The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is perhaps the biggest tech gathering of the year, with virtually every tech company and mobile network present for companies to unveil their plans for upcoming smartphones, and to generally show off what they can produce to the world.
This year, the battle seems to be shaping up largely between Android and Windows, with some healthy competition coming from some fantastic product launches at the event. Windows, along with Nokia, have shook things up slightly with some great and feature rich new handsets. While Samsung and HTC have unveiled some gorgeous Android smartphones.
But which ones are shining? Here’s a roundup of some of the smartphones which have been on display.
Nokia kicked things off by displaying its new Lumia 900 handset, with a larger screen, front-facing camera and seriously good looks, this handset is expected to run Windows Phone Tango, and is largely an overhaul of the existing Lumia 800, with some tweaks. The Finnish manufacturer has done a brilliant job so far with its WP7 selection, and it’s great to see some more features being added to the Lumia line, which helps fill some of the gaps left by the 800.
The real shock came with the new 808 Pureview, which features a whopping 41-megapixel camera, seeming poised to depose the N8 as the flagship camera-phone in Nokia’s inventory. With a gorgeous, sharp 4-inch screen and 16GB storage, expandable with microSD, 518MB RAM, it’s a great little handset. What’s surprising is that the phone is running Symbian Belle, seemingly going against Nokia’s decision to produce only Windows handsets, having ditched Meego and launched with much fanfare their new WP7 lines. It’s an odd choice, especially with a limited app market and support, but shouldn’t hugely put off camera enthusiasts.
HTC – the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has been quietly working away, creating some really great Android handsets, however they’re now set to impress with the HTC One X. This is their thinnest handset to date, and is part of a series of ‘One’ devices. It’s a stunning smartphone, running Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4, this ‘superphone’ is packing 1GB RAM, with a nice 8mp camera strapped on the back, and 4G connectivity. The 4.7inch screen means you can see everything in rich, sharp views. It really is the stand out handset from Barcelona so far.
The company which has in many ways become the darling of the Android world, has released a raft of new handsets in the MWC. While none are exactly world changing, there’s certainly a lot to consider. The Galaxy S Blaze is the latest in their range of lower end smartphones, however while not reaching the level of the S II, it’s certainly coming close with 4G connectivity, and a 4 inch SUPER-AMOLED screen to compliment the 8mp camera there’s definitely some appeal. What really sets it apart is the 1.5GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor, which has been lifted straight out of the Galaxy S II.
Asus is a company, which has long been rumored to be hiding something up its sleeve, and it looks like they’ve delivered. The Padfone is a 4.3-inch smartphone, which by day runs Ice Cream Sandwich with a thickness of 8.9mm and feeling perfect on the palm, but by night can be connected to a dock and converted into a 10-inch tablet, which is a real head turner! The smartphone-cum-tablet is a great piece of tech and comes with an optional optical keyboard and stylus, which is used as an antenna while taking calls. The phone is certainly very impressive and could be worth picking up when it hits the shelves.
As always, there’s been a host of amazing gadgets and devices unveiled at the MWC, and there’s plenty more which were presented to the technology world this week. One thing is for certain, while Android may still rule the roost, Windows, thanks to Nokia is beginning to show its creative side and appears to be drumming up some nice and healthy competition.