The Mobile World Congress doors officially closed yesterday, leaving everyone with a lot of announcements to ponder. It was a wild and hectic couple of days, and all the different devices in Barcelona did a decent job of keeping Aaron busy. Now that it's over, though, it's time we look back and revisit some of the highlights of the show.
Here's what piqued my interests this week:
Over the last eight months or so, HTC has been slipping. They surrendered the title of Android king to Samsung and faced slipping sales as other manufacturers continued to innovate in both specifications and design. Competitors' phones were slimmer and arguably more powerful and quicker. Then HTC vowed to focus on quality over quantity. HTC hit Barcelona with guns blazing. The day before the show officially started, HTC got the jump on the other manufacturers by announcing their new line of devices, One. Within the new One line, they announced the One S, One X and One V.
The One S is a higher-end device while the V takes us back to the days of the original HTC Hero. But with a 4.7-inch 720p Super LCD display, 8-megapixel camera with f/2.0 lens, Tegra 3 or Krait processor, 32GB storage, 1,800mAh battery and a slim, 9.27mm profile, the One X was the highlight of HTC's announcements. It's a new start for HTC, to go along with their goal of simplifying Sense UI.
The One X is the first drool-worthy HTC phone since the Nexus One, for me at least. It will launch on AT&T later this year with LTE connectivity, meaning it won't be carrying the Tegra 3 and will instead be powered by Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip. What would be even better is if it were to launch on T-Mobile running pure stock Android as the G4x with a Tegra 3. Am I right?
I've been searching high and low for an all-in-one solution, but have yet to come across anything that will do the trick. Heading into Mobile World Congress, we had already had a few glances at Ubuntu for Android. As many of you know, I'm a tad excited over what could come of that, as it's the first possible answer to my woes. However, we didn't learn any more about Ubuntu for Android in Barcelona than what we had already been told. So I can only hope Canonical cares to share more info as OEMs hop on board with their project.
And, finally, we got a look at a working model of the long-awaited, mythical ASUS Padfone. Instead of just being a phone that docks into a tablet-like terminal, it also comes with an optional keyboard dock, like the Transformer Pads that were also recently announced and Transformer Prime. I have my reservations about ASUS' design with the Padfone and docks, seeing as so much hinges on the success of the Padfone itself. If no carriers pick it up officially, the whole project could be in vain. However, this radically different direction from ASUS could (and hopefully will) spark some innovation in other tablet manufacturers' minds.
Just when we thought mobile camera technology would soon hit a ceiling, Nokia blows our minds with a mind-blowing phone with a 41-megapixel camera, powered by none other than ... Symbian?
Aside from the operating system not being one of my favorites, the PureView is a fantastic leap in the right direction. It earned Best of Show at MWC, and while we're not particularly interested in many devices powered by Symbian, there is the eventual hope that a mobile camera of this caliber will be brought to Windows Phone.
Now that might force me to jump on the Windows Phone bandwagon. I'm willing to bet I wouldn't be the only one either.
As far as what we saw at Mobile World Congress, that's all that I can say that I'm interested in. We're finally beginning to see more differentiation among manufacturers, and they're starting to listen to customers' gripes about overbearing interfaces, poor cameras and everything else under the sun. But there were definitely things I was hoping for – like more buttonless, stock Android phones and word on the Verizon Galaxy Note (Journal) – that went unmentioned. And there were a few rumors that sprouted (LG potentially being the next partner manufacturer for the Nexus, for instance) that I hope don't pan out.
Overall, though, Mobile World Congress 2012 was a success. Next stop, CTIA in May, and the iPad announcement is scheduled for next Wednesday.
In the meantime, tell us what piqued your interests at Mobile World Congress this year. Is there anything you're already planning on buying already? Or are you going to stick it out for the Galaxy S III, which is now rumored for April? Or the iPhone 5?