Apple absolutely does not exhibit at MWC. So there will certainly be no iPhones announced. However, I reckon there's a reasonable chance that during the show an Apple date announcement for its next event could be on the cards.
It's no guarantee, of course, especially as various sources are suggesting that Apple VR is delayed, that a 15-inch MacBook may not get its own March event, and perhaps that WWDC 2023 later in June will be Apple's next big-hitter instead.
Samsung at MWC 2023
As I said up top, Samsung no longer coincides its Unpacked event with MWC. But that's not to say the brand won't be on show: after all, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, S23 Plus and S23 are massive launches for 2023 and will be fully represented.
However, there has been various talk about Samsung's more affordable phones, such as the Galaxy A34 and A54, in recent times. A possibly-maybe launch for MWC? Although I wouldn't be surprised if that happens after the show is wrapped up.
Nothing at MWC 2023
Although Nothing is expected to launch, ahem, nothing at MWC 2023, that's not going to stop the brand representing. Hot on the heels of bringing Nothing OS 1.5 to the Nothing Phone 1, recent launches such as the Nothing Ear Stick will be what dominates here.
The Nothing Phone 2 is already in the works, that is known, but I wouldn't expect that to be revealed until the later part of 2023. However, the company founder, Carl Pei, was on Qualcomm's stand at the end of day two, 28 February, confirming that the Phone 2 will come with a Snapdragon 8 chipset.
Honor at MWC 2023
Ahead of MWC 2023, the Honor Magic 5 Lite went on sale, offering an almost flagship spec but for a cut of the typical price. But that won't be all the brand reveals at MWC.
In addition to the full European reveal of the Honor Magic VS, which I saw in late 2022, Honor also took to revealing its flagship device, the Magic 5 Pro, pictured above, which brings a top-end triple camera solution to the space.
Oppo at MWC 2023
Oppo has been going all-in on foldables and flip phones – and indeed other concepts – and having just reviewed the Find N2 Flip I think the company will be on to impress at MWC 2023.
However, I don't think we'll have a sudden Oppo Find X flagship bomb-drop at the show, that'll come later down the line instead. For now it's all eyes on Flip, for later in the year we can be excited about how the Find X6 (or maybe X7 if the not-so-lucky 'six' is bypassed) and what that'll bring.
Realme at MWC 2023
I remember being at MWC last year and sitting in the Realme conference, which revealed the fastest-ever charging phone, the Realme GT Neo 3. Which, given its 150W at-the-plug charging, was all very exciting.
But new year new expectations, right? And for 2023 Realme really went all-in with the announcement of its GT3 handset, which comes with 240W charging. That's pretty ridiculous, providing a full charge in under 10 minutes, half a charge in just 4 minutes, and I'm massively impressed by this Oppo adapted technology.
Qualcomm at MWC 2023
Qualcomm always uses MWC to showcase the various technologies it delivers. From 5G to automotive to Internet of Things (IoT) and, of course, Snapdragon processors. Don't expect a headline new one at the show, as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the front runner until late 2023, but do expect more phones to embody the company's offering. Which can only be a good thing for us punters!
MediaTek at MWC 2023
Mention Qualcomm and you've got to mention MediaTek too. The main competitor in the mobile processor platform space, MediaTek's chips are getting really impressive (the Dimensity 9200 launch showed to what degree). And they're appearing in more devices, from the Vivo X90 Pro to Oppo Find N2 Flip, as companies and users alike revel in the benefits.