MWC 2012: Phones and tablets
MWC 2012 is well underway, offering the world the fastest, sleekest and most powerful new mobile devices on the planet.
This year quad-core processors are a big theme from all the top manufacturers, while we’ve also seen several tablets launch.
- MWC 2012: all the key themes from the show
There have been big announcements from all the top mobile manufacturers. We’re in Barcelona to bring you all the latest news and hands on reviews – read on for links to them all.
- 10 best new phones at Mobile World Congress
Before the show, Samsung stated the Galaxy S3 would not appear at MWC 2012. But that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill. Leaked details at the show suggest the new handset will be running a 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, which is a next-generation ARM chip based on the A15 core.
Samsung has instead unveiled the next in its second-generation tablet range: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Following on from the Tab 2 7.0, the new larger-screened device features the likes of Android 4.0, a 1GHz dual core processor and a 3MP rear-facing camera.
There’s also a larger version of the Samsung Galaxy Note – check out our Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review and read why we think it might exist.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 boasts a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and HSPA+ connectivity as well as the company’s S-Note software for taking notes (which is what differentiates it from the Galaxy Tab) and Photoshop Touch too.
brightcove : 1475619896001
There’s also the the Samsung Galaxy Beam, a new handset (rather than the prototype we’ve seen before) which features a frame that’s only 12.5mm thin, a dual core 1GHz processor and a 5MP camera on the rear. Here’s our Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Beam review.
brightcove : 1475629069001
Samsung has also officially unveiled the Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2. Check out our Hands on: Galaxy Mini 2 review, Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review and Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus review.
We also got up close with the Galaxy S Advance – here’s our Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S Advance review.
We’ve now heard that Samsung has revealed the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 with claims that it offers the best of Android experiences with powerful gaming on the go.
Samsung also told us it is planning on launching Windows Phone 8 handsets and possibly even Windows 8 tablets too. A Samsung spokesman also got into a bit of a pickle as he said that the company wasn’t doing that well in tablets, something the company later looked to dispel.
Another chap we spoke to said that Samsung is looking into releasing an NFC-enabled tablet.
MWC 2012 is the first event where we see the Sony brand fully taking over the Sony Ericsson portfolio,.
We’d already seen the Sony Xperia S at CES 2012, but the Xperia Nypon and Kumquat are very likely to be the ‘What’s new’ stuff the brand has promised at the Spanish event.
Sony has now debuted the Xperia U and Xperia P at the show – check out our Hands on: Sony Xperia U, Hands on: Sony Xperia P and T-Mobile, Orange and Three set to stock Sony Xperia U.
Sony also told us that its White Magic screens can’t go above four inches – which is why it’s not been used on the high-end Sony Xperia S.
brightcove : 1475143973001
LG has officially unveiled a raft of new handsets and, what’s more, it says that all 2012 handsets will be upgradable to Android 5.0 Jelly Bean.
The rumoured X3 turned into the official LG Optimus 4X HD. This monster sports a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a huge 4.7-inch HD (1280 x 720) screen, 8MP camera and the Optimus 4X HD will run the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. These specs put it in direct competition with the likes of the HTC One X.
Check out our Hands on: LG Optimus 4X HD
brightcove : 1475143921001
LG has also officially announced its ‘L-Style’ range of phones which include a trio of new handsets the L3, L5 and L7.
Check out our Hands on: LG Optimus L3 review, Hands on: LG Optimus L5 review and Hands on: LG Optimus L7 review.
LG has also officially unveiled the Optimus 3D Max. It will offer brighter 2D and 3D displays with a built in 3D convertor meaning you will be able to make standard apps appear 3D. Check our our Hands on: LG Optimus 3D Max review.
We have also come across the Optimus Vu which touts an unusual 4:3 5-inch screen. Check out our Hands on: LG Optimus Vu review.
LG also looks set to enter the Windows Phone market again after a device known as the LG Fantasy / LG Miracle has been shot by all and sundry all over the internet rumour mill. Cover your modesty, LG…
The Korean company also admitted to us at the show that it is considering a new LG tablet for Europe.
MWC has always been a big launch time for the Taiwanese brand, and this year is no exception.
The Endeavor has been announced as the HTC One X boasting a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 32GB of internal storage, 8MP camera and version 4.0.5 of Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0 overlay . There is no sign of a microSD card slot though, which we find a bit odd.
Check out our Hands on: HTC One X review and Hands on: HTC Sense 4.0 review.
brightcove : 1475191318001
The Ville has now been announced as the HTC One S, with the previously reported specs staying the same – 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 4.3-inch qHD display, 8MP camera with full HD video capture, Beats audio and Ice Cream Sandwich with the new Sense 4.0 interface.
Check out our Hands on: HTC One S review
The third HTC handset is the HTC One V (previously rumoured as the Primo). The budget One V is being touted as the ying to the HTC Rhyme’s yang – a version for the lads possibly?
Check out our Hands on: HTC One V review
HTC also told us that it would rather like the opportunity to be the Android 5.0 Jelly Bean Nexus phone partner. We bet it would.
The Finns have eschewed doing MWC ‘properly’ for the last couple of years – instead, we’ve sat through conferences about partnerships with Intel in off-campus locations to not much fanfare. This MWC is different.
Before the event, Nokia released a video teasing a camera focussed handset to be announced at MWC. It’s a reboot of the Symbian-powered N8, called the Nokia Pureview 808. It has a 41 megapixel camera. That’s 41. Not 4.1.
Check out our Hands on: Nokia 808 Pureview review. Yes, it really does have a 41MP camera!
brightcove : 1475738840001
Our camera testing head honcho Angela Nicholson has also written in more detail about the camera – check out Why does a phone need a 41MP camera?
There’s also now a worldwide variant of the Lumia 900 plus a low end Windows Phone in the Nokia Lumia 610 – Hands on: Nokia Lumia 610 review.
brightcove : 1476568406001
We’ll also be privy to a whole host of new Asha phones rocking the S40 interface, but we’re not expecting Nokia to make a huge deal of these puppies.
MWC 2012: More phones
Prior to the show ZTE confirmed it would be showing off no fewer that 8 different handsets at MWC 2012. The phones will cover both the Android and Windows Phone operating systems featuring innovations such as multi-core chipsets, LTE and 4G radio
ZTE has unveiled a 4.3–inch quad-core smartphone at MWC, the ZTE Era – check out our In pictures: HTC Era.
brightcove : 1478774284001
For LTE, there’s the ZTE PF200 and ZTE N910. The PF200 is packing the better specs with a 1.5GHz processor, 4.3-inch qHD screen and 8MP camera capable of recording 1080p video.
Another Ice Cream Sandwich phone from ZTE comes in the form of the Mimosa X. It looks set to be a mid-range offering with a dual-core processor, 4.3-inch display, 5MP camera, HD video recording and 4GB of internal storage. Check out our Hands on: ZTE Mimosa X.
Then there’s the ZTE Orbit. Just like its older sister, the ZTE Tania, the ZTE Orbit comes with Windows Phone and is pitched at those on a budget. Check out our In Pictures: ZTE Orbit.
Then there’s the ZTE Acqua – an entry level Android running Android 2.3 rather than the flavour du jour – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But when ZTE announced the Acqua it promised ICS so it may be on its way. Here’s our Hands on: ZTE Acqua review.
Finally, ZTE has also said it will be launching four new tablets at MWC. The pick of the bunch are two quad-core beauties, in the guise of the ZTE PF 100 and the ZTE T98 – both of which are packing Android 4.0.
brightcove : 1478774287001
The Huawei Ascend D Quad has been announced and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 4.5-inch 720P high definition touchscreen, with 32-bit true color graphic processor.
brightcove : 1476615959001
Powered by a K3V2 quad-core 1.2GHz/1.5GHz processor, the Huawei Ascend D Quad claims to be the world’s fastest handset.
Read our Hands on:Huawei Ascend D Quad review
Huawei also revealed the Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD. It boasts a 1080p display (1080 x 1200), an 8MP camera, the new Huawei-made K3 processor and is a mightily impressive 8.8mm thick.
Asus has shown us the Padfone (again). Check out our Hands on: Asus Padfone review. But it’s now definitely slated for the UK – the Asus Padfone UK release date is April, with pricing to be announced.
brightcove : 1476300776001
Asus has also announced it is rebadging its tablets as Transformer Pads. The company has also introduced The Transformer Pad Infinity series and the ‘young, trendy’ Transformer Pad 300 series.
The Transformer Pad 300 features a 1920 x 1200 Full HD Super IPS+ display rated at 600 nits.
Asus also says it will be announcing more smartphones in the near future.
Not much from Acer at this MWC, but it has revealed that it will launch its new Iconia Tab 8200 in mid-March. It aims to keep the cost low – it will be a Wi-Fi only 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of memory, 32GB, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, front-facing camera and microSD slot.
The company also confirmed to TechRadar that it was planning to launch more Windows Phone handsets this year.
ViewSonic has announced the launch of the ViewSonic ViewPhone 4S, the flagship of four new releases. Heard that name somewhere before? Yeah, us too.
ViewSonic has announced the arrival of another tablet – the ViewSonic ViewPad G70. The tablet has a 7-inch display, is powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and comes with 4GB storage. Other features include a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi and a front-facing camera.
The Panasonic Eluga Power has been announced, bringing a whopping 5-inch screen in addition to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Here’s our Hands on: Panasonic Eluga Power review. We’ve previously done the plain-old Hands on: Panasonic Eluga review.
brightcove : 1477618759001
Orange has revealed the next phone to get the network’s colourful branding – the Orange Santa Clara. Here’s our Hands on: Orange Santa Clara review.
Intel’s Medfield chipset has been chosen to power the phone. The phone specs include: a 4.03-inch display, dimensions of 123mm x 63 x 9.99, 16GB of memory and weighs in at 117g.
It has been revealed, however, that the upcoming Atom phone won’t actually be called the Orange Santa Clara on launch. Whether this means that handset is the rumoured Orange London remains to be seen.
Fujutsu boasted that the Fujitsu Arrows F-07D was the world’s thinnest handset, until Huawei came and trumped them by a millimetre. Still, a 6.7mm-thick smartphone is nothing to be sniffed at – check out our Hands on: Fujitsu Arrows F-07D review.
We also got hands on with an as-yet unnamed Tegra 3 Android 4.0 Fujitsu handset too – it also has a 13MP camera: Hands on: Fujitsu quad-core review.
brightcove : 1477725855001
View more at TechRadar: All latest Mobile phones news feeds