Mobile World Congress is upon us and I am elate with excitement. No matter your preference in the mobile arena, MWC will surely have something for everyone. Last year, the Nokia PureView 808 stole the show, so what can we expect this year? Here are my predictions.
They won't be in attendance, so don't expect much to come out of Barca from the world's second most valuable company. However, a refresh is due to the iPad line, including an iPad Mini 2 with Retina display according to our friend's at Today's iPhone. Needless to say, it would be wise not to rule out some "planned" leaks to steal the attention from the other tablets debuting at MWC 2013 this week.
This image may have slipped the minds of many gadgeteers, but not mine. I'd like to see an HTC tablet with either version of Windows 8 aboard. It wouldn't seem likely for HTC to try and market an Android-powered tablet judging by their struggles with the HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream. Both attempts were undisputed "flops" almost immediately after they launched early last year.
Having said this, I would love to see an Ubuntu-powered HTC tablet.
I'm also expecting to see the other two rumored handsets that we already forgot about: the M4 and G2. The M4 is most likely a successor to the HTC One S, while I'm inclined to believe the G2 would be a tier below placing it right above their newly announced HTC One SV. Could it be HTC's Galaxy S IV Mini competitor?
Though Huawei has already confirmed the existence of the Ascend P2, a super-slim variant called the P2 S has not yet been confirmed. If rumors are true, I'm expecting it to be even thinner than the P2's record-setting 6.45mm which is why I'm not ruling out a P2 S announcement.
Seeing as LG already announced the Optimus G Pro and Optimus L Series II, I expect the Korean company to try and garner as much attention as possible with some carrier announcements. I'd also like to see their new F-series devices, the F5 and F7 in attendance to spur the mid-range competition. I like choices.
To top it off, LG might be ready to attack their Korean counterpart Samsung in the 7-inch tablet market. Rumor has it that the device would sport an extremely dense display of 300+ppi. I have time for that! All in all, an ultra-high resolution 7-inch slate is clearly a risk, but it would be nice to see the Nexus 7's IPS-LCD display dethroned. There have been rumors of a 7-inch slate as early as CES last month, so I'm expecting to see it surface this week.
Last year, Nokia surprised the world with the launch of the PureView 808 at MWC 2012. Yet, it wasn't as competitive as Nokia may have hoped, and I'd blame that on the Symbian OS.
I'm hoping for a Windows Phone 8-powered Nokia flagship with a similar 41-megapixel camera and accompanying Carl Zeiss Optics. (And if it's under 15mm thick, I'll be a happy camper.) Even if yhr Nokia EOS 41 rumors don't come true, we can at least expect a new Nokia flagship device with similar optic stabilization to the Lumia 920's. It's likely we will see a refresh to their Lumia lineup, too. In fact, images have already leaked of a few mid-to-high range Lumia's - the 720 and 520.
Lastly, Nokia might be prepping a Windows RT-powered tablet. Since as early as December, our Alex Wagner has covered the possibly of a 10.1-inch slate destined for the Spanish stage. I'm so desperately hoping to see Nokia's answer to the Microsoft Surface Tablet at MWC 2013 even if Strategy Analytics is telling me not to get my hopes up.
But if anything were to come true this week, I'm hoping it's Nokia's answer to the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover. According to The Verge, Nokia's smart cover will double as a keyboard, kickstand, and pack a built-in battery and pair of USB ports. That would be a nice addition to any tablet. Yum.
We may have been spoiled by Samsung two years ago when it launched the Galaxy S II at MWC 2011, but that doesn't mean we can't hope for something equally as exciting this year.
We know Samsung is dedicated to the Tizen-platform, but just how dedicated is up for debate. It's a long-shot, but I'd like to see it in action on a developer device running the OS. Judging by the recent source-code leak of Tizen, I wouldn't completely shut-out the possibility of a Tizen device on display. But I'm trying to keep that expectation low seeing as it may draw attention away from the Galaxy S IV's impending March 14th launch.
However, I'm expecting to see the Galaxy Note 8.0 equipped with a centered home button, and a capacitive back and menu keys. I wouldn't rule out an announcement from some mobile carriers stateside with plans to offer it on their 4G LTE networks, either.
I'm also expecting Samsung to have their current lineup of flagship Galaxy devices running the latest version of TouchWiz atop Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, since the OS has already leaked for the Galaxy S III. This probably won't be publicized seeing as the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II are the only devices worthy of the latest version of TouchWiz. But one shouldn't rule out a guest appearance. Having said this, I believe the TouchWiz we see on the new Galaxy S IV will be different. We might witness the second tier of Samsung's Android skin this weekend, keeping with the principle that the Korean company prefers to have the latest TouchWiz atop their latest Android flagships.
If Sony's recent durability-kick continues through MWC 2013, I'll be a happy guy. I have clearly expressed my desire for durability to fit among the 1080p displays and quad-core processors in 2013, so I'm hoping we see more dust and waterproof devices from the Japanese company. Alex Wagner recently reported on Sony's Xperia Tablet Z with a potential MWC launch, so I'm expecting to see that on display this week as well.
To follow up with Sony's recent "announcement" of the invisible Playstation 4, rumors began circling of an Xperia Play successor, yet they haven't entirely convinced the crowd since the Xperia Play was far from a success. Could Sony be using the Xperia SP as a distraction from an Xperia Play 2? Who knows...but I'm hoping to see the Sony Xperia SP, a mid-to-high end handset with a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960T chipset and 720p display this week. I'm also hoping the rumor of a clear notification bar on the front-side of the handset comes true as well.
Ubuntu and Canonical
Even though Google will not be in attendance this week, we can expect to see Nexus devices running Ubuntu's developer preview of the OS. Ubuntu recently announced tablet support, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some Nexus 7 and Nexus 10's on display running the preview.
I'm expecting to see ZTE's Grand S also in attendance, but I think thr big surprise might be the price. I'm hoping their Grand S, and Grand Memo sport price tags around the $500-$550 range, trumping their competitors the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III by a couple hundred dollars each. Low pricing is typically ZTE's approach to garnering attention in the smartphone arena, and I hope they continue that in 2013.
So, reader, we meet again. What are you expecting to see this week at MWC 2013? Are you hoping for anything in particular?
Image via Engadget.