The 10 Hottest Mobile Devices From Mobile World Congress10:00 AM EST Wed. Feb. 29, 2012
This week's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona has been a launching-off point for the industry’s hottest new smartphones and tablets. OEMs including Samsung, Nokia, and LG have lifted the curtain on a number of new devices that will change the way we work and play. From pocket-size projectors to 41-megapixel cameras, here are the top 10 most attention-demanding devices on display.
Nokia's Lumia series of smartphones has been pointed to by analysts and consumers alike as a potential come-back-maker for the Finnish OEM. And with the launch of its newest family member -- the Lumia 610 -- Nokia continued to draw our attention this week.
Like its siblings the Lumia 710, 800, and 900, the Lumia 610 will run Windows Phone 7.5 OS. But this time, Nokia’s new device falls under the $250 price point, making it the “most affordable” in the Lumia line.
The 610 touts an MSM7x27 Qualcomm processor, which means it delivers a little less "oomph" than its 1-GHz counterparts in the Lumia series, but its comparatively modest price makes it an ideal fit for first-time or younger smartphone users, Nokia said.
It wouldn’t be MWC without Samsung launching a new Android gadget.
And the Korean mobility giant did just that, introducing this week the new Samsung Galaxy Beam half-smartphone-half-projector device, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. The 4-inch Beam houses a 15-lumen LED projector that allows users to project (or "beam") videos, images, and text onto any flat surface, up to 50-inches in size.
Despite packing a lot of projector punch, the device weighs in at only five ounces (about the same as an iPhone 4), and Samsung said it’s as slim and portable as any smartphone on the market.
Specs include a 1-GHz dual-core processor, 8 GB of internal memory, and a 5-megapixel camera, but Samsung hasn’t released pricing or availability for the new device just yet.
Tablet-smartphone hybrids have become commonplace these days. But Asus took the all-in-one mobile model to the next level at this year’s MWC with the launch of the PadFone.
The 4.3-inch smartphone runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, touts a dual-core Snapdragon processor, and has an 8-megapixel camera. But what really sets it apart from other smartphones on the mobile scene is its (optional) PadFone Station dock. Users can slide the smartphone into the dock to transform the device into a 10.1-inch tablet -- and Asus claims its new DynamicDisplay technology makes that transformation more seamless than ever.
But the transformation doesn’t stop there. Once the phone is slid into the docking station, the newly-formed tablet can be leveraged with a Qwerty keyboard to give it an authentic notebook feel.
HTC was among the head-turners at this year’s MWC when it unveiled a new line of Android 4.0 smartphones called the "One" series.
The Tawainese handset maker said the highlight of its new One line is its built-in cameras. Thanks to ImageSense, HTC’s new suite of imaging features, One devices come equipped with a superfast capture time (0.7 seconds per shot, to be exact), simultaneous picture-taking and video-recording, and 25 gigabytes of free Dropbox space for two years for easy storage and sharing.
The series consists of three devices: the HTC One X, HTC One S, and HTC One V. The One X is the largest and highest-end of the three, measuring 4.7-inches and running a 1.5 GHz quad-cord processor. The 4.3-inch One S is next line with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and the lower-end One V rounds out the offering with a 3.7-inch display and a 1 GHz processor.
Smartphones running quad-core processors was an overarching trend at MWC this year, and LG made sure it was part of the action with its new LG Optimus 4X HD.
The 4.7-inch device touts an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS (also a trend at this year’s event) and is powered by a 1.5 GHz Nvidia Tegra quad-core processor. The Optimus 4X HD also boasts 1 GB of RAM and, as part of its Nvidia quad-core chip, a “low-power drive companion core” that conserves battery life when all four cores aren’t needed.
The phone gets its "HD" title for having a 1280 by 720 pixel display and will launch in Europe sometime during the second quarter before shipping globally.
While chip makers tend to play more behind-the-scenes in the mobility world, Nvidia was front and center at MWC this week with its new Tegra 3 mobile chips.
The company’s next-gen, quad-core Tegra chips are the fuel behind the new LG Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X, and ZTE Era smartphones to name a few. Nvidia had announced previously that its Tegra 3 chips can reach speeds up to 1.5 GHz, offer extended battery life, and deliver up to five times the CPU performance of its predecessor and dual-core counterpart, Tegra 2.
"The year of the quad-core phone has truly begun," said Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile business at NVIDIA, in a statement. And judging by this year’s MWC, he was right.
Consumer electronics giant Sony lifted the curtain on two new members of its Xperia NXT smartphone series this week -- the Xperia P and Xperia U.
As part of the NXT series, the new devices are said by Sony to provide seamless connectivity between any Sony device -- whether a TV, laptop or tablet -- so users can consume content via whichever gadget is most convenient. Both the Xperia P and Xperia U come equipped with unique design features un-seen with any other smartphone, including a "transparent element" band that encircles the base of the phone and lights up when receiving calls, texts, and notifications. The higher-end Xperia P is also the first Sony smartphone to includes its WhiteMagic display technology that promises the crispest viewing experience regardless of location and lighting. Both phones contain a 1 GHz dual core process, and run Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Sony said an upgrade to Android 4.0 is planned for the second quarter, after the phones become globally available.
If you’re looking for a smartphone with a high-megapixel camera, your search may be over. Nokia’s new 808 PureView phone has a whopping 41 of them.
The 808 is the Finnish company’s first smartphone out of the gate to include its new PureView imaging technology, and its features a high-resolution 41-megapixel sensor with Carl Zeiss optics and a new pixel oversampling technology. What’s more, the 808 PureView boasts full HD 1080-pixel video recording and playback and Nokia’s new Rich Recording technology which enables audio recording at “CD-like levels,” the company said.
This image-thirsty device comes in a 4-inch package, runs on a 1.3 GHz processor, and has Nokia’s homegrown Symbian Belle OS.
Huawei turned some heads at this year’s MWC event with the release of its MediaPad 10 FHD quad-core tablet, which the Chinese telecom giant has dubbed as being the fastest in the world.
The 10-inch tablet is Android 4.0-equipped and runs off Huawei’s own K3 1.5 GHz processor. The K3 has an embedded GPU to provide 3D graphics processing for high-def video or 3D gaming, and Huawei claims it’s the smallest quad-core chip in the industry -- a statement that seems to be backed by the MediaPad’s ultra-thin 0.3-inch frame.
With a screen resolution of 1920 by 1200 and integrated Dolby surround sound technology, Huawei has positioned its newest gadget as being the ultimate in entertainment experiences.
Ever felt that awful singe of fear after almost dropping your smartphone into a puddle, pool or -- worse yet -- a toilet? Well, Fujitsu knows how you feel.
The Japanese electronics giant sampled a new quad-core smartphone prototype at MWC that not only runs Nvidia’s new Tegra 3 quad-core processor and Android Ice Cream Sandwich -- but is waterproof.
The still-unnamed device, which was hinted at by Fujitsu at last month’s CES event, touts a water-resilient, dust-proof, 4.6-inch design that, according to the company, displays content at speeds "comparable to that of video game consoles."
No pricing or availability details have been released just yet, but at least any regular smartphone-droppers can rest assured that help is on the way.