Mobile World Congress 2021: dates, news, what new products to expect
One of the world’s biggest tech shows, Mobile World Congress, returns as a hybrid experience this month, with new devices and products brought to you by some of the world’s best-known smartphone makers.
It’s one of the major events on the tech industry calendar – and not just because it takes place in sunny Barcelona. Although it probably doesn’t hurt.
But like just about all events in 2021, the shadow of the pandemic continues to loom – and the once-bustling exhibition hall that typically hosts more than 100,000 attendees is set to be reduced by more than half amid the new measures. of security.
Will these measures – which includes everyone at the site with a negative test result in the past 72 hours – be enough to limit the potential spread? While the organizers of the MWC, the GSM Association, say yes – it’s clear some tech companies aren’t completely convinced – or at least not yet willing to take the risk.
So this year MWC will be different – and it’s still unclear whether any announced device will be worthy enough to feature in our best smartphone guide.
In previous years, the sprawling rooms would have been chock full of tech companies promoting their latest smartphones, laptops, gadgets or software. But this time, many showcases will be displayed virtually. Companies such as Google, Nokia, Facebook, Vodafone, Sony and Ericsson have refused to send anyone in person.
That’s not to say there won’t be some exciting news, however, and RadioTimes.com will bring you those announcements – from a safe distance. So here’s what you need to know about MWC 2021, who’s there, and what devices to expect.
What is the Mobile World Congress?
One of the major trade shows of the year showcased new technological products. It’s not a free event and tickets start at around £ 600, although some announcements are showing to the public.
When is Mobile World Congress 2021?
This year, MWC 2021 will take place at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain, from June 28 to July 1, 2021. Due to the pandemic, it will be a mix of in-person and virtual showcases. The event used to take place in February or early March. It was canceled in 2020.
Who is present? Highlights of the MWC 2021 program
The MWC show this year is almost more remarkable for who is not participate due to pandemic concerns, but some companies that are still on the main agenda include Samsung and Lenovo – although their sessions are both virtual.
Intel and Nvidia are both set to detail their 5G platforms, while Chinese tech giant Huawei is listed as an exhibitor, but it’s unclear if it will actually unveil new phones during the event. , like a new foldable or the P50 range.
In terms of speech, the main draw will be SpaceX chief Elon Musk, who is expected to appear virtually to discuss his Internet satellite project, Starlink.
Qualcomm, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, BT, Nokia, Sony, Oracle, Ericsson and Xiaomi have previously announced that they will not be attending in person, but it is not clear at time of writing whether the companies are still planning to reveal. new devices. virtually, or even through their own scheduled announcements around MWC.
Sony Mobile has informed us that it will not be attending MWC 2021. Amazon has confirmed that its AWS and Amazon Advertising divisions will both be in attendance.
This page will be updated with future major updates as they are announced.
What virtual events can you watch at home?
Samsung: While most sessions are paid, Samsung has confirmed that it will run its ads on its website and YouTube channel.
Its showcase will cover the Galaxy ecosystem, a new smartwatch experience and mobile security. The MWC 2021 list claims that Samsung will “reinvent smartwatches,” likely referring to the new partnership between its Tizen operating system and Google’s Wear OS that was first revealed during Google I / O in May.
The two companies are now working together on a common smartwatch platform called Wear, which will improve the speed, battery and performance of the smartwatch. The MWC Samsung event is scheduled to take place on June 28, streaming from 6:15 p.m.
Mobile World Congress 2021: what to expect
MWC is no stranger to big product reveals. In 2019, for example, Samsung and Huawei were both promoting their new foldables – the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X. That year Huawei also unveiled its Matebook X Pro laptop, Microsoft was there with the HoloLens 2. , while Sony has launched its Xperia 1 flagship smartphone.
It’s not a crazy bet that brands like Sony, Nokia, Honor, Motorola could still make announcements virtually at MWC 2021, but there is nothing on the agenda just yet. Google is another possibility. It’s a long shot, but its Pixel 5a smartphone was not present at I / O, despite speculation that its release is approaching.
Don’t expect phone announcements from LG, which in April announced the disbandment of its mobile business unit. Apple does not do trade shows.
Lenovo is also hosting a virtual showcase at MWC and promoting the #LenovoMWC hashtag, but it is not yet clear whether, like Samsung, it will be released to the general public or restricted to paid tech conference ticket holders.
We already know some of the devices it will showcase at the show, as it made a series of announcements via multiple press releases on June 23, covering new laptops, PC accessories, Chromebooks, monitors, and a 2-in-1. . model.
The products were named as:
- ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4
- ThinkPad L13 Gen 2
- L13 Yoga Gen 2
- IdeaPad 5i Chromebook
- IdeaPad Flex 5i 2-in-1 Chromebook
- Lenovo Go PC Accessories
On June 28, Lenovo unveiled several new tablets – including the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 and Yoga Tab 11 – as well as a new home device, the Smart Clock 2.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 13
The new Yoga Tab 13 is the company’s new premium tablet that is touted as being suitable for all needs, whether it’s content streaming, productivity or even gaming. It has a new stainless steel kickstand that can also be used to hang the device, a 13 inch 2K screen and is fully compatible with Google Assistant. The 13-inch Yoga Tab 13 is expected to be available from this month, priced at around £ 680 (€ 799).
Lenovo Smart Clock 2
Think of the smart home display and you’ll probably think of devices made by Google or Amazon – the Google Nest Hub and the Amazon Echo Show 10. The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is an alternative to these, offering a touchscreen. 4 inch color in three colors: Shadow Black, Heather Gray and Abyss Blue. There is even an optional wireless charging station that will allow you to power your smartphone right next to the hub.
The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 with Google Assistant function and wireless charging dock is expected to be available from August 2021 for around £ 80 (€ 89.99).
For the GSM Association, the show must go on. But for everyone, it looks like 2021 is more low-key than in previous years. Stay with RadioTimes.com for the latest news from MWC 2021 and in-depth coverage of the Samsung event.
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