Mobile World Congress round-up
Having spent four days avoiding the pick-pockets of Barcelona here is a round up. It’s not particularly Fuss Free.
1. Nokia 808 Pureview 41 megapixels
It’s not about the pixels, it’s what you do with them. Even Nokia’s Stephen Elop agreed with this but by having so many pixels to play with the Nokia 808 gives the bets 5 megapixel images possible. They’ve been working on the image processing and compression algorithms for five years. A good lens and sensible camera UI from the world’s biggest camera manufacturer makes it more than just a gimmick. Special audio software from Dolby makes the music sound good. It might be the last gasp for Symbian but what a way to go.
2. LG Optimus 4X HD
In raising the table stakes the LG Optimus ticks all the boxes, it has the nVida tegra 3 quad core processor running at 1.5GHz, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and a beautiful 4.7” LCD (1280 x 720). This uses In Plane Switching (IPS) which has an exceptionally wide viewing angle so those sitting next to you on the bus can watch your videos. It has been tweaked to make it extra bright, letting light through from the backlight. It’s beautiful and thin with HDMI output through the micro USB connector using MHL. available This summer for around. £500
3 Panasonic Eluga
Waterproof ‘Droid phones are the thing from Japan with Fujitsu, Sharp and Panasonic all offering similar products. The Panasonic Eluga is the one we are likely to see in the UK first, they have been selling non-smart phones here for a while. With chamfered edges it feels good in the hand. The Eluga uses a dual core 1GHz OMAP 4430 processor and has a 4.3-inch 960×540 screen, There is NFC support but unlike the Sony offering there are no supporting applications supplied. There is an 8 megapixel camera and features to wirelessly link the phone to Panasonic Smart Viera TVs . Currently running Gingerbread we should see ICS by the summer.
4 Doro 740
While all the other Android phones struggle for differentiation there is no such problem for the phone from Swedish manufacturer Doro. They are specialists in easy to use phones generally aimed at older users. The Grandroid phone has a completely custom UI designed to be used either as touch or with the hard keys and a slide-out twelve key keypad. The 740 is locked down and there is no Marketplace support and any third party applications have to be checked by Doro for ease of use. There is a linked web service which allows family, friends and carers to update pictures, contacts and other content on the phone. Look out for a fuller write up on this tomorrow.
Solving the problem of laptop, tablet or phone, the Padfone is all three. Your phone clips into the back of the tablet which can then clip into the keyboard. At the show it still felt a little way from being ready, the keyboard bounce was shocking, but they are claiming to be the first Ice Cream sandwich tablet. It’s a 1.5GHz dual core snapdragon, has a MicrosSD slot, with a 4.3”, 960×540, Super AMOLED display. Announced for April, Price TBC
6 Rohde & Schwarz TopSec
A Bluetooth device with a difference, this device has a speaker and a microphone and encrypts speech using 384 bit elliptic curves during negotiation to prevent man in the middle attacks, and then uses a 256 bit AES key to encrypt the conversation. It sets up a VoIP link to someone using a another usint connected by Bluetooth to a phone or computer. There is a secure phonebook application. Rohde & Schwarz claim it is much more secure than software based encryption such as Cellcrypt. You can plug a headset into the device to provide hands-free use. A snip at €2500. Each.
7 Sony Xperia P
There is something undeniably cool about the Sony brand and from the people who brought you Bravia the 4” 1280 x 720 “magicwhite” display which adds a pixel that lets the backlight through is very bright. The clear band is a lever piece of technology. Based on 1GHz dual core ST-Ericsson chipsets this is currently only Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich is on the way. 16Gb with no removable memory – and so side-stepping the political M2/Micro SD debate. The 8Mpixel camera will do 3D panoramas and there is NFC supported by a bunch of tags that come in the box.
8 HTC one X
With similar specs to the LG the HTC one X has more tweaks to the UI (under the moniker Sense 4) and some brand sharing with Beats audio. Another 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 resolution, albeit lacking LG’s IPS, but a super-responsive camera that “works at the speed of light”, and f2.0 lens, a burst mode and the ability to take still pictures while shooting a video. The main camera is supplemented by a 1. megapixel front facing camera. Ice Cream Sandwich, NFC, 32Gb storage and MHL connector to give HDMI over usb. Comes with 25gig of dropbox storage.
9 Nokia Lumia 610
A budget Windows Mobile phone from Nokia. This is not important for the specs: 800MHz, single core, 8GB memory, 3.7” 800 x 480 screen, 5mp camera. It’s important for the price, SIM free at £160 it will be free with quite basic contracts and is just the thing Nokia needs to build market share. That in turn helps build the Windows Mobile ecosystem which is the top goal for Nokia and Microsoft. Even with the comparatively low spec it feels fine, although there is no telling how it will be once you start loading lots of apps.
10 Samsung Galaxy Beam
Pocket projectors have been around for a while and the promise of them getting small enough to be built into a phone has always been there. Now Samsung has come good on that promise with the galaxy beam. A phone that can project an 50” image. The resolution isn’t great at 800 x 480 and it is only 15 lumens but it’s more than good enough for watching a little video, or playing a two-player game using Bluetooth remotes. The spec is standard Android fare: Android Gingerbread, 1GHz Dual Core and a 5MP camera. Sensibly it has a microSD slot. No Launch plans or price.