Quad-Core Smartphones Dominated Mobile World Congress 2012

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Nokia Lumia 610Together with Microsoft, Nokia was in the limelight during the second half of the Barcelona show. What Europeans expected from CES actually happened – the arrival of Lumia 900 on the global market was officially confirmed, after its entrance on the U.S. market. Furthermore, the Lumia 610 was also presented, the cheapest smartphone ever with Windows Phone which was promised to cost some 150 euros in Europe. It will have a 3.7-inch display covered with Gorilla Glass and an 800 MHz processor. It will be sold in various colors.

Nokia has also presented a device with Symbian Bell OS and a camera with an unbelievable resolution of 41 megapixels! This model is called 808 PureView and has a 4-inch display with a very low resolution (360 x 640 pixels) and a 1.3 GHz processor. The camera has 38 effective mega pixels of resolution which actually takes high quality photographs in lower resolutions through the so-caller oversampling (from 5 to 8 mega pixels). These photographs can later be digitally zoomed in without any loss of quality, which has not been seen with any other smartphone in the world. Still, we ‘only’ have Symbian Belle, thus this unusual smartphone with a special camera has not stolen that much attention as Nokia must have expected.

Microsoft has provided some attention to Nokia’s rather inconspicuous presence at MWC at the end of the show, presenting the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 on the last day of the event. Everyone knows that this is the first version of windows prepared for computers, tablets and smartphones at the same time and it is no wonder that Microsoft chose Barcelona for this important step of delivering the eighth Windows.

Interesting smartphones, mostly with Android ICS, were also presented by ZTE, which appeared with eight new models, Fujitsu Toshiba Mobile with a quad-core smartphone and one model with Windows Phone and Asus with a cheaper version of the Transformer called Transformer Pad 300 Series, as well as Padfone, which was announced at CES. Panasonic, Alcatel and other companies are planning to break through to the global market with new devices presented at MWC. When it comes to revealed smartphones, this was the richest MWC yet and the next show is announced for the end of February 2013.

Sony has prepared the launch of Xperia S for the global market during MWC (it was presented at CES), as well as two new phones: Xperia P and Xperia U. Both devices will have a dual-core processor running at 1 GHz, and use Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) which will soon be available for an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. The first one is going to have a 4-inch screen, while the later will include a 3.5-inch display.

Samsung did not present any spectacular smartphones in Barcelona, breaking its habit of the past few years, leaving us daydreaming about what Galaxy S III will include. Clearly, South Koreans wanted to see what their biggest rivals would display and now their top product of 2012 will have to outperform what HTC, Huawei, and LG have prepared. Still, they have not applied the same “wait and see” tactic when it comes to tablets, thus before iPad 3 was presented, they announced the Galaxy Note 10.1.

As the name hints, this will be a 10-inch version of Galaxy Note, i.e. a tablet than comes with the S Pen. It will use Android OS 4.0 improved with the TouchWiz user interface, and the pre-installed Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android, along with a dual-core processor running a 1.4 GHz clock. You can find my first impressions of this device on TabletPCReview.com.

In order not to be present at MWC without at least one relevant smartphone, this company announced the Samsung Galaxy Beam which will come with a built-in projector. The phone is going to have a 1 GHz dual-core processor, a 4-inch display, and Android OS 2.3.

Hardware-wise, these two smartphones won’t be that special compared to the rest of the competition presented in Barcelona, but these are two most beautiful smartphones I had the opportunity of seeing at MWC, which is surely have a positive feedback from a certain part of the audience – the rest of the exhibitors who came to this tradeshow with their new devices (with the exception of HTC, partially) did not show they cared for design at all.

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