Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile event of the year, seeing the launch of many of the top smartphones, smartwatches and tablets, as well as seeing the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile, such as 5G. And it's been taking place this week. 

Generally speaking, all the big brands attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) in one way or another. The exception is Apple, although the trends outlined at MWC very much include the iPhone.

We've rounded up all the major announcements from MWC 2018 - read on to check them out. 

What is Mobile World Congress?

Mobile World Congress is an annual trade show run by the GSMA (it's for trade rather than members of the public). The location theoretically moves around Europe, but for many years it has been held in Barcelona, Spain.

It is the launch platform for many of the year's big smartphones, but it has also given us a range of tablets, smartwatches and other connected devices in recent years - even reaching over to 2-in-1s, tablets and, this year, we may be seeing some more always-connected laptops.

Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many of the industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, like 5G, mobile chips, VR and other associated technologies. 

A new Zenfone from Asus

Asus has revealed three new phones at Mobile World Congress in the form of the mid-range ZenFone 5 and flagship-spec ZenFone 5Z.

Both have so-called notches at the top of the screen, leading to inevitable comparisons with other handsets already out there. According to Asus, it’s because users are demanding bigger displays and we’ll be seeing a lot more phones feature notches this year.

Revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the ZenFone 5 is a slick Qualcomm Snapdragon 636-powered, 6.2-inch handset that will be released in the UK in “Q3” – so expect it in the late Summer.

The ZenFone 5Z ups the ante with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, a huge 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. We have confirmed pricing for it, too, and it’s tasty – it’ll be £500 in the UK or €479 in mainland Europe and feature dual-SIM.

 

Tablets and laptops from Huawei

Huawei has a mixed history with MWC, often using the conference to launch new devices, but not always the new flagship phone.

And, indeed, that was the case this year. It will launch the Huawei P20 soon, but it isn't at MWC.

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Instead, it used its Mobile World Congress press conference to unveil three new tablets in the shape of the MediaPad M5 8.4 and 10.8-inch models, and a Huawei MediaPad Pro. The company also unveiled an all-new laptop: the Huawei MateBook X Pro.

Lenovo's new Yogas

Lenovo unveiled the Lenovo Yoga 530 and Yoga 730 laptops.

The latter comes in 13.3 and 15-inch variants, with a trademark flippable screen to make it into a tablet-style device. The Yoga 530 is also known as Flex 14 in the US.

A new version of the V30 from LG

LG didn't officially show the LG G7 during MWC, with a March launch more likely. It did have some new mid-range handsets. And there was a new version of the LG V30 with the company's proprietary ThinQ artificial intelligence on board. It's inventively named it the LG V30S ThinQ.

Nokia continues its revival

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HMD Global unleashed no less than five new Nokia phones during its MWC 2018 press conference: the Nokia 1, Nokia 6 2018 edition, Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 8 Sirocco and, as a bit of a surprise, a modern-day refresh of the Nokia 8110 with 4G on board.

The Nokia 1 is an entry-level handset with Android Oreo (Go edition) preloaded. It's a version of Android that's designed to be functional and simple for phones with 1GB of RAM or less.

The new Nokia 6 handset is faster than last year's model and packs a new Zeiss optics-powered camera. It's also an Android One phone, meaning it comes with a version of Android without the usual manufacturer bloatware. As does the Nokia 7 Plus and the Nokia 8 Sirocco - with the latter having a 2K pOLED display.

The Nokia 8110 is a feature phone that works on 4G networks and weighs in at an amazing price point of €79.

The Galaxy S9 from Samsung

Samsung had been totally open about its S9 launch plans ahead of Mobile World Congress and, true to its word, it unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9+ during its Unpacked press event.

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In design terms, the look similar to last year's models but there are some significant changes. The larger Galaxy S9+, for example, has a new dual-lens camera. They both have displays that support HDR too.

Pre-orders for both handsets have already opened, with a full release date of 16 March. However, those who pre-order before 7 March will get their phones a full week earlier - on 9 March.

The Galaxy S9 will cost from £739 and the Galaxy S9+ from £869.

Two new phones from Sony

Sony had already revealed two updates in 2018, the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra, sitting in the mid-range. At MWC it added the Sony Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact to the line-up.

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The biggest and most impressive new feature of the larger of the two is the ability to shoot 4K HDR video. The Xperia XZ2 and its Compact sibling are the first phones in the world to offer that.

They are also capable of shooting video in 960 frames per second, for extreme slow motion capture.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 comes with a 5.7-inch display and the Xz2 Compact is 5-inches.

Sadly, there is no sign of the previously rumoured flagship, Xperia XZ Pro, at Mobile World Congress. Although Sony has officially launched the Xperia Ear Duo wireless headphones that were only prototypes before.