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The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world's biggest trade show for mobile telecoms, starts on 26 February, and like every year, the smartphone makers will use the event to launch their latest flagship devices, according Telecompaper. New products are expected from Samsung, LG, Sony, HMD Global (Nokia) and Motorola, as well as smaller brands such as Alcatel, Asus, Wiko and Bullitt Group. 
 
Enthusiasm for the new phones appears at a lower ebb than in previous years. This may due to the increasingly 'evolutionary' rather than 'revolutionary' changes in smartphones, as hardware makers struggle to come up with new distinguishing features to win over consumers. Customers are holding on to their phones longer as a result. 
 
Some of the top features to be expected in the latest crop of phones include more double cameras and bezel-less screens. Artificial intelligence remains a buzz word as well, to drive everything from cameras to smart assistants. 
 
Samsung:  complete focus on Galaxy S9
 
The world's biggest smartphone maker has a press conference planned for Sunday 25 February. The 'Unpacked' event is expected to see the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, as Samsung has already hinted. The new flagship phones are expected to be largely an upgrade of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, with similar designs to their predecessors. There may be a greater difference between the standard and 'plus' models this year, with the Galaxy S9+ expected to have more memory and a double camera. 
 
Huawei: niche products
 
Huawei does not usually use big events like Mobile World Congress to launch important products. The company prefers to organise its own events to ensure it gets all the media attention. At previous editions of MWC, Huawei made smaller announcements in other product groups such as wearables and tablets. It appears this year will be the same, with no major smartphone announcements planned by the company. New mobile broadband products can be expected, such as tablets, convertibles and wearables, as well as of course announcements about its network equipment products for operators. 
 
LG recycles the V30
 
In recent years LG has used MWC to unveil its flagship smartphones such as the LG G5 (2016) and LG G6 (2017). However, this year it's become clear that the LG G7 will not be introduced until later in the year, and MWC will be used for the launch of a new version of the LG V30. LG has confirmed this launch and already started communicating details about the new model. In terms of hardware, the new V30 should be the same, while the main changes will be in terms of software. 
 
The LG G5 and G6 did not live up to LG's expectations in terms of sales. The company was forced to launch the G6 with old hardware as Qualcomm's latest processor, the Snapdragon 835, wasn't yet available. LG appears to be waiting this year to ensure it has all the latest components in place. Qualcomm's new processor, the Snapdragon 845 is expected to be available in Q2 for LG. 
 
Sony continues alone with 4K resolution
 
Sony's launch pattern is less predictable, but it appears it will use Mobile World Congress to introduce the first phone in the Sony Xperia XZ2 series. The company will most likely present 2-3 phones, including the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Pro, both with the latest hardware and Sony's usual focus on the camera, 18:9 screen ratio and 4K resolution. The new phones should hit the market in Q2. 
 
HMD Global (Nokia) to update portfolio
 
HMD Global launched its first smartphones at Mobile World Congress last year, as well as a recincarnation of the classic Nokia 3310. The company is expected again to use MWC for important launches, including the global release of the Nokia 6 (2018) and possibly other devices. Likely candidates include the Nokia 7 Pro, the Nokia 9 and a budget Nokia 1. 
 
Motorola to introduce Moto G6 and G6 Plus
 
Motorola Mobility is part of Lenovo since 2014, and since last year Lenovo has decided to focus completely on the Motorola brand, due to its well-known name. In 2017, Motorola offered no less than 11 smartphones, making it one of the widest offers on the market. Lenovo is expected to follow a similar launch pattern this year, meaning at Mobile World Congress it will introduce the Motorola Moto G6 and Moto G6 Plus. The G series is targeted at the high end of the entry-level segment. Later this year new models are expected in the C, E and X series from Motorola. 
 
Alcatel: everything already leaked
 
TCL Communication, maker of Alcatel brand phones, had its entire product roadmap leaked already at the end of 2016. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the company made it known that the products mentioned in the leaked roadmap would be unveiled at MWC. Alcatel is expected to present six models, spread overs its 1 series (budget), 3 series (high end of entry-level segment) and 5 series (low end of mid-range). These are the Alcatel 1X, 3, 3C, 3V, 3X and 5 models. 
 
HTC, which recently sold much of its smartphone business to Google, is expected to be the one notable absence at MWC, with no new phone introductions expected. Its latest VR headset may be on display. 
 
Among the smaller brands, Wiko is expeced to bring around five new models out at MWC, which it traditionally uses to renew its portfolio. Bullitt Group, which has previously released phones under the CAT and Kodak brands, will launch a new smartphone with Landrover Explorer and a new model from CAT. Doro and Emporia, which target the seniors market, will also be present at MWC with new devices. 
 
China's growing smartphone brands will also be present at the event in Barcelona. Xiaomi is expected to launch the new Redmi Note 5, Mi 7 and Mi Mix 2S at MWC. The latter will come with a complete edge-to-edge screen and high-end specifications. ZTE will most likely launch the Axon 9 smartphone, and Asus is expected to introduce the Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 5 Lite. Vivo will bring its Xplay 7, and Meizu will present the E3.