And here we are, after this year’s Mobile World Congress, thinking of wrapping up our MWC coverage, which we hope you’ve enjoyed, by linking you to all the hot (and not so hot) bits that made the front page this week.
Looking back at the Show, there are three words that pop up trying to find keywords to associate with the news happening in the last couple of days: Android, 3D and Speed. Unfortunately, just like in the case of January’s CES, Android stole the show at this year’s Mobile World Congress too. Why “unfortunately”? While we’re happy Android is becoming more and more popular, it’s somehow bad for the mobile world generally. We all know the pros and cons of Android and we’ll not go there just now, but we really wish Microsoft stepped up its game with Windows Phone 7 especially now that MeeGo on smartphones is a question mark. All new devices launched this year in Barcelona were running Google’s mobile platform while the vast majority on those being on display, new and old, were operated by Android. Only strong competition can determine the way to quality and constant development especially in this field.
3D is the new 2D; LG have launched the world’s first glasses free 3D smartphone and thus stole the show but not many have mentioned “the other 3D smartphone”, the NTT DoCoMo Lynx 3D. While I personally believe that 3D is more like a gimmick these days, especially on a smartphone, we have to get our hats off for the manufacturers that had the courage to explore and head down this path. Besides the glasses free technology, these smartphones need content which currently is limited to demo movies, a couple of interface customizations and one or two demo games in addition to the 3D movies and pictures captured by the device main cameras. As 3D will evolve and become more and more popular, it will someday be the standard in smartphones and applications, games, will indeed be coded in order to take advantage of the hardware. Until then, it’s nice to see them operate, we welcome the development in technology, but it’s a huge price bump.
Speed is what everybody is after these days, even though Google’s Android does not fully support dual-core processors. Regardless if we’re talking single or dual-core, it’s a battle of processor frequencies and memory capacity, really, everything that can shave off a couple of milliseconds from loading times and add some points to Quadrant scores. Does the user really see a difference? Barely, except if you’re a geek like us or a gamer that needs to have his/her next level loaded up one second faster. LG proved that they can be of serious competition to Samsung with the Optimus 3D and Optimus 2X, both dual-cores, stepping in the ring strong against the Samsung Galaxy S II. The availability, price, operators, users and generally, the market will decide this success story’s direction.
The biggest let-down of the show was, in our opinion, HTC. While they managed to launch five phones alright, we didn’t see that innovation we were used to from the Taiwanese company. The S series is barely a spec bump from predecessors while the Facebook phones, the Cha Cha and Salsa, while launched, still remain a rumor to us, as HTC wouldn’t let anyone have hands-on time with a pair of demo units well closed in a glass box, powered off. Looks like we’ll have to keep on writing and writing “Dear HTC” letter after each and every show in order for the manufacturer to get the pieces together and start acting like the real manufacturer of the year that deserves the Global Mobile Awards title given by GSMA.
Here are the top smartphone stories from last week that made our front page, with device launches, rumors, impressions, you name it:
LG Officially Announces Optimus 3D
Samsung Galaxy S II Launched
Sony Ericsson Gets Official With The Xperia Neo
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Pro Gets Official
Sony Ericsson Launches Xperia Play
NVIDIA And Samsung Collaborating on Dual-Core Super Phone
Windows Phone 7 in 2011: Multitasking, Twitter Integration, IE9, More
Acer Officially Launches 4.8-Inch, Super-Widescreen Iconia Smart
HTC Announces Desire S, True Successor to Original Desire
HTC Announces Wildfire S Midrange Android Handset
HTC Announces Incredible S, Bumps Screen Size
HTC Announces Salsa and ChaCha Facebook Phones
And here are the devices we got our hands on at the Show:
LG Optimus 3D Hands-On
Samsung Galaxy S II Hands-On
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Hands-On
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Hands-On
Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro Hands-On
HTC Desire S Hands-On
HTC Incredible S Hands-On
HTC Wildfire S Hands-On
HTC Incredible S Intelligent Button Demo
New in HTC Sense for Android: Rearrange Homescreens in Leap