We’ve just come back from MWC 2022, having been hugely impressed by all the spanking new smartphone tech around us. But how can things get even better in 2023?

Having crisscrossed the show floor of MWC countless times this week to get my fill of all the announcements, it’s not an easy task to see where improvements could take place before the next year’s conference gets underway.

Our incredulous eyes witnessed insanely quick 240W fast charging from Oppo, we got our on hands on the ingenious new design of the Realme GT 2 Pro which has a paper-like texture on it rear panel, and there were further developments in the mid-range sector with the likes of the Poco X4 Pro, which packs stunning specifications that wouldn’t be out of place on a flagship, for less than half the price.

But the world of technology stops for no-one; the very minute we’ve finished being amazed by the latest developments, there’s something new that makes it look outdated by comparison. So what could we see when MWC comes back to Barcelona in one year’s time?

One thing that we flat-out missed out on was the under-display selfie camera that’s sue to be a big hit in the coming years. Oppo has already shown off a prototype of this technology, which provides a completely uninterrupted, notchless display – and we’ve already tested out one example of the tech, namely the ZTE Axon 30 – but I’m looking forward to the day this becomes standard practice for smartphone flagships, as it surely will, rather than just being a curiosity.

We also failed to see any new foldables at the event. Yes, there were a couple of Honor Magic V phones available to play with outside the brand’s presentation hall – and who could pass up that chance? – but three years after Huawei famously showed off the Huawei Mate X at this very event, and the form factor has evidently still yet to take hold of the mainstream mobiles market. In a year’s time, maybe that will have changed.

Arguably the future “smartphone” will not even exist, having been rendered obsolete by advances in Augmented Reality tech on the one hand, and wearables on the other. At both MWC and CES earlier this year there was no shortage of unwieldy helmets or glasses, along with burbling presenters trying to explain their own nebulous concept of a “metaverse”, and only succeeding in confusing everyone even more in the process. But the time will come when concepts solidify, the hardware matures, and what once seemed like risible sales-speak actually comes to life before our eyes in a transformative way.

Previous years at the conference have demonstrated the trickle-down effect on tech for the likes of enhanced refresh rates, 5G connectivity, and fast-charging, all three of which were once deemed revolutionary and all three of which are now found across the smartphone price spectrum, even among mid-range phones and cheap phones.

Indeed, part of the thrill of such events is that you see a cross-section of the industry at any given time, with prototypes at one stand, last year’s ideas now fully realised in this year’s flagship, and a showstopping feature from a year or two ago being now proudly toted in an affordable device for the masses.

Foldables, sub-display selfie cameras, and AR headsets have already arrived and are in varying states of readiness for the big wide world out there. Just as with the rest of you, I’m looking forward with baited breath to seeing just how much progress these concepts and others have made twelve months from now, at MWC 2023.

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