Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone maker and the launch of its flagship smartphones is always a big deal. In 2016, that is no different with the South Korean company set to unveil the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress.

Samsung needs a hit with the Galaxy S7 as its market share continued to decline in 2015 with Chinese company Huawei looking to take its crown as the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer.

While the smartphones themselves have been well and truly leaked over the last couple of weeks, there is still a lot to look forward to at Samsung’s Unpacked event. The company has indicated that it will be talking about its Gear VR headset and who knows, maybe Samsung has a big surprise up its sleeve.

What Time is the Galaxy S7 Launch Starting?

Samsung is hosting its first Unpacked event of 2016 at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) where it launched the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge last year. The event will take place on the eve of Mobile World Congress on Sunday, Feb. 21, and here are local times for when it will begin: 

  • San Francisco – 10 a.m.
  • New York – 1 p.m.
  • Rio de Janeiro – 2 p.m.
  • London – 6 p.m.
  • Barcelona - 7 p.m.
  • Amsterdam – 7 p.m.
  • Johannesburg – 8 p.m.
  • Moscow – 9 p.m.
  • Abu Dhabi – 10 p.m.
  • New Delhi – 11:30 p.m.
  • Beijing – 2 a.m. (Monday)
  • Hong Kong – 2 a.m. (Monday)
  • Seoul – 3 a.m. (Monday)
  • Tokyo – 3 a.m. (Monday)
  • Sydney – 5 a.m. (Monday)

Can I Watch the Samsung Galaxy S7 Launch Online?

Yes, Samsung will be livestreaming its Unpacked event  for everyone to watch whether you want to view on desktop, smartphone or even in virtual reality. 

The company has announced that for the first time it will be offering those with a Gear VR headset the chance to watch in 360 degrees. “During Galaxy Unpacked you will get four options for where to watch – from the auditorium, stage left, stage right or from center stage. Pick whichever spot is right for you, then use the 360 live streaming to get a complete view of the event from every angle,” Samsung said in a press release.

If you have a Gear VR headset, you will need to download the Unpacked 360 View app from the Oculus store. For those without a Gear VR, the 360 view will still be available through the Unpacked 360 View app on Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store, while those watching on desktop will be able to access the different angles from Samsung's website.

What to Expect?

While it's not official, it is almost certain Samsung will unveil the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 edge. According to the multiple leaks we have seen, the phones will remain largely similar in terms of design to last year's S6 models, but will benefit from the addition of a microSD card, waterproofing and longer battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Pictures The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge which will be launched in Barcelona on Sunday ahead of Mobile World Congress. Photo: @Evleaks

Samsung is expected to announce the phones will go on sale as soon as March 11 as it seeks to challenge Apple at the premium end of the market. The launch of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will come six months before Apple’s iPhone 7 comes to market, giving Samsung a great opportunity to convince customers to buy one of its new phones.