CES 2013 is over, and despite the fact that we cranked out about thirty videos covering products ranging from super-phablets to fuel cells, some of us still came away a little disappointed by what was ultimately a very light show, hardware-wise.
Whether you were encouraged, let down, or completely unmoved by CES 2013, two things are true. First, you probably missed something amid the torrential downpour of 24-hour news; fortunately, our own Anton D. Nagy has you covered with an extensive wrap-up of our coverage from start to finish. Second -and more germane to our current focus- the future always beckons. With CES out of the way, you now have another show to look forward to: Mobile World Congress 2013.
The mobile-technology horizon is frequently hazy, but seldom indiscernible. Here, then, is a high-altitude overview of what we expect from the near future, from MWC and beyond.
Samsung Galaxy S IV
As Samsung Lebanon recently confirmed, we won’t be seeing the much-ballyhooed Galaxy S IV before May, ruling out an MWC reveal. That gives the rumor mill three more months to add to an already-impressive pile of speculation surrounding Samsung’s new Android flagship. So far, the biggest tidbits we’ve heard about the followup to the company’s biggest mobile success story include a possible 4.99-inch S-AMOLED display at 1080p resolution, a quad-core Exynos CPU running at 2.0GHz and backed up by 2GB of RAM, a 13MP primary camera and 2MP FFC, and Android version 4.2.1. That’s not counting the custom software enhancements Samsung will doubtless bundle in. And if you believe the above render, Samsung might finally have done away with the venerable home key, a move that would make some of us here at Pocketnow jump for joy.
HTC’s M7 & Tablet Take-Two
HTC had an inconsistent 2012, releasing a One X that raised our hopes but didn’t quite live up to its potential, then closing out the year strong with the impressive Butterfly/Droid DNA. The company appears poised to kick 2013 off with a bang courtesy of a smartphone called the “M7,” still shrouded in mystery. According to rumors, the M7 might feature a 1080p display at a relatively small 4.7 inches and a Droid DNA-like construction featuring a “very nice looking beveled edge.” On the software side, we’re hearing exciting things about a new version of HTC Sense that promises to ease up on the heavy-handed UI alterations in favor of a simpler, cleaner look.
A new HTC tablet also stands among the much-talked-about, with rumors stretching all the way back to the pre-IFA days of August. A sequel to HTC’s underwhelming Flyer no doubt needed some time on the back burner as the company struggled to refocus in the wake of a damaging 2011, but we might finally be approaching the prime time for a rebirth of HTC’s tablet offering. Details are light, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see HTC take another stab at stylus integration, as the company will need a differentiator, and Samsung is still begging to be challenged on this front.
The Mysterious Motorola “X”
Motorola’s dropped some impressive Android hardware on us in recent years, bundling durability, style, and ridiculous battery life into its reborn RAZR line for two generations straight. Still, the company has yet to truly drop a bomb on the Android ecosystem in the form of a headline-making flagship device. While we expect the Google-owned company to host its own special event for the unveiling of its secret “X” project sometime in 2013, we don’t know when, and we don’t know much. What we do know was best put into words by our own Stephen Schenck, who recently reported as follows:
Sources mention special care being given to things like camera quality, photo software, and achieving good battery life. There could also be a focus on new hands-free gesture controls, utilizing the phone’s cameras. Reportedly, Motorola was interested in attention-grabbing design elements like a flexible screen or a colorful variety of ceramic body types, but it doesn’t sound like either ended up making the cut.
We’ll have to wait and see how much of that is true -and we expect a good bit of fleshing out as the release date, whenever it is, draws near- but as this is already quite a high-profile secret project, we’d expect more than just a RAZR HD refresh.
Nokia’s Secret Slab
If you’re getting tired of Anton’s awesome render above, well, you need to develop a better appreciation for great art – but we understand. We just started talking about the rumored ten-inch Windows RT tablet from Nokia a few weeks ago, but the talk has continued unabated since. We even jawed a little about this particular piece of unicorn pie on episode 024 of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, pondering just what Nokia could offer -aside from a colorful polycarbonate shell- to enhance the appeal of Windows RT. According to rumors tossed around since, such enhancements might include an HDMI port, full-size USB, and a battery-charging keyboard dock. We’d wager that Nokia has more up its sleeve, but we’ll have to wait to find out. Fortunately, we’ll likely not have to wait long; MWC is a traditional Nokia favorite for product reveals, and a new tablet might be just what the company needs to keep its Lumia momentum going.
LG Optimus G2
Rumors of LG’s followup to the surprisingly delightful Optimus G started rolling in around Thanksgiving and they painted a fairly predictable picture: a 1080p display and a quad-core processor featuring next-generation LTE support and running at 2.0GHz. More rumors from just a few days ago gave us a possible screen size to fawn over -5.5 inches- and reason to believe the device might break cover at CES. While the latter bit didn’t come true, we expect LG to bring something impressive to MWC, and a 5.5-inch device packing a new processor and even a hint of the blazing performance of the Optimus G would be very impressive indeed.
The beautiful thing about mobile technology (or, if you’re a buyer with limited funds, the horrendous thing) is that there’s always something new -newer than what’s in your pocket- just around the corner. That’s more true now than ever before, with Google’s Android 5.0 upgrade, new tablets from old stalwarts Acer and ASUS, new platforms like mobile Ubuntu and Sailfish, and so much more all being worked on in their own respective secret workshops, somewhere out there.
We haven’t even touched on half of the rumors in this brief roundup, and that’s where you come in. Drop us a line in the comments and tell us all about the new device or platform you’re waiting on, then stay tuned for the avalanche of coverage we’re about to unleash as these companies usher our tech-geek dreams into reality over the course of 2013.