Mobile World Congress 2012 has came and went, and this year the device line-up that was announced during the show was pretty impressive, if not mind blowing. But if MWC is any indication of what is to be center stage in the mobile universe over the next year, you can be sure that the race for the best camera on a smartphone is heating up. Everyone from Intel to HTC and Nokia were all showing off impressive smartphone cameras that aim to eliminate the need to carry a point and shoot anymore. The HTC One series, and in particular, the One X garnered a lot of praise and attention for its rapid-fire shots. And without further ado, here is our best of MWC round-up.
Don’t call them Sony Ericsson anymore, but Sony has some pretty quirky new phones to show off in the form of their Xperia U and P series. The Xperia U is especially unusual with its transparent section that lights up different colors to alert you of incoming messages, or to match the color of the photo you are looking at. Heck, that isn’t something you see every day. Is the concept a bit gimmicky? Yes. But you got to give Sony credit for spicing up the traditional Android handset hardware.
Speaking of gimmicks, we’re not sure if the new Asus PadFone with a stylus handset is gimmicky or cool yet, but Asus continues to surprise us by thinking out of the box.
It might have taken a while for Intel to finally enter the Android smartphone race, but they are making up for lost time by building partnerships with carriers and handset manufacturers around the world. At MWC they showed off the Xolo X900, which is a pre-production phone based on their reference device specs, and it includes requirements like 10 shots per second for the camera, 1080P video recording, and HDMI out. This phone is expected to land in India this year.
Navigating Barcelona, and getting photos and posts up quickly was made a lot more convenient this year thanks to our trusty Mi-Fi hotspot that came courtesy of XCom Global. XCom Global offers Mi-Fi hotspot rentals to travelers around the world, for a reasonable daily fee. You can check out our full review of XCom Global’s Mi-Fi rental service here.
Samsung may not have had their usual press conference at the show, but they still showed off two new pieces of kit. The Samsung Beam is the projection Phone that we have all been waiting for. We, at least if you have been waiting for a projector phone that can fit in your pocket. Meanwhile, the Samsung Note 10.1 shows the commitment the company has to their S Pen, and we were impressed with how well the S Pen works on the Note 10.1 – it’s even more responsive and pressure sensitive than the S pen experience on the Galaxy Note. Plus, the tablet form-factor allows for a lot of cool new artistic and creative apps.
Last year at MWC, Nokia hardly made a peep at MWC. Plus, at a show where Android phones took center stage, it was nice to see something different. This we got in the form of the Nokia Lumia 610, a budget Windows phone device, and the Nokia 808 PureView. Not only is the latter a phone not running Android, but it’s actually a camera first, and a smartphone second. We were really taken aback by how impressive the snaps coming out of this phone is. Colors are super vibrant, and visuals are sharp. The same can be said about video. Did we mention that it can snap 41MP! This is the phone that we want to replace our Bloggie and Flip Videos with.
MWC might seem like an odd place for Microsoft to showcase their Windows 8 Consumer preview, but there is no question that Windows 8 will follow in the footsteps of Windows 7.5 and will be mobile oriented. Check out or blow by blow preview of Windows 8 here.
So what has Mobile World Congress 2012 showed us? That the smartphone camera wars are heating up, Ice Cream Sandwich will be everywhere in 2012, and the smartphone CPU market is about to get even more competitive with Intel entering the market in full force, at least overseas for now.
Please note, that in accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Intel Corporation has covered my travel, accommodations and costs related to our visit to MWC 2012.