Android Dominates Day 1: Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress got off to a roaring start with Android smartphones dominating day one of the mobile industry's red carpet event in Barcelona.
As Mobile World Congress kicked off on Monday, HTC, Huawei, Samsung, and Sony Mobile announced more than a half dozen new superphones. Some of the buzz words filling the day's events included Android 4.0, LTE, 4G, and quad-core. Here's a look at seven attention-worthy Android phones unveiled.
HTC One X: This is a killer phone. The One X features the Tegra 3 quad-core processor. It has four 1.5GHz main cores and a secondary core for low-power tasks. It boasts a 4.7-inch Super LCD display with 1280 x 720 pixels for full HD resolution. The 8-megapixel camera is aided by an ImageChip to help process images faster. This phone can take pictures once every 0.7 seconds. It comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0 from HTC. It's all encased in a creamy, polycarbonate shell that's tough-as-nails and not too hard on the eyes, either. HTC has integrated its Beats Audio software across all audio applications, so even Slacker and Pandora can take advantage of the One X's advanced sound-processing software. This phone will land in the U.S. in April with support for AT&T's LTE 4G network, but loses the Tegra 3 and substitutes a SnapDragon S4 processor instead.
HTC One S: This is also a killer phone, but not quite so killer as the One X. The display drops down to 4.3 inches and qHD (960 x 540) resolution, it has a dual-core SnapDragon S4 processor, and substitutes plasma-coated aluminum for the One X's polycarbonate shell. It has the same camera and same software as the One X. The good news is that the One S will debut on T-Mobile's network in the coming months with support for 42Mbps HSPA+.
[ Which gadgets look to steal the spotlight at mobile's big show? See Mobile World Congress Preview: 10 Hot Devices. ]
HTC One V: The One V is a middle-of-the-road smartphone from HTC that still offers good looks and solid features at an affordable price point. The phone has a 3.7-inch display with 800 x 480 pixels, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1GHz S2 SnapDragon processor, and Android 4.0.
Huawei Ascend D Quad: This phone has one of the worst names ever given to an Android 4.0 device, but that's not stopping Huawei from crowing about its custom-built, quad-core engine. Huawei claims that the Ascend D Quad is the fastest smartphone ever built. The company is using its own processor --rather than one from Nvidia or Qualcomm. Other features include a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, and a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera for those video chats. Huawei plans to introduce several variants of this phone in a number of markets during the second quarter.
Samsung Galaxy Beam: This one-off Android device is a new take on the projector phone. It includes a pico projector capable of shining a 50-inch, 720p picture on any flat surface. Samsung says the Beam has a 15-Lumen lamp, which is fairly bright considering the small size. Other features of the Beam include a 4.0-inch, 480 x 800 display; 1GHz dual-core processor; 5-megapixel main camera with autofocus, flash, and video capture, as well as 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera. It has quad-band GSM/EDGE and HSPA 14Mbps cellular support, Bluetooth 3.0, and Wi-Fi. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Samsung didn't say if it will be updated to Android 4.0.
Sony Xperia P: Sony added two phones to its Xperia NXT line, and the P is the first of them. It's not as amazing as the Xperia S, announced at CES earlier this year, but carries the family genes downstream a bit in a more affordable package. It has a 4.0-inch Reality Display with Sony's BRAVIA Engine and WhiteMagic, a new display technology for an ultra-bright and power efficient viewing experience. It also has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, 8-megapixel camera with HD video recording, and NFC (near field Communications). Unfortunately, it ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and owners will need to wait until later in the second quarter for Android 4.0 to arrive.
Sony Xperia U: The Xperia U is aimed more at the entry-level range and has the specs to back that up. It has a 3.5-inch Reality Display with BRAVIA Engine, 1GHz dual-core processor, and 5-megapixel camera HD video recording. It also has "xLoud" stereo sound. The Xperia U has the same Android 2.3 OS out of the box as the Xperia P, and will see Android 4.0 later in the year.
Completely absent? Smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Shame, that.
[ See our complete Mobile World Congress 2012 coverage, live from the mobile industry's hottest event. ]