MWC 2023 opens today - so what are we expecting to see? MWC is one of the biggest shows on planet when it comes to mobile phones, and usually it is a place where a myriad of new handsets get launched, all wanting to top the best camera phone (opens in new tab) list.
The good news is that the exhibition is back and live in its traditional February slot - following three years of disruption from Covid-19. In 2020, the show was cancelled at the last minute, and in 2021 the exhibition was delayed to the summer and put on in a hybrid fashion. And last year, ongoing restrictions in China and the start of the Ukraine war, meant the physical event was a mere shadow of its former self
How great this year's show will be, it is hard to predict. But it will definitely be the biggest show we have seen since 2019 – with Chinese exhibitors now coming back in force. There are lots of new products already scheduled to launch at the show - and no doubt there will be some surprise announcements too.
What is MWC 2023?
MWC stands for Mobile Word Congress - and is organized by the GSMA, the global industry association, first formed in 1995 to promote 2G GSM digital phones. The show was first held in 1987, and in 2019 attracted over 100,000 to the Fira Barcelona Gran Via exhibition halls in Barcelona, Spain. There are now additional MWC spin-off shows in Shanghai and Los Angeles.
When is MWC 2023?
It takes place in Barcelona from Monday February 27 to Thursday March 02. The halls are open to visitors from 8.30am to 7pm on the first three days, and from 8.30am to 4pm on the final day.
But there will be lots of speeches from leading industry figures. Many of the sessions will be centered on the themes of the 5G acceleration, the metaverse, OpenNet, FinTech - and discussing how cellular technology can be used in much, much more than just our phones.
And we will be bringing you all the news, as and if it happens…
What we expect at MWC 2022
Thanks to the phone rumors (opens in new tab) mill and the inevitable teasers from the key manufacturers, we already had a pretty good idea what some of the highlights will be at this year's expo. As ever Apple and Samsung are the most notable handset manufacturers who do not reveal new products at MWC.
Xiaomi at MWC 2023
Already launched in Asia, the Xiaomi 13 family of smartphones get its global launch at the show. Of the three models it is the flagship Xiaomi 13 Pro that is the one that is most exciting. Powered by a Leica camera syste, the phone offers Vario-Summicron 1.19-2.2/14-75 ASPH lens system and a large 1-inch IMX989 sensor for the main camera. First seen on Xiaomi 12S Ultra (opens in new tab), the IMX989 sensor is the largest sensor ever incorporated into a smartphone. See our full news story (opens in new tab)
CAT at MWC 2023
The CAT family of rugged phones (opens in new tab) get its newest member in the shape of the S75. The 5G phone is said to the company's toughest yet, and can be dropped from a height of 1.8m onto steel and survive the fall, even without a phone case (opens in new tab), and is waterproof to depths of 5m. But the exciting new feature of this phone is that it features satellite messaging - so you can keep in touch even in places where there is no network coverage. Its Bullitt Satellite Messenger uses MediaTek’s NTN (non-terrestrial network) chip that enables direct connectivity to geostationary satellites 37,500km above the earth making it possible to send a message or make an SOS assistance request. See our full news story (opens in new tab)
Motorola at MWC 2023
Motorola is also showcasing a rugged phone with the built-in satellite messaging service - called the Motorola Defy 2. Due for launch in North America, it will cost $599 with 12 months of the SOS Assist satellite emergency service.
But even more exciting to most the launch of the Motorola Defy Satellite Link accessory - which connects to any Android or Apple phone, providing the access to the two-way satellite messaging service. Priced from $99 for the device only, a bundle including 12 months subscription to a service plan with 30 two-way messages per month and SOS Assist will start at $149. See our full news story (opens in new tab)
Honor at MWC 2023
Honor has a press conference on the first day of the show (at 7.30am ET /12.30am GMT, which you can watch on its YouTube channel (opens in new tab). We expect to find out full details of the Honor Magic5 Pro (opens in new tab) which we know features a 50MP camera with an innovative AI system that helps you capture the best moment of in an action sequence. This feature was used recently (opens in new tab) to capture Piotr "Grabo" Grabowski setting a Guinness World Record for the highest between the legs slam dunk. We are also expecting the Honor Magic Vs foldphone (opens in new tab) will get its full global launch.
See our hands-on Honor Magic5 Pro review (opens in new tab)
Nokia at MWC 2023
Nokia manufacturers, HMD Global, has an exciting new concept for its next handset - the Nokia G22. This is a phone that is designed so you can easily repair itself - so when the battery starts to lag, or the screen gets cracked you can replace the compenents yourself. With a 50MP main camera and a 6.52” screen, the G22 is made of 100% recycled plastic. It will sell for €179, with spare parts being supplied by repair specialists iFixit.com.
Also announced is the budget price Nokia C22 - which will retail for €129.
OPPO at MWC 2023
Oppo's big new handset is the OPPO Find N2 Flip, which we have already done a full preview of. See our hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review (opens in new tab).
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