Inside MWC: the biggest phone show in the world

Inside MWC: the biggest phone event in the world
MWC is heading back to Barcelona for another week of mobile announcements

MWC 2015 is just around the corner and we're excited, but what is it? And why should you care? That's easy. Standing for 'Mobile World Congress', MWC is perhaps the biggest mobile trade show of the year with hundreds of exhibitors and almost as many announcements.

Taking place in sunny Barcelona it has existed in some form or other (it was initially called GSM World Congress) since 1987 and year after year it's been host to various announcements big and small.

Unlike CES it's very mobile focused, so you're less likely to see washing machines and fridges and more likely to see smartphones, tablets and wearables.

Plus it happens at a point in the year when many manufacturers, particularly in Android land, like to launch their next flagships, so it's the ideal opportunity to do so.

Galaxy S5

That not reason enough to get excited? Then how about this: last year both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2 were announced at the event and at MWC 2013 Sony announced the Xperia Tablet Z, so manufacturers aren't afraid to bring their big guns to the show.

Other announcements at MWC in recent years have included the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Nokia X and Nokia Lumia 720.

In other words almost anything other than an iPhone could potentially make its debut at the show and alongside the big launches there's always a whole bunch of lower profile announcements.

Big things are coming

But that's the past and MWC 2015 is looking set to be one of the best yet. Officially running from March 2 – March 5 we're expecting some game-changing announcements, with two of the biggest arriving pre-show on March 1.

Those two are from HTC and Samsung, which both have press conferences scheduled for March 1. In HTC's corner we're fully expecting to see its flagship for 2015, the HTC One M9, which is rumoured to have an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 20MP camera and a more premium design than ever.

HTC One M9 leak

We may also see the HTC One M9 Plus alongside it, a phone which seemingly takes everything great about the M9 but adds to it, with a fingerprint scanner and a QHD display rumoured to be on board.

Samsung meanwhile will announce the Galaxy S6, a phone which needs no introduction, but which is likely to break away from its plastic past with a full metal unibody. Reports also point to a QHD screen, a 20MP camera, an improved fingerprint scanner and a whole lot of power.

Galaxy S6 teaser

And that's not even the only phone Samsung's likely to announce, as we'll probably also see the Galaxy S Edge, which is likely to be a lot like the Galaxy S6 but with one or two curved edges.

Those announcements on their own will be some of the biggest phone launches of the year, but there'll be a whole lot more at MWC 2015 as well. Things that may well appear include an HTC smartwatch, new Samsung tablets and smartwatches, a Project Ara handset and announcements from Huawei, Honor, Motorola, Oppo, ZTE and others.

The only major things we're fairly sure we won't see other than the iPhone 6s is the Xperia Z4, the LG G4 and a new Nexus device, but while they're probably not on the cards there's always room for major surprises.

So whether you're interested in smartphones, tablets or wearables, MWC 2015 is likely to have something to catch your eye, especially if you're an Android fan. But we wouldn't be surprised if some new Windows Phone handsets show up too, especially as Microsoft is holding a press event on March 2.

New things from BlackBerry and even the likes of Firefox OS are also entirely possible. We may even see some smart glasses, if you're into that kind of thing.

Sleep? Where we're going we don't need sleep

There'll be a whole week of announcements to keep up with but fear not, because we'll be there in force making sure you're kept in the loop, with coverage of all the launches and hands on impressions of anything and everything that isn't locked in a box, and even then we might try.

All you need to do is cancel your plans, stock up on snacks and settle in. It's going to be a long week, but you'll be glad you stayed in and saved your money when you see all the shiny new things you'll need in your life.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.