MWC 2012: Review of rumours, features, pictures and specs
MWC 2012 has not even begun and already the news has been flooding in. Europe's most important mobile phone event will be packed, as ever, with handsets of all types from all the manufacturers of the world (minus one) with everything from the smartest of smartphones to the most basic of devices that'll simply make a call and that's just about it.
But that's not the end of the story. Tablets have also become just as important at Mobile World Congress in recent times and there's going to be a glut of those to look forward to too. So, with the number of devices threatening to spiral out of control before proceedings have even begun, here's a MWC 2012 preview list for you to peruse to make sure you know exactly what to look out for when the rains begin.
Acer typically doesn't make massive ripples in the mobile market but this being MWC and all, it does have at least one trick up its sleeve to keep us interested. The CloudMobile is said to boast Ice Cream Sandwich and AcerCloud technology. We have also learnt that the device managed to grab the iF design award for 2012, so it should look fairly appealing. The less than 10mm thickness and the 4.3-inch HD display is also a bonus. More on the device when we get our hands on it at MWC.
Acer Liquid Glow
We don't have much on the internals here. Unusually what we can talk about is the camera, which is a 5-megapixel snapper and can shoot panoramas. There is also NFC stuck into the back of the handset and should you be so inclined, it can be picked up in pink. Read more
"We will announce several new innovations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week," is the quote from Asus. There's been nothing official so far - save a software update for the Transformer Prime - but, while we've heard nothing on the phone front, there is this:
Asus confirmed that its Padfone would be appearing at MWC and not CES. The new device, which combines a powerful phone with a tablet display to create well, a Padfone, has us rather excited.
We had quite a lengthy play with the Padfone earlier last year, so if you fancy reading more about the device, check here. That said, wait for what Asus is calling "Incredible Mobile, Endless Possibilities" and the official Padfone launch, it should be a good one.
Time to step up to the mic BlackBerry. This is basically your last shot at things before times get seriously tough. So what should we expect from the mobile manufacturer at MWC this year? Well disappointingly, no BlackBerry 10 powered hardware, which is coming later in the year. Instead just a look at the new operating system itself.
BlackBerry OS 10 is, from leaked screenshots and rumours, to modernise the entire BlackBerry experience, with smoother text, live tiles and lots more functionality taken from the current market leaders. Whether this game of operating system catchup is enough remains to be seen, but what will definitely help is the hardware that these changes appear on. So what treats does RIM have in store?
Not a lot really, as we expect a lot of the rest of the focus will be on the now released PlayBook 2.0 and trying to show what changes have been made to the company's tablet. In the end, it is going to be the usual BlackBerry 7 devices and not much excitement from camp RIM. Read more
As cars go, the B-Max is about as tech-filled as it gets. Crammed full of all sorts of clever gizmos and gadgets, it can sync up wirelessly with your phone and give you access to your music, contacts and texts via voice control.
If that wasn't enough, the B-Max also has an incredibly efficient ecoBoost engine, which can manage an amazing 57.6mpg.
We really don't have much in terms of specifics here, other than that Fujitsu will be releasing something quad-core powered at MWC, most likely Tegra 3. The company has told us that it plans on launching multiple high-end phones in Europe.
"Our main message at MWC is 'Fujitsu Mobile is coming', and it’s still early days when it comes to phones -the handsets we’ll have on-stand might not be the exact versions or model numbers that end up in the high street, simply because they were designed for the Japanese market with NTT Docomo."
HTC is to have a set of three different phones unveiled at MWC. They are going to be going from high end, what we presume is quad-core devices, to entry-level value for money options.
HTC One V
This is going to be HTC's music-focused phone announcement at MWC. Like the HTC Rhyme, it will come with all the usual Beats bells and whistles. Expect, although we can't confirm, a 3.7-inch display, 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and of course ICS on board. There will also be a 5-megapixel 720p capable camera on the back.
HTC One X
The One X is sitting right at the top of HTC's smartphone table. It is, according to rumours, packing a 4.7-inch display powered along nicely by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor.
HTC One S
Still damn powerful, but in the middle of HTC's range, is the One S. Inside is a Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core processor and enough screen space to keep it inline with a Galaxy S II (4.3-inch).
Chinese phone maker Huawei has been almost as quiet on the rumour front as it has been a force in mobile handsets in Europe up until now. However, with a bit of a splash expected at Mobile World Congress 2012, that all might be about to change.
Huawei Ascend D1 Q
Some timely loose lips from a Huawei SVP on Chinese social network Weibo means the world is now expecting a quad-core Android bad boy to arrive at MWC 2012 called the Huawei Ascend D1Q. It’s an Ice Cream Sandwich OS machine set to debut Huawei’s Diamond Line of top-end devices along with the tablet below. More on this mystery high flyer when MWC opens.
10-inch Huawei MediaPad
Taking the brand from affordable to high-end is also supposed to be down to the Ascend D1 Q’s partner in crime in the form of a 10-inch version of the Huawei MediaPad, described by the company as “ultra thin”. The original 7-inch Huawei MediaPad was rather less impressive but the Tegra 3 system rumoured to be at the heart of both Diamond Line devices should rectify that one.
LG has been quite the busy bee in the week proceeding Mobile World Congress 2012, announcing its new handsets one a day in the run-up. At the show itself, it'll presumably have nothing to announce, but plenty to show.
LG Optimus 4X HD
Formerly rumoured as the X3, the LG Optimus 4X HD will be the star of the LG stand in Barcelona. Packing a 4.7-inch True HD IPS (1280x720) touchscreen and a waistline of 8.9mm, the Optimus 4X HD is both mighty and svelte in equal measure, but it's the Nvidia Tegra 3 1.5GHz quad-core processor hiding in its guts that will garner the most attention.
There's also 1GB LP DDR2 RAM on board, 16GB of internal storage, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich straight from the box, 8/1.3-megapixel shooters and monster 2,150mAh battery and just about everything else you could expect from a top end smartphone. Keep 'em peeled for our hands-on pictures. Read more
LG Optimus 3D Max / LG Optimus 3D Cube
With the world still undecided on 3D, LG is going to chance its arm yet again in the 3D smartphone market. So, off the back of the not unsuccessful LG Optimus 3D comes the LG Optimus 3D Max, aka the LG Optimus 3D Cube if you're living outside of Europe.
It'll come with Android 2.3, a 4.3-inch autostereoscopic screen, a 5-megapixel camera on the back, VGA resolution one on the front, 16GB of internal storage and a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU at the helm. It'll also be the first handset to feature full 3D image and video editing functionality. Hands-on to follow. Read more
LG Optimus Vu
The Android 2.3 LG Optimus Vu falls into the same category as Samsung's Galaxy Note, one we like to call "phablet". The hybrid smartphone isn't quite as large as the Note, coming in 0.3-inch smaller with a 5-inch display, but it is still going to prove troublesome for tight pockets. The display is a 4:3 aspect ratio (so slightly squarer than the Note) with a 1024x768 resolution. LG even claims it's "the best viewing experience even under bright sunlight".
Powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, there is 32GB of storage to play with, LTE connectivity, an impressive 2,080mAh battery and an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash. There's also a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front for video calling. Launch should be March in Korea, but we'll have further details on global matters when MWC 2012 kicks off. Read more
LG Optimus LTE Tag
Another biggie from LG will be on show at Mobile World Congress 2012 in the shape of the LG Optimus LTE Tag. LG's NFC technology, LG Tag+ is what's at the heart, allowing you to team up your handset with NFC stickers (or tags) for automatic and easy settings changes. Stick one on your office desk, for example, and you can have the phone switch to silent once you swipe it.
As well as that, there's a 4.3-inch, 800x480 resolution screen with an IPS display, Android 2.3, 16GB of storage, 5/1.3-megapixel cameras and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor running the show. No word on pricing or availability yet but, as ever, we'll keep you posted. Read more
LG Optimus L-Style (L3, L5, L7)
LG's L-Style smartphones are all about getting back to their roots. They're design-led handsets harking back to the glory days of the LG Chocolate and the other Black Label mobiles. Currently, the details are that they'll all be Android phones with the L3 a 3.2-inch screen model running Gingerbread and set to arrive in March 2012, the L5 sporting 4.0 inches of display and Ice Cream Sandwich and the L7 with a 4.3-inch panel and also on ICS.
Presumably it's because of having to carry the very latest Android OS version that the latter two phones won't turn up until until slightly later in the year. Pics, hands-on and more from the show to come. Read more
Nokia has three phones to show off at MWC, or at least we expect it will. Unfortunately they aren't the most exciting of handsets, being more additions to the work of the Lumia 800, rather than entirely new pieces of kit.
Lumia 900 European launch
Virtually the same as the 800, but beefed up for an American audience and now brought back to its European homeland, the 900 is a gigantic version of the first Nokia WP7 device. Boasting a 4.3-inch screen and a bigger and better 8-megapixel camera, it is going to be the flagship phone in Nokia's lineup.
910? Pure view
Another phone, which is said to be a 12 megapixel variant of the 900 has been mentioned by a Dutch retail site in the build up to MWC. The handset, which could also be the one used to shoot a teaser video posted by Nokia, looks to be the imaging focused phone in the company's lineup.
The Lumia 610 is Nokia's attempt at taking on the value for money Android gang. Powered by WP7, it boasts all the design tricks and quality of the manufacturer that a lot of the cheaper Android phones use. All we know so far is that it is going to be pay-as-you-go only.
All is quiet on the MWC-front from Motorola at the moment. Presumably still concentrating on its RAZR phone and getting things ready for the quad-core invasion, there just isn't that much to go on in rumour-ville.
Quad-core Intel powered phone
We could be seeing an Intel Medfield powered handset appearing at MWC from Motorola if rumours are correct. While we have no specs, we do have a supposed picture of the phone, courtesy of Pocketnow.
Panasonic has entered into the Western mobile phone market early, jumping the MWC announcement rush and sending out its new Eluga smartphone at its conference in Hamburg. We have had a play with the new handset and its most definitely a nice piece of kit. It was however lacking in a few specs that a lot of other modern handsets boast. No front facing camera and no quad-core processor might be enough to persuade potential purchasers elsewhere.
Panasonic Eluga update
Luckily Panasonic has another ace up its sleeve, a new handset yet to be announced. Due to arrive at MWC on Monday, sources tell us the phone will feature a bigger screen using Pana’s own screen technology and have a front-facing camera. We don’t have much else on it yet other than that it will be dual-core. Expect Pocket-lint to grab a handset as soon as we can and give you the gossip on the new Panasonic gear.
One final rumour surrounding Panasonic at MWC is that the company will be showing a tablet at the show. We really can’t be certain about this one, but alongside information we were given about the more powerful version of the Eluga phone, was talk of a consumer tablet different to the tough tablet they already make.
"The successor to the Galaxy S II smartphone will be unveiled at a separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the product."
Samsung Galaxy S III launch?
Damn, damn and double damn, that is all we can say. Samsung has made it quite clear that there is going to be no sign whatsoever of the Galaxy S III at MWC this year. Shame really as we have no doubt the new handset would have stolen the show. In all likelihood the Korean manufacturer wants to make absolutely sure that all eyes are focused on its SII successor when it is announced. It is going to be a flagship product for the company and probably the most significant launch it has ever done.
There is word that at least the chip used for the SGS III will be at MWC. Just not the phone itself.
Galaxy Note 10.1
Samsung did accidentally leak a Galaxy Note 10.1 device on a release sent out about its developer day at MWC. The problem is, many expect it was nothing more than a typo. It isn’t impossible that the 10.1 Note exists, Samsung itself was said to be hiring for an advert starring the device. Either way, we will find out soon enough when MWC gets started.
Galaxy Ace 2 and Mini 2
MWC will likely be another chance for us to see the Galaxy Tab 2 and also take a peek at the just-announced Galaxy Ace 2 and Mini 2. No flagship smartphone hardware from Samsung then, but still a few exciting bits and bobs.
With Sony reported to be lining up 11 phone launches in 2012, we think it's fairly safe to say that we'll be seeing at least these three at Mobile World Congress 2012. But will there be any more?
Sony Xperia U
What was once amusingly leaked as the Sony Xperia Kumquat looks set to turn up at MWC 2012 as the Sony Xperia U - a smaller version of the top-end Sony Xperia S. Leaked images posted on Hong Kong website eprice.com.hk are leading folk to believe it's got a 3.5-inch touchscreen and that it will come with a removable battery, unlike its larger sibling.
The expected screen res is 854x480 and it should sport a 1GHz dual-core processor as well as a 5-megapixel camera on the back. The device pictured runs on Android 2.3.7, but there's a belief that it could come with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) as standard when it finally goes on sale. Stay tuned for full details. Read more
Sony Xperia P
The same initial leak that brought forth the Kumquat also made mention, and view, of the Sony Nyphon. The Nyphon - which is thought will be under the name of the Sony Xperia P when it turns up at MWC - was snapped in a line up and posted on Pocketnow.com.
Word is that the Nyphon will come with a 4-inch qHD Reality Display with a NovaThor U8500-based chipset. It's also said to have an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording skills too but we'll get the confirmation at the show. Read more
Sony Xperia S
The Xperia S will be getting its European launch at MWC and we will finally have a proper final version of the phone to play with. Expect more on Sony's dual-core flagship then. In the meantime, check out our hands-on with the handset here.
Orange's budget Android handsets have become a pretty big thing since the huge success of the Orange San Francisco. The Monte Carlo and, more recently San Francisco II have followed. So, will Orange have something else up its sleeve at MWC? Something on the Android 4.0 front, perhaps?
The only real rumour we have on this one is the Orange London. Whether or not it's Android is unclear but the talk is that it's got an Intel Medfield Atom processor doing the work clocked up to 1.6GHz. It's also supposed to have an 8-megapixel camera, 4.03-inch screen, 16GB of internal memory and maybe even 4G. Read more
ViewSonic has finally gone phone crazy helping perhaps quell some of its tablet addiction. So what can we expect from the manufacturer at MWC? Lots by the looks of it.
ViewSonic ViewPad G70
ViewSonic is lining up a new 7-inch Android tablet. It'll run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, feature a high resolution 1024x600 screen, just the same as the ViewPad 7x we saw back in August 2011.
Although the tablet will come with the ViewScene 3D interface, as we've seen on all recent ViewSonic devices, we've had it confirmed that it will be a Google-certified device, so you'll get all the normal Google services and Android Market access. It's set to be ultra light, with decent connectivity and come in at around £220.
Viewsonic 4S, 4E and 5E
According to Engadget, Viewsonic is going to release a trio of new handsets at MWC. On top of sporting Ice Cream Sandwich, the 4S, 4E and 5E are all going to be coming with dual-sim slots. Useful for those who either travel a lot, are international criminals or for some bizarre reason, have two phone contracts.
The 4S has a 3.5-inch 960x640 Super Clear IPS LCD, which is apparently very close to the display you see in the current iPhone. A 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera and VGA front facing snapper completes the package.
With the 4E things aren’t quite as swish. There is a slower 650MHz processor and a less exciting 3.5-inch 480x320 LCD. Finally there is a 3-megapixel camera on the back should you feel the need to snap some photos.
The 5E is the unusual one of the bunch. Taking a hint from Samsung’s Galaxy Note, it is a 5-inch 800x480 phone. No other specs yet though but once we have them expect more on the phone straight away.
ZTE is hoping to make some big waves over in Barcelona next week at Mobile World Congress. The Chinese company has already come clean with three of the handsets that it will be showing off at the Spanish expo and has now indicated that there will be eight new devices in total, including "a major new quad-core flagship handset". While there are no details on the lot, here are the three we know about.
The PF200 has a 4.3-inch 960x540 capacitive touchscreen, a 1.5GHz chipset, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1080p HD front-facing camera for video calling. It packs Android Ice Cream Sandwich and is compatible with the LTE, UMTS and GSM spectra. It also boasts Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, NFC and DLNA compatibility. Read more
ZTE Mimosa X
The important part about the announcement of the Mimosa X is that it's the first handset to offer the Icera Modem in combination with Tegra 2. The Icera 450 modem claims to offer excellent network performance, and makes it affordable, more dynamic and more power efficient.
The ZTE Mimosa X offers a full platter of hardware too. It features a 960x540 pixel resolution 4.3-inch display, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera on the back and the front camera for video calling. You also get all the normal sensor technology in this phone, which will be shipping with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. It offers Dolby sound and DLNA features - so should be multimedia savvy, as we know the Tegra 2 dual core chipset handles video and graphics well. Read more
The N910 probably won't reach the UK thanks to its LTE FDD, CDMA and EVDO spectrum range but is not quite as attractive as the PF200, with a 800x480 capacitive touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera. Read more
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