Mobile World Congress 2011, news round-up
Welcome to our Mobile World Congress 2011 news round-up.
Here you’ll find links to all the latest news, first look reviews, and videos from the world’s biggest mobile technology trade show, delivered straight from Barcelona.
We’ll be updating this page all through the event, which takes place from February 14th to 19th, so keep coming back for all the latest.
You can also put any mobile-related questions or comments to the Which? team at MWC by visiting our live news ticker.
Mobile World Congress 2011 round-up
We already knew it was coming, but the official revealing of the super high-end Galaxy S II managed to impress us nonetheless. Dual-core, NFC-enabled and a giant 4.7inch screen already makes the Galaxy S II one of the most impressive phones at MWC, and we’re barely a day in.
The semi-mythical Xperia Play (or PlayStation Phone) got a full airing at Sony Ericsson’s press conference. The device will launch with over 50 games available, including the likes of FIFA 10, Battlefield, Assassin’s Creed and Deadspace.
Another leaked device gets an official announcement at MWC, the Neo is an Android 2.3 smartphone that packs an 8Mp camera and HDMI-out for HD video playback. Sony Ericsson has also included a few interesting Android tweaks, such as a single inbox that draws all your emails, SMS and social network messages.
The Xperia Pro is one of the few Sony Ericsson devices to have been kept relatively secret pre-MWC. It’s essentially the business version of the Xperia Neo, running Android 2.3 and boasting a slide-out qwerty keyboard that’s context sensitive. There’s also plenty of multimedia features and 8Mp camera on-board.
The original Samsung Wave was a Which? Best Buy and we hope this NFC-enabled follow-up manages to maintain this good form. The Wave 578 features the latest version of Samsung’s own bada operating system (the first non-Android phone to be announced so far at MWC) and will be released in May on the Orange network.
We’ve had plenty of teaser trailers and images for the 3D-enabled Optimus 3D, but it was only officially revealed during LG’s press conference. Not only is the Optimus 3D dual core, it’s also ‘dual channel’, which LG says makes it even faster – though will believe that once we the phone in the lab for a thorough test. More interesting is news that LG has struck a deal to allow users to upload 3D video directly to YouTube – now that’s exciting.
It’s been out in the US for a while now, but the Motorola Pro is finally making its way to the UK. The Pro is a Android 2.2 smartphone that pitched toward business inclined users. There’s encryption tools onboard to protect all that sensitive corporate data, as well as remote password wipe feature and access to Quickoffice for editing documents.
More evidence that we’re heading toward a touch payment future, Norwegian telco Telenor has revealed a key fob and sim-card combination that can turn any wi-fi phone into a device capable of reading NFC stickers. So no need to upgrade to the Samsung Nexus S or any of the other NFC-compatible devices announced at MWC 2011.
Is it a smartphone? Is it a tablet? With a 4.8 inch screen the Iconia Smart is somewhere in-between (though for the record Acer do call it a smartphone’). With a 21:9 aspect ratio and Dolby Surround, the Iconia Smart is designed for getting as close to a cinema experience as you can on a phone (you’ll just have to hold it really close to your eyes).
We were hoping that Nokia or Microsoft would show-off the fruits of their recent Windows Phone 7 partnership at MWC 2011, but no such luck. However if you are planning on buying a Nokia WP7 handset then you can look forward to multitasking, copy and paste, hardware accelerated browsing, cloud storage and Twitter integration, all of which will arrive to the operating system sometime in 2011.
HTC announce four new smartphones
HTC’s press conference was brimming with new phone announcements, and none of them had been previously leaked, which makes a nice change. However, while we were very impressed to see Android 2.3 make a showing, we must admit that some of the updated ‘S’ models didn’t really bring much new to the table (NFC technology is a glaring omission).
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has cleared-up confusion surrounding Android naming conventions, and said that a new update will arrive in six months. The next version of Android will combine both 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ and 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ – the latter being exclusive to tablets. Schmidt also strongly hinted that the next version of Android will be called Ice Cream. Mmmm all this desert talk is making us hungry.
The WAC app platform officially launched at Mobile World Congress. What’s WAC? It’s the Wholesale Applications Community, a collective of operators and manufacturers, which intends to provide an alternative to the likes of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market, by providing apps wholesale to branded stores (such as Samsung app store or Orange’s App World). It’s the network operator’s way of muscling in on some of the profits currently enjoyed by Apple and Google. Click on the link above to find out more.
Nevermind that the first dual-core processor phone hasn’t even been released yet, Nvidia and Qualcomm are talking about quad-core processors already. Nvidia reckons that its chips will be powering smartphones before the end of this year, and will be in tablet as early as this summer. We wonder what kind of toll a quad-core processor would have on our poor old HTC Desire’s battery life, but Nvidia says that they’re actually even more energy efficient than older processors.
MWC 2011 Flickr stream
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