MWC 2022: rumors and what to expect

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Mobile World Congress is happening in Barcelona from Monday, February 28th through Thursday, March 3rd. It’s typically the world’s largest mobile technology show, where some of the world’s biggest smartphone brands announce their latest devices and new technologies.

In recent years, the show’s big focus has been on the transition to 5G, as well as the emergence of foldable smartphones. But there’s always space for a handful of non-smartphone announcements, whether it’s new laptops or smartwatch updates.

In 2020 the show was canceled, and in 2021 it was a quiet affair. 2022 could be a little different, with major announcements expected from several phone makers. Samsung, which launched its new Galaxy S22 line earlier this month, also has an event planned. So let’s look at what we can expect from Europe’s biggest mobile show.

A Samsung mobile device that isn’t a phone

Samsung is set to kick off its livestream event ahead of MWC on February 27th. The company has traditionally used MWC as a launch point for its flagship mobile devices, but in the last few years, it’s launched those phones weeks in advance. This year’s Galaxy S22 is already available in stores. This means we’ll likely see a new Galaxy Book laptop instead. In our preview of MWC on the Vergecast last week, Monica Chin said the company is one of the most interesting companies in laptop design right now.

Even more laptops

The mobile in Mobile World Congress doesn’t just stand for smartphones, as laptops also have a presence at the show. While many manufacturers tend to show off their laptops at CES, we’re expecting to see even more at MWC.

Acer has already revealed its new Swift 5 laptop with a 16:10 display, and we’ll likely see other new notebooks from companies like Lenovo. We might even see a new MateBook from Huawei.

Big phones from some of the biggest companies in China

This year, we can still expect new smartphone entries from big Chinese manufacturers, including TCL and Oppo, which just unveiled its flagship Find X5 Pro. Huawei is also extremely likely to show off a new batch of phones with its OS, HarmonyOS. In previous years it’s used MWC as a launch platform for its folding phones, so it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility to see a Mate X2 successor this year.

A Pixel 6a?

Designs for what looks like a Google Pixel 6 successor leaked this week — and while that’s not likely to surface at MWC, a leak last year suggested that a Pixel 6a might be incoming. Either way, expect the search giant to reveal something.

Oh no, O-RAN and 6G?

Finally, expect some updates in the cellular communications space. The O-RAN Alliance is planning a series of demonstrations to show how AI can efficiently run 5G networks. O-RAN or Open Radio Access Network is the same tech Dish is working on in the US. Thus far, it’s been a technology that makes big promises but massively underdelivers. But things could be different this time!

And if you’re already tired of 5G, get ready. Nokia has plans to start talking about “6G”.

You can follow all stories relating to MWC at The Verge by checking out our story stream.

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