The phones of MWC 2011
With Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 less than two weeks away, we thought it would be a good time to take a look over all the rumours floating about to see which products are going to be making their debuts at the Barcelona mobile phone-fest. We've broken it all down for each manufacturer so, as much as we'd rather you read all our hard work, if you want to just skip to your favourite mobile maker, then we won't be upset. Don't come running to us if you skipped over a show stealer though.
Samsung is going for numbers at MWC, already confirming that it's expanding its Galaxy family with four new handests. There are also rumours of a second-gen Galaxy Tab along with a phone with a dual-core processor as well.
Samsung Galaxy Ace (confirmed)
We've already seen plenty of leaked specs for the Galaxy Ace, but Samsung has finally made things official. Packing Android's Froyo OS, it'll have a 3.5-inch TFT-LCD screen with a 320 x 480 resolution and it will use Samsung's TouchWiz UI. Running on an 800MHz processor, the Ace will include 3GB of built-in memory (expandable with microSD) and will also sport a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash.
Samsung Galaxy mini (confirmed)
Another Android 2.2 device (as are all four of the new handests), the Galaxy Mini is a basic affair with a rather small 3.1-inch LCD screen. It's got a CPU that only offers 600MHz of processing power, while the phone's camera is of the 3-megepixel variety and it doesn't come with a built-in flash. Despite its name, it's actually a bit bigger than the Ace. According to the maker this one is ideal as a first smartphone for sociable youngsters.
Samsung Galaxy Fit (confirmed)
Described as functional and fun, the Galaxy Fit comes with a 3.3-inch, 240 x 320 QVGA, TFT-LCD screen along with a 5-megapixel snapper, albeit without a flash. The device runs on a 600MHz processing chip. The Fit also includes Samsung's own apps that will sit alongside the ones from Android Market.
Samsung Galaxy Gio (confirmed)
With a name based on the Italian word for 'jewel', the Galaxy Gio offers a modest 3.2-inch HVGA display along with a 3-megapixel camera (minus the flash) and an 800MHz processor. The Galaxy Gio will also include Samsung Apps along with Swype and ThinkFree pre-loaded.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
We're not entirely sure how genuine the leaked video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is, but if it turns out to be in any way real, then Samsung is due for another exciting reveal at MWC. According to the leaked specs, the second-gen tablet will run on Android 2.3 (upgradable to Honeycomb) powered by a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset. The 10.1-inch tablet is also rumoured to have an 8-megapixel camera along with a 3-megapixel front-facing snapper and will even be capable of 3D playback following the Honeycomb update. Pie in the sky? Maybe, but we're hoping it's true.
Samsung Galaxy S2 (confirmed)
Pesky Samsung has been teasing fans with a few pre-MWC crumbs in the form of a video featuring the 'evolution' of its Galaxy S. For now, it's been dubbed the Galaxy S 2 and the word on the street is that it will feature a dual-core processor and a super-AMOLED screen.
Three of the four confirmed Galaxy handsets are set to arrive in March, while the Gio will take a little longer until April. The pre-MWC announcement of these handsets certainly points towards a major product launch at the show (to ensure that they don't get forgotten), and the rumoured Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab 2 fit as the likely contenders.
Pre-empting the sea of mobile phones that are launched at MWC, LG unveiled a couple of its major handsets at CES, including the dual-core Optimus 2X and the Optimus Black. However, if the rumours are to be believed, there could still be a couple of treats in store when we get to Barcelona.
LG Optimus 3D (confirmed)
LG has confirmed that it will be launching the Optimus 3D super phone at MWC. The handset will boast a Tegra 2 dual-core processor which will enable glasses-free 3D viewing. It seems that our predictions of a 3D handset were correct, after LG's global marketing strategy and planning team director, James Choi, exclusively told Pocket-lint: "You’ll be very surprised shortly, of an actual working 3D device from LG. I’ll leave it there before I say too much." We now also know that it will be available on Three and Vodafone in the UK.
LG Optimus Pad
LG is also rumoured to be launching the first 3D tablet in the form of the Optimus Pad. Details of this mythical device are thin on the ground but it's expected to have an 8.9-inch screen that's capable of glasses-free 3D. The word is that it will also offer a Tegra 2 dual-core processor.
LG T-Mobile G Slate
The Honeycomb-toting T-Mobile G-Slate tablet has finally been made official in the US and is set to include 4G connectivity, a dual-core Nvidoa Tegra 2 processor and an 8.9-inch 3D display. It can playback 720p HD video and is equipped with a rear-facing stereoscopic Full HD 1080p and 3D video recorder as well as a 5-megapixel snapper with LED flash. There's still no word on whether a European version will be unveiled at MWC with LG remaining determinedly tight-lipped on the subject. If the device is tied to T-Mobile then it could be that they will be the ones to make an announcement, which could explain LG's silence. We'll just have to wait and see.
LG Optimus Me P350 (confirmed)
This one's not just a rumour, as it was introduced by the company itself on the LG Facebook page. How very modern. The fact that the LG Optimus Me P350 made its debut on the 'Book, along with the "compact, glossy, colourful, powerful and reasonable" description indicates that this will be a budget handset for the teen market. The Android 2.2 device will have a 3-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi although there's no word on the screen size yet.
Whatever happens at MWC, LG is sure to put on a show and 3D looks to be at the heart of what it's got to say. The company has now confirmed the arrival of the 3D phone, so we're hoping for a 3D tablet to match.
HTC rarely does things by halves and usually launches a clutch of handsets in one go. Thankfully they always have fun names like the Desire and Wildfire rather than a series of bafflingly similar model numbers. The brand looks set to launch a fair few handsets at MWC 2011, along wth its very own tablet device. This is how it breaks down:
We've seen images of HTC handsets popping up on the web in the run-up to MWC 2011, but details are still very thin on the ground. This one looks as though it could be the flagship model, as it bears a resemblence to the Desire HD, albeit with more curves and no trackpad. Chances are it'll be an Android phone, and it looks as though it'll have a front-facing camera along with a screen that measures somewhere around the 3.8 to 4-inch mark.
HTC buttonless handset
Perhaps the most curious handset of the bunch is the one that appears to be buttonless. A similar handset has been spotted before, carrying Verizon branding. This one seems to be HTC-branded, but other than that and the lack of buttons, this one remains a mystery. With both Android and WP7's fairly strict rules on the availability of certain on handset buttons, it's not clear what OS it's planning on running.
HTC Smart 2
There's one that looks as if it could be a Brew MP-powered successor to the Smart, albeit with a different button layout. Details are sparse on this one, so stayed tuned to our MWC coverage for more details.
HTC Nexus Mini
There's another phone among the leaked details that looks like a mini-Nexus One (possibly with a 3.2-inch screen) - which has already been seen in China as the A3380. Reports suggest that this will be known as the HTC Nexus Mini.
Facebook handsets (confirmed)
This particular rumour came from London-based freesheet City AM and suggests that HTC will be introduced two Facebook-branded phones at MWC 2011. The phones will supposedly sport Facebook colours (surely not a blue phone?) and will obvisouly include prominent FB integration. We'll just have to wait and see what happens to find out whether there's any truth to this one.
HTC Flyer tablet
The blogosphere suggests that this rumoured 7-incher could well be a rival to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. According to website Androidguys.com, the HTC Flyer will either have Froyo or Gingerbread at launch, with Honeycomb on its way soon afterwards. It's thought to have 1GB of RAM but there's no mention of the processing power that the CPU will be packing.
It's not entirely clear what the HTC Sensation moniker refers to as the description of the trademark could mean both hardware and software. That's where the blogosphere comes in handy. Wild speculation suggests that this could be a new user interface and a potential successor to the HTC Sense UI. It could also be a tablet-specific interface, or maybe even the actual name of the tablet device itself. As soon as we know, you'll know. Of course, it could also be that the Sensation is a reference to HTC Sense but even more socially integrated, so could this in fact be the Facebook phone?
Whatever happens, it's certain that HTC will be launching a comprehensive lineup of new mobiles and the with an obvious update to the Desire, the watchword looks to be "refresh". Some of the names mentioned above may well be slightly different by the time the official announcement comes, but at least we have a good indicator of what to expect. And if there's a company that can come up with an affordable tablet with touchscreen operation rival the Galaxy Tab, then it's definitely HTC. Stayed tuned.
Sony Ericsson has already announced the Xperia Arc way back at CES in Janaury and the PlayStation phone has been on the cards for a while now. With details of a host of other rumoured handsets already made public, will the company have anything left to announce at MWC? Who are we kidding? Of course it will.
Sony EricssonXperia Play aka the PlayStation phone
The long-awaited PlayStation phone is set to be unveiled at the show in time for an April release. According to the internet rumour mill, the Android-powered handset will sport a slider design, similar to the PSP Go, and will have a dedicated gaming control pad including the familiar, square, cross, triangle and circle PlayStation button configuration. It's also rumoured to have a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processor, 512MB of RAM and a screen measuring somewhere between 3.7 and 4.1 inches.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo
According to TechRadar, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is due to launch at MWC and is the new name for previously rumoured Hallon. The Neo moniker was trademarked back in December, and will supposedly include an 8.1-megapixel snapper and an LED flash and will be fully geared up with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Sony Ericsson Xperia Duo
This one has yet to be confirmed by the manufacturer, but the Duo name was trademarked by the brand at the end of last year, so we're expecting the Xperia Duo to make its debut at MWC. Rumoured specs include Android 2.3, a relatively mediocre-sounding 800GHz processor, slide-out Qwerty keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera and HD video capability.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini sequel
As the well as the Arc, Neo and Duo, there are a couple of other SE handsets that could potentially put in an appearance at MWC. If web rumours are to be believed, the X10 mini could be getting an update. Potential features on the Android 2.3 handset include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 3-inch touchscreen, sliding Qwerty keyboard and a front-facing camera.
Although the exact number of handsets hasn't been officially confirmed, it seems that the Neo, Duo and Arc will almost certainly get their European launch at the Barcelona-based show. Whatever happens, we'll bring you the news the moment we have it.
Nokia really needs to come up with something special to impress the gadget fans. While it's still a very successful global brand, thanks to affordable handsets, it's really fallen behind when it comes to innovative smartphone technology.
Nokia N9 (confirmed)
Tipped to be the first MeeGo handset, the N9 might also be the first smartphone to run on an Intel CPU. Finnish tech site Processori has stated that the N9 will feature an Intel Atom chip, which could give Nokia a much-needed boost after its Symbian OS has taken a massive slating in recent times.
Pictures that reportedly show off the decidedly dated design of the rumoured X7 recently showed up on the web. Nothing has been officially confirmed, but it looks as though the phone will run on the latest version of Symbian (the same as the N8) and will have a 4-inch screen with a 360x640-pixel resolution. Rumours suggest that it will also include an 8-megapixel camera, and a dual LED flash along with a rather disappointing 450MB of built-in memory.
Nokia MeeGo tablet
If the leaked pictures on the web are anything to go by, it looks as though Nokia could be launching into the slate market with a MeeGo tablet. There's no official word on this yet and it's possible that the snaps might just be of a Nokia test device, but we think that the Nokia logo on the top centre of the bezel points towards a tablet, rather than a phone.
Windows Phone 7 handset
According to Russian journalist Eldar Murtazin, who managed to get hold of a sneaky Nokia N8 months before its release (much to Nokia's annoyance), the brand is set to launch a Windows Phone 7 handset. A new OS can only be good news for Nokia and increasingly dated Symbian system.
It seems to be fairly certain that Nokia will launch a MeeGo handset at MWC, and we're still hoping that it will also unleash a tablet device. What's clear is that it needs something with some punch in order to reassert itself in the smartphone market. Let's hope that the new products offer something to shout about.
BlackBerry rumours for MWC have been fairly quiet with a roadmap being leaked in January detailing plenty of phones but no really focus on whether they would be US or global handsets or when we could expect them.
The BlackBerry PlayBook not a Mobile World Congress announcement or launch, but you can bet that RIM will go big on their new tablet expected to hit the shops around Spring time. Not that they will be much to show that we haven't already seen (check out our First Look: BlackBerry PlayBook review) it will give journalists who weren’t at CES a chance to have a play.
BlackBerry Curve Touch
We’ve already got the Torch, and now it seems BlackBerry are set to launch the Curve Touch, a 3.25-inch touchscreen handset (480x360 HVGA), powered by a Qualcomm MSM 8655 800MHz CPU. It has a trackpad - but no physical QWERTY and has 1GB of flash memory, and 512MB of RAM to go with NFC connectivity.
BlackBerry Monaco Touch
This could be the BlackBerry Storm 3 and will come with a 1.2GHz CPU, a 3.7-inch 800x400 display, and 768MB of RAM. The Monaco Touch also has a 5-megapixel camera with flash and can record 720p video. It'll be packing BlackBerry OS 6.1 and have NFC on board too.
The Sedona is the CDMA version of the Apollo and the Montana, which is the CDMA version of the Dakota. If that doesn’t confuse you we don’t know what will.
The Apollo should hit the budget end of the BlackBerry market, but still boast some fairly good specs.
It has a HVGA 480 x 360 display, full QWERTY, a 5-megapixel camera with a flash, NFC capability and is all powered by a Tavor MG-1 800MHz CPU (with 512MB of RAM). There's also GPS and Bluetooth to go with the b/g/n Wi-Fi and Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as Tri-band UMTS/HSPA at 7.2Mbps.
The BlackBerry Dakota will supposedly have a 2.8-inch, VGA 640 × 480, capacitive touchscreen and also a full physical QWERTY. It boasts BlackBerry OS 6.1, has 768MB of RAM, 4GB of on board storage and packs a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording, flash, and image stabilisation.
As well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it can also work as a 3G hotspot (which seems popular at the moment) and also has NFC tech packed in as well.
It also has a micro-USB port, a magnetometer, an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and is just 10.5mm thin.
The BlackBerry roadmap is so confusing at the moment there is no telling what is going to be coming at MWC if any are at all.
With a bevy of handsets launched at CES in January and no press conference scheduled Motorla while at the trade show is unlike to have many major announcements other than which devices launched already are destined for the UK and Europe.
And the rest...
So those are the big players but there'll also be bags of the smaller and more modestly sized mobile fish in the MWC 2011 pond. Expect announcements from more hardware manufacturers as well as a host of app news as well. Natch, you'll be able to follow it all right here on Pocket-lint on our MWC 2011 homepage. It'd better be your browser default come 13 February or we'll be coming to getcha!
What are you looking forward to seeing announced at MWC 2011?