Mobile World Congress 2012 review

Mobile World Congress 2012 reviewAfter four days and what feels like a lifetime of grueling 10-hour shifts, Mobile World Congress 2012 is almost over.

As the world’s phone and tablet manufacturers (minus Apple, of course) begin to tear down their many, many stalls (there’s a genuinely ludicrous number of companies here), it’s time for the obligatory review of the show. Best Mobile World Congress ever or waste of freakin’ time?

Rather than go on an unstructured rant, it’s probably easier if I break this down into categories. Yeah, that’d make sense. Of course, this is merely my opinion; I don’t speak for Martin or anyone else on Team Mobot.

Best Smartphone – HTC One X

Well, you know me. It was always going to be the HTC One X. I’ve had that bad boy earmarked as my next phone since it broke cover as the HTC Edge in November 2011.

Mobile World Congress 2012 reviewA series of leaks had already given away the 4.7in Super LCD2 720p display, quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and the presence of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

What we didn’t expect, however, was the jaw-dropping camera, easily up there with the best that smartphones have to offer. It weighs in at 8MP with 1080p video capture, and – thanks to the HTC One X’s dual shutter – you can snap and record at the same time.

You can nip from the homescreen to the camera in 0.7 seconds, and there’s also a burst mode that captures up to 99 pics in 0.2-second intervals. No wonder HTC’s CEO Peter Chou describes it as “the only camera you’ll ever need.”

April can’t come soon enough.

Runner up - Nokia PureView 808

Best Tablet – Asus PadFone

The Asus PadFone isn’t just a tablet. No sir, it’s a smartphone, a tablet and a netbook - all in one. We’ve been waiting since May 2011 to get a glimpse of the Asus PadFone in action, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Mobile World Congress 2012 reviewAt its core, the Asus PadFone is a 4.3in smartphone with a Super AMOLED display, and you can magnify that display by popping it in the 10.1in tablet shell.

Furthermore, you can dock the tablet in the optional keyboard (very Asus Eee Pad Transformer), and there’s a stylus. But that’s not all! The stylus can be used to answer calls. Gee Whiz.

We’re not sure how much the Asus PadFone will cost just yet (that'll be the crucial part), but it’s expected to drop in April.

Runner up - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Best Manufacturer – HTC

Mobile World Congress 2012 reviewThere’s a good chance we’ll go into this category in greater detail later on, in the style of MWC 2011: all the big players rated, but for now I’ll simply say that – for me – HTC nailed it.

Less is truly more, and HTC hit the proverbial nail on the head three times with the low-end HTC One V, mid-tier HTC One S and the quad-core HTC One X. True, there’s no tablet from HTC this year, but I can’t imagine why anyone would buy an Android tablet over an iPad anyway. There, I said it.

Runner up - Huawei

Biggest Surprise – Nokia PureView 808

Er, this category might as well have been called Only Surprise, and of course the award goes to the Nokia PureView 808.

Mobile World Congress 2012 reviewWhile most other devices had been leaked in massive detail in the months immediately preceding Mobile World Congress, the Nokia PureView 808 came as a genuine shocker first thing on Monday morning.

Indeed, if anyone had told us there’d be a smartphone with a 41MP camera at Mobile World Congress, we’d have laughed in – and quite possibly punched – their big lying face. However, it’s all true. Impressive stuff.

Runner up - Er, the HTC One XL is an LTE-rockin’ dual-core variant of the HTC One X

Biggest Disappointment – no Samsung Galaxy S III

We were warned about this one ahead of time, but the absence of the Samsung Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress still hurt. In the end, Samsung turned up with another Galaxy Tab, another Galaxy Note, and another two Galaxy Aces. Yawn (for the most part).

Runner up - Windows Phone 7 (more on this later!)

Where the heck was the…?

To be fair, the last thing we can stomach at the moment is another Samsung Galaxy Tab; like I said before: I don’t like Android tablets; and the BlackBerry London is still ages away. Probably.

And so ends Mobile World Congress 2012. I think they're about to chuck us out, actually. Perfect timing!

Read more about: Asus PadFoneHTC One XNokia 808 PureViewHTC One SHTC One VSamsung Galaxy Note 10.1AndroidSymbianWindows Phone

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3 comments

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 1, 2012 at 15:11

I think the biggest disappointment should have been just "Samsung", they did this year what HTC did last year, lots of mid-range crap that won't sell particularly well (especially the tablets).

The S3 is going to have to be very, very special.

Stelph  Mar. 1, 2012 at 15:13

Hmm, maybe its just me but im not sure why people are so excited about the HTC One X? Firstly its too large at 4.7", secondly there is no mention of a dock or microSD or HDMI out which is sacraigeuous for an Android phone, and thirdly it doesnt really have or do anything particularly snazzy that makes it stand out, i.e. like conductive charging, even the camera has been hugely overshadowed by the Nokia Pureview.

TypicalAsianFindingDeals  Mar. 1, 2012 at 16:39

Where's the Huawei Ascend D Quad? IMO, the best phone announced by a mile!!

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