MWC 2019: Big wearable tech announcements to expect

What will we see unveiled in Barcelona?

With CES 2019 firmly out of the way, next on the major tech show agenda is Mobile World Congress 2019.

This year, MWC takes place between 25 - 28 February, where we hope to be getting our hands on some shiny new smartwatches, fitness trackers and hearables, and find out what's new in the world of VR and AR.

MWC 2018 wasn't exactly awash with wearables, with the show mostly dominated by VR with some interesting concepts and prototypes, giving us a glimpse at the devices we can expect to don in the future.

But what can we expect at this year's show? We've picked out the companies that may well have something new and innovative for us to get excited about.

More Samsung Galaxy goodness

MWC 2019: Wearable tech announcements to expect

It's looking increasingly likely that the Samsung Galaxy Sport smartwatch will be unveiled at Samsung's Unpacked event on 20 February. So what does that leave to talk about a week later at MWC? Well, perhaps that'll mean a quiet show for Samsung.

Or it could have more to show off if recent rumours are to be believed. Those rumours have uncovered the names of potential new wearables Samsung will be looking to announce this year. The Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e names have all surfaced suggesting a new hearable and a pair of fitness trackers could on the way. Maybe an MWC unveiling will be too soon after Unpacked. But you can never rule out anything with Samsung.

All things Vive

MWC 2019: Wearable tech announcements to expect

HTC's Vive Cosmos VR headset was officially unveiled at CES in January, but we didn't have a chance to get our hands on it. While a consumer version of the Cosmos isn't expected to launch until the second half of 2019, MWC could be our first opportunity to find out what the Oculus Quest rival has to offer.

As a reminder, the Cosmos uses inside-out tracking, so you don't need to worry about installing sensors all over your home. HTC says you can use it on the go, but it's a PC first setup. There are two cameras on the side of the headset, an integrated speaker and it comes with two new controllers. It will also showcase a new user interface, so there's plenty more for us to learn about the Cosmos and what it's capable of.

A follow-up hearable from Sony

MWC 2019: Wearable tech announcements to expect

After the Sony Wena Wrist smart straps landed earlier this month, it's become even more unlikely that we're going to see a smartwatch or fitness tracker from the company at this year's show.

However, there's still a slight chance it uses the MWC platform to unveil the next iteration of last year's hearable, the Xperia Ear Duo. The wild-looking earphones, shown above, didn't exactly blow us away when we held our extended test, but we're holding out hope that Sony has gone back to the drawing board and prepared the next iteration.

The next generation of HoloLens from Microsoft

We've been hearing rumors regarding Microsoft HoloLens 2 for well over a year now, but MWC 2019 appears to be the place where the Redmond giant will unveil the next generation of its mixed reality headset.

That's after the above teaser was posted by the original creator of HoloLens, Alex Kipman, hinting that the company will look to announce the follow-up headset at its presser on 24 February. Unfortunately, the video actually reveals very little about what we can expect, besides maybe a new processor and a refreshed design - both of which are fairly obvious upgrades. Stay tuned for all the official info and our hands on look with whatever Microsoft has planned.

Forget flexible phones, let's talk flexible wearables

MWC 2019: Wearable tech announcements to expect

No doubt about it, flexible phones are going to be the talk of the town at this year's MWC, with Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi and more expected to get in on the action.

ZTE brand Nubia has other ideas, though, and is putting its flexible tech-making skills to use in a wearable with an LED display that moves with a band. That's according to Ni Fei, GM of Nubia smartphones, who has hinted that it will follow up its flexible screen wearable prototype unveiled last year (pictured above) with a new device at MWC 2019.

The company has also now sent out invites to its event, with the tagline 'Flex your Life' and a shadowed device in the shape of the prototype teased at IFA last year.

More Snapdragon Wear 3100-powered watches

MWC 2019: Wearable tech announcements to expect

Last year, Qualcomm announced its next generation Wear 3100 processor that aimed to make your Wear OS watch last longer among other improvements. So far only a handful of watches have included Qualcomm's new tech, including the Fossil Sport (pictured above) and new luxury timepieces from Montblanc and Louis Vuitton.

Two out of three of those smartwatches are out of reach for most, so MWC could be the time for more affordable options running on Wear 3100 to show up. We haven't seen Wear watches from Huawei and LG for a while now, so this could be the ideal time to give us something new.

Oppo enters the smartwatch fray

MWC 2019: Wearable tech announcements to expect

Oppo is another tech company making waves outside of its native China and that's largely been down to its feature-packed smartphones. According to its CEO Chen Mingyong, though, smartwatches are on the Oppo agenda, with confirmation that the wearable device is one it's going to start making and launching. Oppo hasn't given any indication as to how near it is to making that a reality, but MWC could be the place to give us a glimpse at what it's working on.


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