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MWC 2016 highlights: Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, IoT and more

Smartphone manufacturers are gearing up for the world’s biggest mobile phone showcase Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016, set in Barcelona next week. Companies such as Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and others will showcase their latest offerings.

LG and Huawei will begin their announcements on Sunday, a day before the official event. LG is set to announce their flagship LG G5 that will feature a “magic slot,” to add extra modules of camera and audio units. Huawei will unveil its flagship model, the P9, and the company is also rumored to be working on a hybrid-tablet-laptop called MateBook.

One of the highlights of the event would be Samsung’s Galaxy’s S7 and S7 Edge, both which are based on the S6 range. Samsung is expected to add a bigger screen, micro SD card support from earlier generations, a bigger battery and waterproof features. Reports indicate that Sony is likely to announce a new range of smartphones, and is also rumored to be working on an in-ear device that provides audio alerts and responds to voice commands. The company had recently launched the Xperia Z5, so it is unlikely to launch the Xperia Z6.

Xiaomi will be showcasing its devices at MWC 2016 for the first time, including the Mi 5. The Mi 5 will be launched in Beijing on Wednesday, and the company’s head of international relations Hugo Barra said that a simultaneous event will be held in Barcelona. Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE and Oppo will also reveal their new devices.

VR and AR is expected to make a big impression at the event, with a range of devices such as HTC Vive, Samsung’s Gear VR, LG’s VR 360, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR. The fifth generation mobile networking standard or 5G standard will also be discussed during MWC. While US and Europe are yet to demonstrate a functioning 5G network, South Korea’s SK Telecom will demonstrate the 5G network. Intel, Huawei, Ericson and Nokia will discuss about the adoption of the 5G technology.

The MWC event will also have a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). Forrester enterprise mobile analyst Dan Bieler said that there would be less focus on mobile device launches at MWC’16 and more focus on IoT, including how to manage and protect data. Ultimately, IoT is not about things but data, explains Bieler.

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