Mobile - The Good, The Budget And The Surprising

5/22/2012 9:53:22 AM

The Mobile World Conference 2012 has come and gone, and over the next two weeks, Ian McGurren will give you the lowdown on all the gear.

Men check their mobile phones at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona

Ian is a professional IT analyst, a semi-professional writer and a pretty amateur electronic musician. He likes gadgetry and loves making gadgets do things they were never designed to do.

Description:  Men check their mobile phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Let’s face it, everybody loves a good trade show. It’s like a cross between a crystal ball and Christmas for us tech junkies. MWC 2012 is, as the name suggests, the Launchpad for the mobile technology industry’s products for the next year. So what have we got this year? Loads frankly, so this week we’re going to take a look at a few of the phones.

The good

Description: Galaxy S III

With no Galaxy S III here, HTC was happy to steal the limelight back from Samsung for a while and announce the HTC One. Of course, in true HTC style there’s not actually one One but three Ones: One X, One S and One V. The One X is the er, one, though. It’s HTC’s first quad-core device, clocking at 1.5GHz with 4.7” 720p screen, NVidia graphics, Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0 – like Sense 3 but one louder. The One S packs a slightly lower dual-core 1.5GHz CPU and a more modest 4.3” qHD screen last seen on HTC’s Sensation, ICS and Sense 4.0. The One V is the baby of the lot, with a 1GHz single-core CPU, 3.7” 800x4800 screen, ICS, Sense 4.0 and a body that’s a dead ringer for its granddaddy, the HTC Hero.

Sony showed off its latest devices in the Xperia range. Making their debuts were the Xperia U and Xperia P, joining the top-end Xperia S. The U is the smaller of the two with a 3.5” display and 1GHz dual-core CPU, though it still has Sony’s Bravia engine intact. The P has the larger 4” display, keeping more in line with the current Xperia, but strangely it has the same dual 1GHz CPU as the U. What’s more, oddly they both launch with Gingerbread not ICS – only the P also being available in a Bob Holness tribute model could be its saving grace (unless I just made that but up…).

The budget

Description: and Nokia’s Lumia 610

As CPUs grow ever more powerful, they grow cheaper, and this is always good news for the budget consumer, who wants bang for the buck. At MWC we saw decent new devices form Samsung, ZTE, Nokia, and event Intel. Samsung again embellished its Galaxy range with the Galaxy Mini 2, Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy S 4.2 (a sort of Galaxy S 1 and a bit) – all pretty decent devices for not a lot of money.

ZTE and Nokia premiered the first devices running Windows Phone 7.6 Tango, mostly notable for its ability to run on 256MB RAM instead of 512MB. This means the ZTE Orbit and Nokia’s Lumia 610 will be cheaper that other WP7.5 devices but just as swift and slick.

So to PC chip behemoth Intel, finally sick of seeing ARM grab all the headlines, we now have the Medfield chipset. Specifically designed for mobile devices, it features an Atom-style chip and is capable of running Android. So who has the first Intel device in the UK? Is it Samsung? LG? No, it’s Orange. The Santa Clara has a 4” display, Android 2.3 and 16GB memory, and isn’t as stylistically challenged as Orange’s other devices. It’s rumoured to come in at around $225.

The surprising

Description: Nokia 808 Pureview has a 41MP camera

Nokia 808 Pureview has a 41MP camera

In a week of quad-core powered, high-definition-screen-toting handsets, what else could possibly grab the headlines? How about a phone with a 41 megapixel camera? No, there’s no missing dot there, the Nokia 808 Pureview has a 41MP camera. Well, it’s nearer 5MP actually, but some very smart software oversamples surrounding pixels and delivers some extremely impressive shots. Gotta be the best Android handset yet? Well, no: it has a single-core 1.3GHz CPU, 640x360 screen and – here’s the kicker – Symbian Belle OS. Nokia says the tech will appear in other devices, though, and that can’t come soon enough…

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