MWC 2014: all the latest phones, tablets and smartwatches

Think the world can't possibly accommodate any more smartphones? You think wrongly.

Despite the fact that our planet currently contains more unique designs of mobile phone than there are visually identifiable snowflake forms, we're about to be hit by a deluge of new mobiles.

On February 24, 2014 the plastic-formers and die-casters of the world will unleash their next-generation models at Mobile World Congress 2014.

This year non other than Mark Zuckerberg will grace the stage a MWC 2014, highlighting the show's importance even further - possibly pushing it above CES.

MWC is the annual mobile tech event where pretty much every major phone hardware company shows off its new flagship models for the following spring/summer contract renewal market.

Samsung at MWC 2014

So - it's very different to how we expected things to be for Samsung at MWC 2014. Far from having a separate event, the South Korean brand is 99.9% certain to be launching the Galaxy S5 at the event.

The invites for the event were sent out a couple of weeks before the start of MWC and it's covered in little number 5s, which means you don't need to be a brain rocket scientist surgeon to work out what may appear at 8pm in Barcelona.

Galaxy S5

Here's something you might not know: the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly appear in two variants, encompassing a metal frame with high-res screen and a polycarbonate version that sticks with the traditional 1080p display.

There's a chance those two could be switched as the metal version is reportedly hard to make on a grand scale, so we're intrigued to see how Samsung plays this.

The brand is also widely tipped to bring the Galaxy Gear sequel to the masses at MWC, a strong sidekick to the Galaxy S5 that will help it in the battle against the iWatch, which will come later in the year.

Samsung already jumped the MWC 2014 gun by announcing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite ahead of show, although Barcelona will probably be the first time we're able to get hands on with the slate - we've also heard a lot of rumours of a Galaxy Tab 4 range too.

Galaxy Tab 4

The Korean firm has also confirmed the existence of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo (rumored as the Galaxy Note 3 Lite) - and we expect to see this for the first time at MWC as well.

Another smartphone on our radar is the Galaxy Grand Neo - a mid-range handset with lower specs than the rumored Galaxy Grand 2.

We saw several Samsung tablets arrive at CES 2014, but there's still talk of a 13.3-inch monster slate with Android and Windows dual-boot abilities like the Ativ Q, as well as a range of Android only devices.

Samsung looks set to go big on its in-house mobile platform Tizen - finally - at MWC 2014, with reports revealing invites have been sent out for a Tizen-only event at the show.

Nokia at MWC 2014

Windows Phone has had a pretty triumphant few months, with Microsoft's partnership with Nokia finally bearing fruit and WP's market share slowly increasing. IDC's recent numbers put it at 3.6% (Q3 2013), compared to 2% in Q3 2012 - a healthy 156% increase.

Windows Phone 8.1

Expect the first phones running Windows Phone 8.1

People seem to be remembering that they used to like Nokia, and although the company has released the likes of the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520 tablet in recent weeks, there may be more to come. Recently, the Lumia 1820 and Lumia 2020 have been rumored, with the latter likely to be a new flagship 8-inch tablet.

The big news however is the mystery around the Nokia X handset - a smartphone apparently running a heavily skinned version of Android which would see the Finnish firm stepping away from its Windows Phone-or-bust rule.

Nokia is making a big deal about trees and monkeys for its MWC activities, which we literally cannot decipher. Does the monkey mean Android, and the tree stand for Microsoft? Where does the DNA pattern come in? Either way, Nokia is up to something.

Nokia X

On top of that we're expecting to see something that pushes the envelope in the Windows Phone game, in the shape of the Lumia 930. This will bring the same specs as the powerful Lumia 1520 but in a smaller form factor - possibly even as tiny as a 4.5-inch screen, while still offering a 1080p screen and quad-core processor.

We should also see the first hardware set to launch with the Windows Phone 8.1 Blue software pre-loaded at MWC 2014, an OS update that's expected to massively overhaul WP's notification system, boost the multitasking options and incorporate a voice-based personal assistant feature. Because everyone's got to have a Siri function, even if no one ever uses it.

HTC at MWC 2014

HTC used to be Mobile World Congress banker, using the event to launch its newest models. In 2012 it gave us the HTC One X and One S, but in 2013 even HTC turned its back on the Barcelona show, launching its flagship HTC One ahead of time.


HTC launched the HTC One at MWC 2013

In 2014 we expect HTC to launch a new flagship, thought to be currently going under the development name of HTC M8, which rumors suggest will be a device with a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and Android 4.4 as its launch OS beneath an updated HTC Sense 6.0 user interface.

This sounds rather like... most phones nowadays. Still, if HTC can whack in the same sort of top-drawer speakers and camera as the HTC One, we'll be buying it and eBaying last year's model, as ever.

Sad news though for Barcelona fans: HTC won't be chucking it out at the annual phone trade show, preferring a simulcast event between London and New York on March 25.

HTC One 2

But it's not forgetting about its yearly sojourn to the Spanish city: there will still be the Desire 8 on show, which is set to be a larger-screened phablet dubbed the Desire 8 with some pretty decent specs for a mid-range model.

This was promoted in China by HTC already, which means it could be a device with a more Asian slant, but it should still get a decent Western push.

LG at MWC 2014

LG is back on the smartphone A-list thanks to its successes with the excellent Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, both of which have encouraged people to consider its own-brand efforts like the LG G2 more than they perhaps might have done before Google salvaged its reputation.


The excellent LG G2 smartphone

Last year LG revealed the Optimus G Pro and the updated affordable L series range at MWC 2013, and true to form its announced successors to both of these.

The LG G Pro 2 (just to confuse us with the naming game) packs a larger 5.9-inch full HD display (1920 x 1080), the same 2.26GHz quad-core processor you'll find in the LG G2, 3GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of storage and the addition of a microSD slot, and will be on show at the... well, show.

On top of that we've also been told that the third-generation L Series phones will land with KitKat at MWC 2014 as the other South Korean player tries to make a splash at the low- to mid-range of the smartphone game - predictably these all run Android and come in a range of sizes.

And if that wasn't enough, the Korean firm has also launched the LG G2 Mini ahead of the Barcelona show, although with a 4.7-inch display it isn't exactly small.

LG G2 Mini

There are a few key LG rumors that may be resolved at MWC 2014 too. LG is said to be Google's hardware partner for an updated Nexus 10 tablet, plus it's also recently registered the trademark "Glasstic" -- which may be some sort of Google Glass competitor.

Sony at MWC 2014

With the Xperia Z1 only just launched, we wouldn't forgive Sony for taking it easy and just bringing along a couple of those for people to play on and some t-shirts to give away. Surely it can't be preparing to release another flagship smartphone already.

Sony Xperia Z1

There could be a mini version of the Xperia Z1

Wrong. It seems the Japanese firm is going big, and going hard at MWC this year despite its Vegas-based exploits.

First up it seems almost certain that we're going to see a new flagship from the firm, which is going to irk Z1 owners who just shelled out loads for what was supposedly 'the best of Sony in a smartphone'.

Well, it looks like it will be outshone by the handset most are (understandably) dubbing the Xperia Z2, which will run Android KitKat according to the leaked video of the 'Sirius D6503' - which seems to be a better Z1.

A new UI, 4K recording and Background defocus which will "take photos with beautiful background blur like a DSLR camera" according to leaker Rimas Flyil.

Sony Xperia Z2

Credit: Digi-Wo

A comparison photo of it and the Z1 show that it's a little taller than the Z1, which means it's probably got a larger display too - we're really hoping that we get something in a higher res too.

What else? Seems a refresh of the tablet as well, which means the Tablet Z will be getting a refresh - according to @evleaks, this will be the Sony XperiaTablet Z2, which means we're apparently looking at a powerful tablet wrapped up in a tiny 6.4mm frame.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Sat inside that impossibly thin frame is said to be a fairly standard 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor as well as 3GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Thankfully microSD support is also thrown in - making it very similar to what we've seen before but with some good spec bumps.

None of this is confirmed as yet, but if it does happen, Sony is in for a bumper time at this year's premium mobile phone-a-thon.

ZTE at MWC 2014

ZTE polarized phone fans at MWC 2013, revealing the flashy 5.7-inch Grand Memo and the weird little ZTE Open, running the Firefox OS.

This time around it's confirmed it will be bringing the Grand Memo 2 and Firefox OS sporting ZTE Open C smartphones to the show, as well as its own smartwatch - the ZTE Grand Watch.

Samsung isn't the only manufacturer linked to a Tizen device either, with the ZTE Geek device appearing on the Tizen website listing for its presence at MWC.

Huawei at MWC 2014

The Chinese phone maker is rumored to be preparing an update to the decent Huawei Ascend P6 and is, rather unsurprisingly, sticking the fashionable number "7" on the end to signify that it's newer and better.

The Ascend P7 is said to arrive running a full HD display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, 2GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage.

Huawei Ascend P7 - LEAK

The Ascend P7?

There's also word of a new 7-inch tablet under the name of "Media Pad X1" and a lower end smartphone going by Ascend G6.

Panasonic at MWC 2014

We last saw Panasonic at MWC back in 2012, where it was flaunting the Eluga and Eluga Power. Unfortunately neither handset really made a splash and led to Panasonic pulling out of the mobile game in 2013.

It may not be gone for long though, as there's new reports suggesting it's working on a new rugged smartphone. Watch this space.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.