New Smartphones Take Center Stage at Mobile World Congress

PHOTO: A person walks past a building entrance during final preparations for Mobile World congress in Barcelona, Feb. 25, 2015.Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images
A person walks past a building entrance during final preparations for Mobile World congress in Barcelona, Feb. 25, 2015.

Gadget aficionados will want to pay close attention to this year's Mobile World Congress.

From smartphones packed with more processing power to gadgets that can make wired lives easier, the annual event in Barcelona gives a first look at some of the impressive technology consumers can expect to get their hands on this year.

Here's a look at what to expect from this year's Mobile World Congress.

Flagship Smartphones

While the official event begins Monday, Samsung and LG are leading the charge with some big announcements slated for Sunday. It's widely expected both companies will show off new flagship smartphones building on their previous releases.

Samsung's big reveal begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on YouTube.

LG has even gone so far as to release a "touch-enabled quick cover for yet-to-be-announced LG G5."

"Known as a company ahead of the times, LG took this characterization to heart by revealing the existence of the accessory before the actual product," the company quipped in a post on its website.

Security and Privacy

Both have been big themes every year as companies continue to add more features to help protect user data. Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told ABC News he expects some companies will move beyond a fingerprint Touch ID system by offering retina scanning.

"This is a lot more secure because it is actually looking at the blood vessels inside of your retina so it is like a fingerprint, but safer than a fingerprint," he said. "It finally got to a point where it got more reasonable in terms of pricing. You can have a premium phone where it would make sense."

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is no longer just for tech nerds and is becoming a consumer-friendly way for people to have new experiences, play games and even tell stories. VR was an important part of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month and Moorhead said he expects it will also be a hot topic in Barcelona with more people consuming video on their smartphones.

"The ability to put this into a smartphone removes yet another barrier to adoption for homemade VR," he said.


The super speedy 5G isn't coming until 2020, but companies are already discussing their path toward adopting the efficient network technology. Expect to hear more from Intel and other tech leaders about how they plan to make 5G a reality.

SK Telecom, a South Korean company, also plans to demonstrate what's being billed as the world's first 5G technology.