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By 22 February 2017 | Categories: feature articles

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Mobile World Congress might see all eyes on the perennial manufacturers on display and bigger names in the industry, but every now and then a surprise gets its time to shine. Last year, it was the Xiaomi Mi 5 that made its presence known. Which device or manufacturer will surprise next week in Barcelona? We pick four possible contenders.  

HTC

It is hard to think how far HTC's mobile business has fallen in recent years. At one time, the Taiwanese manufacturer had one of the most enviable devices around in the form of the HTC One (M8), but nowadays the focus seems more on virtual reality than smartphones. 

That said, everybody likes a comeback story, and seeing as how the Galaxy S8 will not be shown next week at MWC 17, it's opened up a spot for a device to claim the best in show. Why not then, the HTC 11, which is rumoured to be the company's forthcoming flagship. Given the fact that very little is known about the device at the moment, the element of mystique may just help.  

Motorola

Now under the Lenovo banner, Motorola no longer finds itself in the halcyon days of the RAZR, but the brand is making a return. Late last year it arrived in SA with the modular Moto Z. At MWC it won't have a new flagship, but the manufacturer will be showcasing its Moto G5 device. Sitting in the mid-range tier, the Moto G phones have proved good jack of all trades. 

The G5 should not be any different, but it’s said to be making a step up in the design, materials and specifications departments. As such it could be taking a cue from the likes of Xiaomi, which has released great value for money phones that feature enviable specs.   

Nokia

If you were born before 1990, you likely owned a Nokia at some point in your phone-carrying life. Most of us also have fond memories of the Finnish brand, so file this pick under hopeful optimism. With the new Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8 expected to debut on 26 February, a day before MWC officially kicks off, we would like it if either of these two make a pleasantly surprising impression. 

To be honest though, if it were the new Nokia 3310, we'd be all the more happier.  

ZTE

Another Chinese manufacturer making a lot of noise in the consumer product market, ZTE is a sleeping giant that has the potential to takeover the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei. At MWC 17, the company's Gigabit Phone will be stirring up plenty of attention, but they also have a bevvy of other devices in their ranks. 

As such, it could one of the Axon devices, or perhaps a wearable that makes a lasting impression at MWC 17. Either way, this is one company to keep your eye on. 

We'll be at MWC 17 next week to see all the above manufacturer's latest wares, not to mention all the other products unveiled in Barcelona. Be sure to follow us at @TechSmartMag as we trek through the MWC booths.

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