MWC 2018 Preview: Dates, news, rumours, leaks and everything to expect in Barcelona

In roughly a month’s time, the world’s leading mobile manufacturers will take to the stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain to showcase their latest products and other innovations. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s show, including the MWC 2018 dates, location, and all the phones we’re likely to see unveiled by the likes of Samsung, Sony, LG and more.

Mobile World Congress – otherwise known as MWC – is an annual trade show run by the GSMA, where manufacturers come together to showcase their latest consumer-grade smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and more. With CES 2018 now firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s easily the biggest consumer electronics show on the horizon and the time is ripe to take a look at what’s coming.

As well as phones, MWC is also home to a number of more specialist innovations, including flexible displays (we’re looking at you, Samsung), state-of-the-art mobile chipsets, next-generation artificial intelligence solutions and 5G demonstrations. Plus, there’s plenty of apps, software, and mobile accessories on display – there really is something for every at the Fira Gran Via.

Here’s all the key details you need to start getting prepped for MWC, plus the latest news and rumours.

MWC 2018: Latest news and updates

The big news right now is that Samsung has officially confirmed its MWC 2018 press event, which will take place (as expected) on Sunday, February 25. The next instalment in the Samsung Unpacked series will inevitably see the Galaxy S9 unveiled.

If you think that could be a bit of an overstatement, check out Samsung’s tweet:

MWC 2018 Dates: When is Mobile World Congress 2018?

Mobile World Congress is scheduled to run from February 26 through March 1, with most of the big announcements – including Samsung’s expected unveiling of the Galaxy S9 – tipped take place at invite-only events on February 25.

As usual, we’ll be on the ground throughout Mobile World Congress week, so look no further for your one-stop-shop of all the latest MWC 2018 news, rumours, and phone launches.

MWC 2018 News and Rumours: What will be revealed at MWC 2018?

Let’s take a closer look at what the key mobile players have in store for this year’s MWC in alphabetical order, so read on or scroll down for the likes of Samsung and Sony.

BlackBerry at MWC 2018

BlackBerry KeyOne

TCL has confirmed that it will launch at least two new BlackBerry phones in 2018. That’s the good news. Now here’s the bad news: we don’t know what it’s working on or when it’s planning to take the wraps off them, though speculation has it that there could be a follow-up to last year’s surprisingly decent BlackBerry KEYOne.

As the firm didn’t have anything to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) in Las Vegas in January, there’s every chance it could be preparing to announce something at MWC 2018.

Related: Blackberry Motion review

Google at MWC 2018

Google is expected to use MWC 2018 as a platform to expand the reach of Google Assistant. Rumours suggest that we could also see a refreshed version of the Google Home – but we aren’t holding out much hope.

And that’s because Big G typically throws lavish events at independent venues when it’s announcing new hardware, so we think it’s more reasonable to assume that it’s going to demonstrate the power of Google Assistant at MWC 2018.

Huawei at MWC 2018

Bruce Lee, Huawei’s VP of Smartphones, revealed last year that Huawei will “probably” launch all future flagships at Mobile World Congress – and recent leaks would lead you to believe that will taking the wraps off Huawei P20 at the gathering.

But it would appear that isn’t going to be the case as the firm has since sent out invitations to a standalone event it’s holding in Paris on March 27, where it’s expected to announce not only the flagship Huawei P20, but also the Huawei P20 Lite and Huawei P20 Plus.

That’s not to mean Huawei’s presence at MWC 2018 won’t be notable, however. The firm has confirmed it will hold will hold an event at the trade show, where it could uncover the long-awaited successor to the Huawei Watch 2 – or a new Mediapad.

Related: Huawei P11

LG at MWC 2018

We’d thought that we’d be seeing LG unveil its next flagship, the LG G7, at this year’s Mobile World Congress, but recent reports have poured cold water on these rumours.

Apparently, LG is rebuilding the G7 from scratch and the handset might not see light of day until April, making a standalone launch more likely.

However, we’d still expect LG to have some kind of presence in Barcelona – and most likely a press conference – and potentially launch a new smartwatch.

Other possibilities in lieu of the G7 include an upgraded LG V30 – presumably called the LG V40?

Motorola (Moto) at MWC 2018

It’s looking like Lenovo-owned Motorola will launch a new Moto E, Moto G and Moto X at MWC 2018 – though nothing’s set in stone. We could also see an updated version of the Mirage Solo, the company’s standalone Daydream VR headset.

Recently leaked information points towards the unveiling of the Moto G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play, each of which should offer some solid specs at an affordable price.

Image: Droid-Life

Nokia at MWC 2018

Nokia is said to be gearing up to announce the Nokia 9, a flagship designed to compete at the highest level, as well as details surrounding the global launch of the Nokia 6 (2018) – which was launched in China on January 10 – at MWC 2018.

Qualcomm at MWC 2018

Qualcomm

Qualcomm had a particularly busy CES this year, and while you might think that leaves little left for MWC just a month later, our sources suggest that the American semiconductor giant has a trick or two up its sleeve for Barcelona.

The safe money, of course, is on its new Snapdragon 845 SoC appearing on the Galaxy S9, but we could also learn more about the first wave of consumer audio products to feature its nascent Low Power Bluetooth QCC5100 SoC, so watch this space.

Related: Qualcomm in 2018 – what to expect

Samsung at MWC 2018

You already know what we’re going to say. All signs, including a statement from the firm’s very own mobile chief and now an event invite, point towards Samsung unveiling the much-anticipated Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus at MWC 2018.

Who knows? It could also use the gathering as an opportunity to announce a new wearable – or two. And might even shine a light on the elusive foldable Galaxy X.

Sony at MWC 2018

Sony Xperia XZ 9

Sony’s already launched three of its four smartphones set to hit the shelves in 2018, leaving one for MWC 2018: the flagship Xperia XZ Premium 2.

The handset is rumoured to be smaller – in height, thickness and width – than the original 5.5-inch Xperia XZ Premium, which was announced at MWC 2017, and is thought to feature an ultra-tall 18:9 screen.

It has also been rumoured the Xperia XZ Premium 2 might actually be called the XZ Pro, which does sound better to us.

Sony has confirmed its MWC 2018 press conference plans, with the iconic Japanese firm set to hold an event on Monday, February 26 at 08:30 CET, which is 07:30 UK time.

What are you most looking forward to at MWC 2018? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.