This week is Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 in Barcelona, one of the biggest events of the year when it comes to smartphone and other mobile device news. Whether you want to stay up to date with everything coming from the show, or just read about the highlights, this is the article you need to get all the juicy details.
We haven't had an in-person MWC like this since 2019, thanks to a certain pandemic ruining things. But it's back with a bang this year, with companies including Samsung, OnePlus and Xiaomi all expected to make big reveals.
Read on for our summary of the most noteworthy announcements so far, and scroll down for all the breaking MWC news as it happens.
MWC 2022: the biggest news so far
- Samsung's MWC 2022 event revealed the Galaxy Book 2 Pro and Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, a pair of premium laptops that bring upgrades like new CPUs and better webcams.
- OnePlus announced that the OnePlus 10 Pro is coming to the global market in March (with OxygenOS rather than a new, unfamiliar OS), and that it's working on a 150W charging phone that'll release later this year.
- Realme has had two pieces of news to share: its flagship GT 2 series will launch globally at the end of April, and later this year it will also debut a phone with 150W charging.
- A new kind of foldable concept has been revealed in the form of the TCL Fold and Roll, a book-style folding phone that can extend its display after opening.
Good morning, this is Richard Priday (TG staff writer and smartphone expert) kicking off Tom's Guide's MWC live blog. We'll keep you up to date on all the latest out of Barcelona, as well as providing in-depth news and analysis on the biggest announcements. The conference lasts until the end of the week, so there's a lot to see!
Samsung decided to not compete for attention with other companies and actually held its announcement yesterday. That presentation brought us the Galaxy Book 2 series of laptops, with the highlight being the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 2-in-1 (pictured). It's a little more expensive than last year's model, but it's fixed basically all the complaints we had with the original, so we're excited to see how it performs in real life once it launches in April.
While its smartphone business is still stymied by a lack of Android apps, Huawei's laptop and desktop computer business remains competitive. But with the reveal of its new Smart Office and Super Device products, there may be a reason for you to pick up a Huawei phone or tablet once again.
Assuming you own the right devices, you can open multiple phone windows on your PC, use your tablet and stylus as a drawing tool for your computer or connect your PC to a monitor or TV wirelessly. This is similar to how Continuity or Universal Control works on Apple devices, or how Link to PC does on Android phones, but Huawei's tech looks even more powerful while being just as easy to use.
If you own recent MateBooks or MatePad tablets, this feature will be available to use once you've updated the PC manager app.
If you're more interested in Huawei's physical products, the company announced a new MateBook X Pro premium laptop (pictured), a MateBook E 2-in-1 laptop, the MateStation X all-in-one desktop, and the MatePad Paper e-reader, plus the SoundJoy portable speaker.
That's a surprisingly large variety of products, but unfortunately due to the company's poor relationship with the U.S. government currently, you'll be unlikely to ever find them to buy in the U.S. U.K. users should be able to purchase them, however Huawei's not given release dates yet.
Chinese phone maker Realme's conference just ended, and for a fairly small company it had some exciting stuff to show off.
First, the Realme GT 2 and GT 2 Pro flagship phones. While a lot cheaper than most other flagship phones at £599, the GT 2 Pro offers matching performance specs like a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, 12GB RAM and a 120Hz display, while also offering unique things like a 150-degree ultrawide camera mode, 360-degree NFC, 65W charging and and a unique biopolymer back case.
One more thing from Realme: 150W charging!
That's right, while iPhones and Samsung phones charge at a pedestrian 20W/45W, Realme's here announced a charging speed for the upcoming GT NEO 3 with over three times the wattage available for the Galaxy S22. That translates to 50% charge in just 5 minutes.
TCL has been thinking about the next step for foldable phones, and its Fold and Roll is one idea for it.
It's only a prototype at the moment, but the phone is able to extend itself from a 7-inch closed size to an 8.8-inch unfurled one. It lets you fit even more screen space in a compact package than a typical foldable can, even if the motorized display adds yet more complex components to an already complex and fragile device type.
Also on show at TCL's demo is the 360-Degree Ultra Flex. This looks like a more typical foldable phone, but it can bend in both directions like a 2-in-1 laptop. This would let you use either side of the main display as a smaller screen for when you don't need the full-sized screen, or to close up the phone fully to protect it from damage.
Apple isn't at MWC, probably because it knows it'll get enough attention at its own Spring Event announcement, rumored for the beginning of March.
The latest rumor for the company's in-development products is that it's working on a MacBook/iPad hybrid, effectively a big tablet that can fold to let you use half of the screen as a virtual keyboard.
Honor's just finished announcing the Magic 4 Pro, its newest flagship smartphone. It offers all the usual features you'd expect from a modern premium Android phone, including Google apps (restored since Honor divorced itself from Huawei), but with some enhancements.
For example, its quad-curved display uses LTPO 3.0, not the 2.0 version found on the Galaxy S22 Ultra and other recent phones, which allows for reduced screen flicker. The cameras are a combo of 50MP main/50MP ultrawide/64MP 3.5x telephoto sensors, and can also capture video in 60fps, 10-bit Log format, which gives boosted detail and makes editing easier. Finally, it offers 100W charging, which is substantially faster than almost every other Android phone on the market right now. We really hope this comes to the U.K. soon, even though the Magic 3 series still hasn't arrived here.
Big news from OnePlus - the OnePlus 10 Pro, which has been stuck as a China-exclusive phone since January, is finally going to launch in the U.S. and U.K. by the end of March.
We've been looking forward to trying out the phone's second-gen Hasselblad cameras, 80W wired charging and more, and now we've only got a little longer to wait. We just need a specific date now from OnePlus.
Also from OnePlus: news of a 150W charging phone that will arrive in Q2 this year.
This sounds like the same 150W charging that Realme announced earlier, since they're both related to Oppo, the company that likely developed it. Either way, we'll get a 50% charge in just 5 minutes using this standard, which is far faster than anything you can get on a phone right now.
Qualcomm wasn't content to sit out on MWC this year. The company announced a new Snapdragon Connect initiative, a certification process that ensures a device has top-notch wireless capabilities. That means 5G, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth, and others, too.
There are also new audio platforms which reduce latency and battery power consumption. This will be great for gaming and wireless audio.
A couple more tidbits from the OnePlus announcements:
First, the OnePlus 10 Pro will ship with OxygenOS, not partner company Oppo's ColorOS or a new unified operating system. That's great news since we were wroreid part of the key OnePlus experience would be lost in the merger. Happily, while the two OSes will now use a unified codebase, they'll be developed separately.
Second, OnePlus hinted during its press Q&A that it was working on software for foldable devices. This isn't surprising since we expect OnePlus to get involved in foldables eventually thanks to the groundwork laid by Oppo and the Find N. But perhaps if it's actively involved in development, it'll be sooner than expected.
While we've been focusing on OnePlus, sister-brand Oppo has been holding its own presentation today.
As well as discussing the 150W charging standard that both OnePlus and Realme will be using on upcoming devices, Oppo also demonstrated an even faster 240W charging system that can fill a battery to 100% in nine minutes. This isn't coming to a phone yet though, so don't get too excited.
Mobile World Congress isn't just for phones, as we've already seen from Samsung and Huawei. Laptops are a big part of the mobile trade show as well, and Lenovo's making sure that its latest gear is getting some time in the MWC spotlight.
To that end, here's a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, announced today in Barcelona. The $1,099 thin-and-light laptop arrives in May powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 system-on-chip. Qualcomm announced that chipset in December, and as the chip maker's first 5-nanometer silicon for Windows PCs, we're expecting to see a big boost in speed and power efficiency.
You can get the full scoop on Lenovo's latest laptop in our ThinkPad X13s guide.
More Lenovo news from MWC — the laptop maker has also unveiled a new Chromebook that updates one of the best Chromebooks from a couple years back.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 is a $399 Chromebook that bumps up the screen size from its predecessor to 11 inches. You'll also get thinner bezels for a better screen-to-body ratio. Throw in a 2K display and a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chipset and this should be quite a formidable Chromebook option.
Get all the details in our Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 guide before this Chromebook arrives in May.
Among Qualcomm's many Mobile World Congress announcements, don't overlook the Snapdragon X70 modem the mobile components maker revealed. While not an upgrade over the current X65 modem in terms of speed — both can support speeds of up to 10 Gigabits, not that you'll find performance like that anywhere — the X70 has a secret weapon in the form of a 5G AI processor.
That AI chip should allow the Snapdragon X70 modem to better manage beams, particularly for mmWave-based 5G. Essentially, the AI on board the X70 will be able to better detect 5G signals and optimize a phone's antennas for improved reception, better throughput and lower latency.
The X70 also boasts better power management features thanks to the third generation of Qualcomm's 5G PowerSave technology. That should be particularly welcome to owners of 5G devices who've noticed the power-hungry wireless technology draining their phones' batteries.
The Snapdragon X70 modem comes out in the second half of 2022, with the modem landing in phones later in the year. That means it might miss phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and iPhone 14. Their predecessors — the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and iPhone 13 — both use an X60 modem and not the X65 modem announced in February 2021.
Good morning! Richard Priday here again for day two of MWC 2022. Yesterday was a big day for news, with many of the most prominent companies attending the show making announcements. So let's see what's in store today...
We spend a lot of time focussing on the top end of the smartphone market, but sometimes it's important to see what you can get for much, much less.
Nokia's new C21 series phones offer the brand's signature toughness and excellent battery life, alongside improved front and rear cameras. But the price of these phones is where they excel: it's a fully functional Android phone for £100 (for the top-tier Plus version). Not bad if you're really not fussed about multiple state-of-the-art cameras or a speedy, detailed display.
Oppo's been showing off its Air Glass wearables again at MWC, after first revealing them at its INNO Day in December last year.
These "assisted reality" devices clip onto the side of a compatible pair of glasses and via input from your voice or touch commands, you can then use the Air Glass to help you with directions, translation, teleprompting and more. The only limitation is that the Air Glass' display only outputs in green or greyscale, making its potential uses more limited than you might think.
TCL has introduced both a family of phones and some new tablets at MWC - the highlights being the TCL 30 series and the Nxtpaper Max 10.
The 30 series smartphones range from 139 euros to 249 euros, making them very attractively priced. All the models feature 5,000 mAh batteries and 50MP main cameras, and either 6.5-inch or 6.7-inch displays.
Meanwhile the Nxtpaper Max 10 is a tablet with a paper-style surface for more comfortable reading and writing. While the company also announced new affordable Tab and Tab Pro models, this one is the most interesting for that papery design.
Let's take a brief moment to see what's happening outside Barcelona, specifically inside the walls of Apple HQ in Cupertino.
Fresh rumors say that today could be the day Apple invites the world to its spring product reveal event, tipped to be happening on March 8. The Apple Spring Event is this year expected to be headlined by the iPhone SE 3, a new mid-range iPhone for those who don't fancy paying nearly $1,000 for an iPhone 13. Other possible products we could see are a new iPad Pro and new iMac Pro and Mac mini models.
We heard from chipmaker Qualcomm yesterday, and now rival MediaTek has made its own announcements.
The Dimensity 8000, 8100 and 1300 chips will be found in phones launching in the next few. The 8000 series chips are designed to be fitted into flagship-killer phones that offer top-tier features for less, while the 1300 is more of a budget device power-plant, although one that still features 5G connectivity.
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