Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the biggest mobile event of the year. The show sees the launch of many of the year's top smartphones, smartwatches and tablets, as well as seeing the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile, such as 5G.

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

Here's everything you need to know about the show.

When is Mobile World Congress?

  • MWC Barcelona: 28 June-1 July 2021

In 2021 the Barcelona leg of the show is delayed from its usual February-March slot and took place from 28 June-1 July 2021.

The GSMA is hosted a physical event in Barcelona. Safety measures were in place, including madatory face masks and social distancing. Several major brands announced their withdrawl from the show.

What launched at Mobile World Congress 2021?  

In any normal year, there would be a series of launches from some of the leading mobile phone manufacturers - the likes of Sony Mobile and Nokia typically use MWC to launch new devices, there's often big showcases from the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung. 

Normally we'd have a long list of devices, but for 2021, MWC reverted mostly to the conference agenda and networking opportunities the trade show offers, while most of the press launches didn't take place. There were some announcements, however. 

Lenovomwc 2021 photo 1

Lenovo at MWC 2021

Lenovo timed the launch of a number of devices with MWC. That included the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13, which is a tablet with a kickstand, so you can see how this is pitched at home use. There's also a second-gen Smart Clock, with a wireless charging dock, making it the idea bedside companion.

Samsungmwc 2021 photo 2

Samsung at MWC 2021

Samsung had a virtual event where it mostly talked about the Galaxy ecosystem and the benefits of Samsung Knox, it's security package. But it did reveal some juicy details about One UI Watch, which is the interface that will be running on the next Galaxy Watch, which will also debut the new Wear OS it co-developed with Google. We now know that's going to launch later in the summer at a Galaxy Unpacked event.

Qualcommmwc 2021 photo 3

Qualcomm at MWC 2021

Although Qualcomm wasn't at the show, the company timed the announcement of the Snapdragon 888+ to coincide with the show. We also know this new hardware is going to appear in the forthcoming Honor Magic 3, with Asus, Vivo, Xiaomi and Motorola all confirming plans to use the hardware. It offers a lift over the current Snapdragon 888 with a new AI engine and boosted modem.

Brands that withdrew

We don't want to be pessimistic, but it's easier to confirm those companies that have withdrawn from the physical show:

  • Samsung
  • Sony Mobile
  • Nokia
  • Google
  • Qualcomm
  • Ericsson
  • Facebook

There are some big names here: Sony and Nokia usually launch devices at the show. Samsung usually has something new to show off. Google normally dominates a huge area between the show halls, while Qualcomm always has a big stand. 

This isn't the end of Mobile World Congress an the fact that there's some sort of physical show suggests we'll be right back into things in 2022.

Snapdragon Tech Summit, CES, and more - Pocket-lint Podcast 132

Pocket-lint is not be at Mobile World Congress in 2021, but we'll return in 2022.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 2 November 2016.