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MWC Barcelona: A Bespoke Event in Luxury Tech

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On a luxury yacht moored at Barcelona port, dozens of tech and telecoms executives from around the world are busy sipping cocktails and nibbling on petit fours as the sun sets.

For many, it’s been a long time since they’ve been able to enjoy such face-to-face contact since the start of the pandemic, with the event held on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress.

The congress is the telecom industry’s largest annual gathering and one of the first big conferences to be staged in Europe since the health crisis took hold. It took place between June 28th and July 1st, 2021.

“We may all work in digital, but face-to-face contact is essential. This kind of event is so much richer here than through a screen,” said Mikael Schachne, a marketing director with Belgian telecom firm Bics, as he breathes in the sea breeze.

“It’s the beginning of a recovery. Given the context, it’s very exciting.”

Cancelled last year as the pandemic gathered pace, MWC went ahead this year at Barcelona’s main conference centre, both in-person and online. The event is usually an opportunity for firms to unveil new products and for their executives – who pay hefty entrance fees – to network and make deals. But this year many major firms such as Samsung stayed away citing virus concerns – although some took part virtually – and there were far fewer social events like the gathering on the yacht. Visitor numbers were also significantly lower, with organisers setting a 50,000 cap compared with more than 100,000 who visited the 2019 show.

Although the event had a smaller format and with fewer visitors, there is no doubt that the most important brands in the luxury tech industry had the opportunity to make big announcements, and showcase their best products.


The South Korean company Samsung detailed their One UI Watch interface which is now based on Google’s Wear OS and will debut on the Galaxy Watch4 series sometime next month. It brings a seamless experience for Galaxy phone users with simultaneous app downloads sync with your phone, a larger app portfolio and improved watch face designs.


Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Plus is the latest flagship SoC set to power all upcoming top-tier offerings in the Android realm from the likes of Asus, Motorola, Xiaomi, Honor and vivo. It’s an incremental upgrade over the SD 888 with a Kryo 680 core overclocked to 3Ghz (2.995 GHz to be precise) and an improved AI Engine said to offer 20% gains.


Lenovo brought its Yoga Tab 13, Yoga Tab 11 and Tab P11 Plus to the global stage. The 13-inch Pro model brings a Snapdragon 870 chipset paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, a kickstand, microHDMI port and a 10,200 mAh battery for €800/$680. The 11-inch Yoga brings a toned down Helio G90T chipset, JBL speakers and a 7,700 mAh battery.


The Mobile World Congress (MWC Barcelona) is the world’s largest event in the mobile technology industry aimed at professionals in the sector. Every year it shows us the latest innovations and the latest technology from more than 2,400 leading companies, and organizes a high-quality conference program. As lecturers, important visionaries participate that explore the issues that influence or will influence the technology industry. This international event, which has been held in Barcelona since 2006, also offers learning opportunities in its numerous partner-led programs, GSMA seminars and other types of meetings.

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EuropeanLife Magazine 2021