Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile event of the year, seeing the launch of many of the leading smartphones, watches and tablets, as well as seeing the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile.
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 sweep up Apple in their hype. At MWC we saw the first Dolby Vision display on a phone, we saw the move to 18:9 and a whole lot more.
What is Mobile World Congress?
Mobile World Congress is an annual trade show run by the GSMA. The location moves around Europe, but in recent 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.
When is Mobile World Congress 2018?
Mobile World Congress 2018 is running from 26 February to 1 March. These are the days that the show itself is open, the press days - where the big announcements are made - fall before this.
Sunday 25 February is likely to be the big launch day, although in recent years we've seen a trickle of mobile news appearing in the weeks before this. But if there's one day to be excited, it's likely to be Sunday 25 Feb.
What devices are launching at MWC? Well that's what we're going to deal with now.
BlackBerry at MWC 2018
BlackBerry has confirmed that it will be launching "at least" two phones this year, but there's very little indication of what they might be. That might result in a new Android-based all-touch phone, perhaps at the affordable end, with some of the DTEK models getting a little old.
Google at MWC 2018
Google's real interest, however, seems to be around expanding the reach of Google Assistant. At CES 2018, we saw Google push a number of initiatives, introducing the smart displays empowered by Google Assistant. We've also seen the growth of Google Assistant compatible headphones, as Google leverages its skills.
There's no word on what we might see at MWC just yet, but we're betting it follows this AI theme. And a load of pin badges, naturally.
HTC at MWC 2018
HTC has been rather quiet of late - apart from in the Vive department - but we know that HTC will be launching something with two cameras in 2018. We know, because HTC said so and that might be the HTC U11 Eyes just announced in China, or something else.
However, with HTC generally hosting online launch events rather than hitting shows like MWC, we wouldn't be surprised if it was a quiet start to the year. Still, there's rumours that the HTC U12 is in the works, but so soon after the unveiling of the HTC U11+? We're not so sure.
Huawei at MWC 2018
Huawei has a mixed history with MWC, often using the conference to launch new devices, but not always the new flagship. However, in 2017 it used the event to unveil the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus smartphones and Huawei Watch 2, a good haul.
Rumours suggest that Huawei is going to change its naming convention and announce the Huawei P20 at MWC. That hasn't been confirmed, but long-running rumours have suggested a launch date in early 2018.
LG at MWC 2018
LG likes to launch at MWC and we've seen a number of devices arrive in recent years - the LG G5 and LG G6. So will we see the LG G7? It's certainly on its way, as we've seen a number of leaks about this device.
There was a rumour that LG was going to change its naming followed by a report saying that LG has scrapped the LG G7 design completely. At the moment we just don't know whether LG is going to join the MWC scrum or not.
Motorola at MWC 2018
Lenovo, owners of Motorola, announced a lot at CES 2018, including a Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 2-in-1 and the Mirage Solo, the first standalone Daydream VR headset, along with accompanying VR180 camera and a Smart Display. But there were no phones.
Rumours suggest that Lenovo is planning to launch a new Moto X, E and G in 2018, along with the return of the Play branding, suggesting a couple of different tiers to some of these devices. We've seen an image leak for the Moto E5, suggesting its entry-level device will be updated.
Nokia at MWC 2018
Well, where to start? Nokia is attempting to come back from the dead and in 2017 that saw MWC headlines dominated by the Nokia 3310. It might have been a marketing stunt, it might have been a serious phone, but there's rumours of a 4G version to make it actually useful.
With a huge number of phones launched in 2017 - Nokia 8, 7, 6, 5, 3, 2 - it's really the Nokia 9 that has people excited: a flagship to compete at the highest level. There's no shortage of rumours on this device and everything is suggesting an imminent launch. It might be before MWC to avoid the furore, but we're sure it's coming soon.
We also expect to see the global launch of the new Nokia 6, recently announced in China.
Samsung at MWC 2018
Samsung didn't launch the Galaxy S8 at MWC, waiting a little longer to debut the Snapdragon 835. That doesn't seem to be a concern for 2018, with Snapdragon 845 launched and ready to go. That means the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the phones that are likely to dominate headlines coming from MWC on day 1.
There have been plenty of leaks suggesting what we might see and with the company only really talking about Bixby and SmartThings at CES, there's a feeling that Samsung needs to go big at MWC. What bigger than launching the biggest phone of the year? There's no official confirmation, but DJ Koh, president of Samsung Mobile, has said the phone will launch at a trade show in February. Go figure.
Sony at MWC 2017
Sony announced four new handsets at MWC 2017, but in 2018 it has already revealed two of those expected updates in the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra.
That leaves the 4K Sony Xperia XZ Premium as an older phone, although there's also the Xperia XZ1, although that's only a few months old. We suspect that Sony wants to replace the XZ Premium with something that's truely flagship and there's rumours suggesting a shift in design to reduce those characteristic bezels. There's a lot of mixed messaging at the moment, so nothing is certain.