Skip to main content

Mobile World Congress 2015: The Windows Central preview

The time is upon us, the Mobile Nations team is packing up, hitting the airport and making the trip to Barcelona, Spain, for the annual Mobile World Congress. Everyone who's anyone in mobile will be in attendance, which includes Microsoft as well as some other Windows and Windows Phone vendors.

We've a busy time in store over the coming week, so here's a quick run down of what's in store, what to expect and how you can follow it all.

Microsoft - Monday March 2

This is the big one for the Windows Central community. At Microsoft's last event, the Windows 10 get together in Redmond, we were told we'd hear yet more about Windows 10 at MWC. While Sunday is media day for many other companies, Microsoft is the first out of the gates on day 1 proper of the show with an 8.30 a.m. press event on Monday, March 2.

Mark Guim and myself will be in attendance and Microsoft will be streaming the whole thing live{.nofollow}, and we'll be liveblogging the dickens out of it, so you won't miss a beat. Besides Windows 10 there's a good chance we'll see some new hardware, with replacements for the 1320 and 630/635 having been rumored in recent weeks.

One thing we're pretty sure we won't be seeing is any kind of high end, 'flagship' device. Microsoft has said it's making one, and even confirmed a partnership with Qualcomm to use the Snapdragon 810 in said device, but we're pretty sure MWC isn't the time or the place for it.

Keep an eye out closer to the time for links to our liveblog. Whatever Microsoft has to show, we're excited to hear it.

Windows Phones

We've already had the first Windows Phone announcements of MWC, coming from British brand, Kazam. On hand in Spain with a pair of new Windows Phones for the budget conscious smartphone buyer, we're looking forward to getting a closer look at the event.

Kazam might not be the only ones showing off new phones, either (not counting anything from Microsoft.) There have been rumors that Acer could be developing a new Windows Phone device, and we've already had word from Kyocera that it has some kind of prototype Windows Phone to show off to the gathered media.

But if anyone has a Windows Phone at all, you can bet we'll find it and bring you a closer look.

Windows tablets

Kazam L7

As the weeks go by more and more Windows 8.1 tablets hit the market. Many share similar specs and even similar price points, but there's no denying there are plenty to choose from. Again, Kazam was first out of the gate pre-announcing its range of tablets before the event begins.

Otherwise, we've no idea on what we might see. The likes of Dell, Acer, HP and Lenovo are present at the show, and all companies could easily launch something running Windows 8.1.

Whether any do, only time will tell.

Everything else - Samsung, HTC and others

Of course, Windows Central isn't the only Mobile Nations team that will be busy out in Barcelona. Our buddies at Android Central have potentially an even busier week in store, started by huge events thrown by HTC and Samsung. HTC in particular could be worth paying close attention to, since there's always a chance that the M9 could one day launch running Windows Phone. We can only hope.

Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy S6. Love it or hate it, the Galaxy S is one of the biggest mobile launches of the year.

Away from those two there will be news from LG, Huawei and more besides. We'll also be visiting people like Qualcomm, Sandisk and MixRadio, so there's a whole host of mobile related coverage that's headed your way.

How to follow it all

Our dedicated Mobile World Congress hub will keep you up to speed with everything from the show from all of the Mobile Nations sites. In one handy place you can see every single post that comes out of the event, so be sure to bookmark the link below.

  • Mobile Nations at Mobile World Congress

If you're looking forward to anything in particular, drop us a line in the comments below!

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Will we get any info on the Win 10 TP for flagships ?
  • Quite possible.
  • Windows 10 Phone will use Snapdragon 820 in October release date.
  • Source?
  • Rectal extraction?
  • I am looking forward on more features and information on windows 10 for phone
  • I think most of us are. I hope they announce some new phones! A little tempted by the iphone 6 plus. My 1020 crashes far too much. No preview, just the regular updates. Reset so many times. It's literally killing my productivity :/
  • Amen. -1020.. Old, crusty.. Stale
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 coming first! In April
  • Cool
  • Galaxy S6 launch will be interesting as rumors have it that it will come preinstalled with MS apps.
  • Makes sense, they are the best!
  • I am looking forward for news about Windows 10, but I'm also interested in some of the other things mentioned in the end of the article. For one Mixradio.
  • Yeah we don't know if there's anything new they'll be showing, but they're there, so we're going to go say hello :)
  • Also go check Opera, in a blog post they said they will "preview new user experiences for a more native look and feel on (...) Opera Mini for Windows Phone". It would good to know how they are improving their browser for WP.
  • 1530 or fuck you
  • Take it easy buddy.. Windows phone is not all about flagships.
  • Yes, because it's all been about low end crap for over a year which is unacceptable
  • Windows phone isn't *at all* about flagships.  At this point, 95% of WP sold are $100 or below at retail.   They're all low enders.
  • Lol all these comments "No flagships, no flagships!!" Christ people take a chill's not the end of the world if you can't get a Windows Phone that performs slightly better than a mid range one :P (I own a 1520, and used to own a 920 so yes I can confirm that they both perform almost identically to each other when it comes to speed and smoothness). What do you do on your phones that require you to have such a high spec device anyway?
  • First, while the 1020 -was- a great device II is aging badly. Second, MS is getting it's hiney kicked by Samsung and Apple. Third, check out the market share number. WP is sliding back into irrelevance. This should all be pretty obvious.
  • not yet, but it will be. they are keeping it quiet for now. I'll say we will see some flagship phns by Sep/Oct this year, that will WOW many ppl. 
  • They need it.
  • What exactly will a "1530" do that invokes such "enthusiasm" from you?
  • U must be blind!
  • Hard to see what hasn't been revealed?
  • You know, it is rude and there is never a reason to subject anyone to poor language and obviously your inability to express yourself means you resort to foul language.  You should be banned but I'm sure they'll give you a second chance.
  • It's going to be interesting to see if Samsung really preinstalls Microsoft services on their devices. Will there be an article on that if it's confirmed?
  • Absolutely. As and when it becomes a thing we'll likely want to talk about it.
  • Yeah hoping this is true. Googles going to be pissed.
  • Please let there be a successor to the Lumia 1020...
  • If there is it doesnt seem like they are going to talk about it here.
  • There was a post in here somewhere from someone with knowledge from within MS and they did say there will be a success but it wouldn't be shown at MWC. I think the post was within one of the forums. Now who knows if this person was accurate or not as I think we all would love to see a successor sooner than later. I would be surprised if they actually did show it but I think it would excite a lot of people if they actually did. We can only hope that something new is shown that will excite the masses about WP and the future.
  • Its funny how MWC is held in Spain, when they haven't even heard what 4G is. Been there last September, there is no internet in Spain...
  • Maybe you had a locked phone and used whatever your carrier provided. Of course there is 4g.
  • I got the local SIM, the internet was horrible. Sometimes I couldnt even post on facebook. Text.
  • There's plenty of internet. I had no issues in Barcelona last year without any LTE roaming.
  • If you got a pas as you go, no contract sim card the 4G is not good. If you are a local and have a solid plan the 4G is good. I have vodafone 4g with 15GB per month and I get on speednet 103Mbps download and 40Mbps upload.
  • I went to Spain once. They have a different word for everything.  It was like they were speaking a different language or something.  Like Mexico but without the hubcaps.
  • Windows 10 for Lumia 520 and a new mid ranger....
  • No Flagship? Yawn. I guess ill have to wait until like, November to buy a new phone. Which is great because the one i have is slowly falling apart.
  • I can upgrade now but I will hold on to my 820 for a lil while longer. Hopefully there's something at MWC that will give me a better option than the 830 or 930.
  • I'd be thrilled to see a new flagship now, but willing to wait for WP10 to have it released/revealed. WP10 and no new flagship would be disappointing.
  • I'm ok with the released part but waiting on a reveal until wp10 release is way too long. Within the next month, they would be wise to reveal what this flagship is and when it will be released. 
  • They have confirmed a flagship for W10.
  • MS-wise, I'm more excited for GDC, even if the things there aren't necessarily MS-made.
  • Xbox One/Windows 10. We'll be there as well.
  • Ok, I am a little foggy about MWC. I've seen leaks for the new Android phones, but nothing from iPhone or Microsoft. I guess I'm wondering what the MWC is actually intended for,
  • The new iPhones are always released in their own event during the fall, no surprises there.
  • Events like MWC aren't just for launching devices, you know. This is the biggest single gathering of the mobile industry of the year. That includes things that you wouldn't be interested in, including advertisers, cellular network providers and a whole bunch more.
  • trade show, like CES. Big companies do independent press events for their stuff, but lower tier manufacturers can make a splash at MWC potentially and show off their stuff to the enthusiast press
  • So why isn't this a good time to release or at least detail the flagship plans? I mean yeah the OS isn't finished yet but hardware dev cycles are on the order of 8-12 months and surely MS isn't just now starting to work on flagships for the fall. I've said it before and I'll say it again....flagships do more to drive interest in the ecosystem than low end handsets because flagships get people excited. Those bleeding edge people are the ones who drive conversations at the office, around the table at dinner...etc. When was the last time you heard someone say "hey, that's a fine looking 520 you got there, tell me more about it". And yet I still have people ask me about my 920, which was an early adopter of nfc, wireless charging, office etc. Flagships make headlines which bring people into the store to ask about options.
  • Asking questions doesn't sell phones. Making phones sells phones. Look at the Apple model. Announced, on sale 10 days later. Stringing people along for months and months with prototypes and teases isn't how it's done.
  • I agree with the release bit. I am happy to wait until August for a reveal, as long as I can then get it shortly afterwards.
  • Will there be more info on the Kazam phones? On their website the supposed windows phone was only listed as Android. I was keen before, but now I know they're British I'm more keen.
  • We've got a slot set up with them on Weds morning to take a look at the phones and tablets.
  • Not trying to be a jerk here but the iWatch has been stringing people along for months with nothing more than a prototype and people don't seem to mind.  Hasn't hurt interest at all and instead has rallied competitors to really get their asses in gear with products of their own.  Hololens is nothing more than a prototype and many in the press claimed it was like nothing ever seen before with no retail release in site.  Pebble just went nuts on Kickstarter this week with nothing more than images and prototypes....your reasoning seems flawed. My point is this - MWC is the venue with the most eyes on it for mobile tech and it should be used as a staging ground to set the stage for the future, for Win10, not release warmed over hardware like a 635 with an extra half gig of memory and a refresh of a device (1320) that stateside at least, was pretty much relegated to pre pay MVNO's.  What the hell happened to Pelican Imaging, what's the official position on Qi in the future, clarify the statements about the 810 being used, at least set the tone for next gen hardware even if you don't have the hardware on hand.
  • Unless it's the iWat...Apple Watch lol
  • "Announced, on sale 10 days later."  And orchestrated leaks for 6 months before that. Apple has a brilliant network of (unwitting?) bloggers and fans, who fan any ember to a flame, never, ever making any official comment about the information. The new iPhones, iPads, Macs, don't even exist outside of rumor, until the press conference. Interesting they didn't follow that plan with the watch.
  • Looking forward to it. Would like to see Samsung and HTC discuss/announce Windows for their new flagships...
  • I'm there as well :) ..
  • I haven't been this unexcited about a MWC in a while. With that said, I'll probably still follow it and I may be super excited by the end. *crosses fingers*
  • Less exciting than last year's all Android Nokia press event?
  • I'm hoping that the HTC One M9 will have the option to come with Windows, available worldwide. I'd have no intention on getting a One, I love Lumia, but I think it'd help Windows Phone (should I still include the 'Phone' bit?) a lot.
  • Just what I was thinking. Only I would get a One but, and this is a huge but, it has to come Sprint. #notholdingmybreath
  • Everyone who's anyone in mobile   Shouldn't that be Almost everyone? There's one notable exception that springs to mind.
  • Speaking of that exception(if we're talking about the same company), anyone who launches anything at MWC should enjoy whatever coverage they get, because once the 9th rolls around, everything not related to said company(with the possible exception of the GS6) will fall off of the radar. 
  • Apple is not as big as they pretend to be outside the US borders. They genuinely could not care less what anyone else does due to a humongous superiority complex. One which will eventually (within three years) be their downfall.
  • Only three years? Really? What could possibly happen to them in three years that would cause their downfall? That would be quite a reach, even if they weren't generating the ridiculous amounts of cash they do, or had almost $180,000,000,000 in CASH(!!!!!!!) in the bank. Three years...LOL!!
  • With Kazam, does anyone know if their phones are included in the "all Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 phones will get Windows 10", or is that "all Phones" really "all Lumias"?
  • We'll ask them this week.
  • No flagships? What a huge surprise..
  • Samsung Ativ Note? Ooohhhh
  • Wow I was hoping for a high end device from Microsoft since last year we got nothing but ratass low crap phones. I have the 1520 and works flawlessly but I got this in 2013 now we are here on 2015 and still the best u can get at this point when iPhone brought the 6 and 6+ and android the note4 and s5. How u want to compete against those phones when you don't release a new high end every year at least? Do u think people using android s5 or iPhone 6+ gonna turn their head and said " oh hey look there's a cheap ass phone with low res screen and weak battery life that is new from Microsoft so lets downgrade and switch to windows phone!!! (not mention that we lacking bad in the apps area ) phones make people interested just like the 920 did once with the Carl Zeiss Lents people was whiling to switch to give WP a try but with low ratass end phones they just laugh....
  • Some of you guys are a bit strange.... The 1520 only launched in Nov 2013, less than 16 months ago.. I have a 520, 920 & 1520. The 1520 is incredible.. I grabbed a used, but perfect condition, AT&T 32GB model for $240usd w/ a case.  After denim upgrade this week the occasional phantom touch is completely eliminated! the newly updated Lumia Camera app is instantaThis thing is smooth and fast and I have a substantial number of large live tiles on the screen.  I couldn't ask for anything different besides dual sim dual active, which NO carrier is going to offer in the US anyway. With Denim and Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 1 it has incredible capabilities. I have the 32GB model w/ a 128GB microSD installed. Display/Playback is 1920x1080... Movie recording is upto 2160p/30fps.. Dolby 5.1 audio recording, 20MP camera, . Hey Cortana, Glance, All the critical apps (even if Instagram is still in Beta... but I guess we are waiting for a Universal App for that). Other than a list of impressive specs (faster Adreno graphics and perhaps an increase of memory from 2GB to 3GB), what will be the killer feature of a new flagship beyond a 64bit processor (largely unnecessary until phones ship w/ greater than 4GB of ram)? There are times when I enjoy my wife's 920 because of it's perfect size for one handed use.  It feels very fluid. It was the flagship in Nov 2012, later replaced by the slightly larger Icon/930 in Feb/June 2014. (I used a 920 for more than a year until I dropped it a great distance onto concrete and destroyed the screen.) With 1GB of ram and 32GB of storage its fine. The 520 I keep around for emergencies and guests (I get allot of visitors from Mexico and it's nice to hand them a temporary phone to use while they are in the USA. They often head out for the day to do lots of shopping and it's nice for them to be able to keep in touch with us). For $35, it's a perfect phone that Microsoft has kept relevant. $10 more and I put a 16GB microSD so guest could fill it up with pictures and then upload them to their laptop before they depart. Most of these mexican friends have IPhone5s and up and Galaxys5 and up phones... They are comfortable w/ the tiny 520 for a few days.
  • Odwyer, you are missing a big point. Glad you are happy with your phones but please consider the rapidly fading market share. Microsoft started out trailing badly and needed to make ground to attract developers to create the apps to inspire adoption of Windows 8. For the first couple years, Microsoft and Nokia were succeeding. Somehow, in the last year Microsoft lost steam. Blame the merger, blame whatever you want, but Microsoft has LOST ground.. Not gained. More cheap phones will not inspire anybody. Note the number of companies now dropping app support such as Bank of America (an early adopter).
  • the majority of people clammering for a high end phone here would not even buy one or could not really afford one. Having a strong foothold in the lowend market is way more important to allow yourself to grow very quickly once your ready.. That said, it's time MSFT gets ready, but I have a feelling they are nearly there.   I expect that with WIN10 Microsoft will start to inject the phone into enterprise and from there grow into the consumer market. They did the same with Windows really and look where it got them..
  • Not very interested in this years MWC. I'll only follow Nokia's Press Conference, probably follow HTC's M9 launch and that's it. I don't care for Samsung and Sony is not giving any keynote (looks like the 6 months cycle is finally over!) so meh. I'll want to see LG's watch Urbane and the new Huawei smartwatch though. But those don't concern WCentral.
  • 8:30 am Barcelona local time?
  • "Everyone who's anyone in mobile will be in attendance..." Actually, the world's largest company won't be there but let's not let that small detail get in the way...
  • Wonder if Microsoft will at least announce that the 930 Gold Limited Edition U.S. model will be available in the U.S.  Microsoft has about 6-12 months of selling time on this high end model that was never release here in North America.  The Icon has been discontinued since September 2014!