What to expect from Mobile World Congress 2014

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is one of the biggest shows in the tech calendar, traditionally the launch platform for many of the best smartphones and tablets that will steal the headlines this year.

In recent times we've seen it become a little more fragmented, with more regular launch cycles from manufacturers and dedicated launch events for flagship devices, but MWC is still a hotbed of mobile madness and 2014 is set to continue that.

The show officially opens on Monday 24 February in Barcelona, but there are always launch events scheduled for the Sunday before, as well as announcements in the run up to, and during, the days of the event. The action is all about to kick off in the Catalonian capital and we're heading over to bring you all the news as it happens.

This year there are highlights such as a keynote address from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, but it's the devices that we're the most excited about.

So what can we expect from Mobile World Congress 2014?

Huawei

Hauwei could be lining up a couple of tablets and a smartwatch for MWC 2014, having previously announced the Ascend P6S handset update. However, rumour has it that a new flagship, the Ascend P7 will have a separate launch later in the year.

More recent leaks have revealed the Huawei could be lining up a new 7-inch tablet known as the MediaPad X1.

READ MORE Huawei news and reviews

HTC

We know that HTC is preparing to launch the new HTC One, codenamed M8, but that has a launch event on 25 March. However, rumours have suggested that HTC might be showing off a smartwatch based on the Qualcomm Toq behind closed doors, as well as launching the HTC Desire 8, a 5.5-inch affordable smartphone.

READ MORE HTC news and reviews

LG

LG's success with the G2 has left us wondering when the G3 will appear. MWC seems a little too soon for this update, but we know that LG will be showing off the LG G Pro 2, as well as the new line of L Series handsets.

Then there's the LG G2 Mini, a device that looks like the G2 but scales things down a little. It was officially announced this week, so we'll be sure to get some play time with it at the trade show.

READ MORE LG news and reviews

Nokia

Nokia has scheduled a press conference for MWC and it's expected to be the launch of the Nokia X, rumoured to be an affordable skinned Android device without Google, to sit alongside the Asha family of handsets.

There have been rumours of more high-end Lumia handsets like smaller Lumia 1520, which could be called the Lumia 930. But the majority of the chatter seems to be around the X, codenamed Normandy, and that's what we're expecting.

READ MORE Nokia X (Normandy) everything you need to know

Samsung

Samsung has formally invited the press to Samsung Unpacked 5, and it is expected that the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch will take place on the Monday evening. A lot has been written about the SGS5, with rumours claiming two devices might be launched, a premium and a standard model, with a refreshed design for the TouchWiz user interface. But so far, we're yet to see the hardware, so Samsung might have some surprises in store.

There's also talk of a Galaxy Gear 2, an updated smartwatch, with the SGS5 looking to focus on fitness tracking more than it has in the past. The SGS5 Mini and SGS5 Active are expected to be launched later in the year.

READ MORE Samsung Galaxy S5 release date rumours and everything you need to know

Sony

When Sony didn't announce a replacement for the Xperia Z1 at CES 2014 - launching the excellent Xperia Z1 Compact (read our review here) instead - all eyes turned to MWC for the launch of the Sony Sirius, or Z2 as it's being called. We're expecting another waterproofed model, with 5-inch display and packed with power.

READ MORE Sony Xperia Z2 (Sirius) release date and rumours

There will be plenty of other announcements and MWC always manages to throw in a few surprises too. We suspect we'll see something from Microsoft pertaining to Windows Phone, we're expecting news about Tizen as well as Firefox OS. Then there are devices from Archos, Acer, Asus, ZTE and others, which we're yet to hear about. 

We'll be on the ground in Barcelona to bring you all the news as it happens. Be sure to stay tuned to our MWC 2014 hub!