(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.
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 February-3 March 2022
In 2022 Mobile World Congress is planning to return to its regular time slot in the calendar - that's at the end of February. In 2021 it was delayed until June and few companies attended the show.
While the official dates are 28 February to 3 March, these are the dates that the MWC conference schedule runs - often the media launches are in the preceeding days, the 26-27 February. Of course, everything might be different because it's 2022, but usually the big announcements are stacked towards the beginning of the event.
The GSMA is planning to run a physical event for Mobile World Congress and we suspect attendance will depend very much on the state of the pandemic at that point in time.
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.
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 ideal bedside companion.
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. This was then launched on the Galaxy Watch 4.
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
Here's a quick list of the companies that withdrew from the show, giving a good idea of who might (or might not) return in 2022:
- Sony Mobile
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.
Pocket-lint plans to be at Mobile World Congress in 2022.