Many of the goodies we first spied back at Mobile World Congress in February have hit the shelves. You can now pick up HTC’s Desire S and Incredible S, LG’s Optimus 2X, and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play and Arc. Sweet.
But there’s still a significant handful of stuff to come. It's times like this one really appreciates Apple's penchant for announcing products and shipping them almost immediately. In the relatively fickle world of mobile phones, waiting around for stuff invariably leads to loss of interest.
In the little shortlist I’ve scribbled down, I appear to have picked a tablet and smartphone for each manufacturer. Purely coincidental, but who am I to argue? Let's do it.
The HTC Flyer was one of the must-see devices at Mobile World Congress. I still reckon 10in tablets are a little cumbersome, and I’ve had good experiences with HTC, so I was quite excited about the prospect of their 7in offering.
What a difference a couple of months makes. Even HTC seems to lack faith, expecting to ship just a million units between now and August. Compare that to the 40 million iPad 2 sales forecast by Apple for 2011.
This week, the official price for the HTC Flyer was confirmed at £600. That’s pretty steep for a 32GB 7in tablet running Gingerbread. The 10in 32GB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G is £579.
And finally, in case you weren’t quite put off yet, there are those rumours of a 10in HTC Flyer. Taiwan will reportedly see two new models mid-2011, with sweet Honeycomb instead of Gingerbread.
UK release date: May 9, 2011
HTC’s smartphone offering at Mobile World Congress was a little lame. While Samsung, Motorola and LG cranked it up a notch with dual-core goodness, the Taiwanese manufacturer unveiled minor “S” upgrades for the Incredible, Desire and Wildfire. Oh, and a couple of Facebook phones. Meh.
We were far more excited when rumours of a dual-core HTC smartphone surfaced. It was known as the HTC Pyramid while in development, but this week HTC confirmed it’ll be called the HTC Sensation.
The HTC Sensation has a 4.3in qHD screen, 8MP camera and dual-core 1.2GHz processor. Nice. The spanking new HTC Sense (3.0) will also introduce a number of new features, including HTC Watch, a movie download service. Sounds good to us.
UK release date: Vodafone exclusive in May, followed by Orange and T-Mobile in June
The Motorola Xoom is one of the first Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablets looking to take a bite out of the iPad’s share of slate pie. Spec-wise it’s fairly impressive, with a 10in 1280x800 screen, HDMI output, a 5MP camera and 720p video recording.
The major drawback, however, is the weight. At 730g, it’s almost 130g heavier than the iPad 2. Probably not a deal-breaker, but still worth taking into account.
The Xoom will be available exclusively from Carphone Warehouse in the UK, priced identically to the iPad 2. You can pick up the SIM free model for £579.99, or pay £199.99 up front and £25PM over 24 months.
UK release date: Any day now…
The Motorola Atrix was first unveiled way back at CES in January, where it won Best Smartphone. Fast forward three months and we’re still waiting for a release date here in the UK. Meanwhile, our American cousins have been able to pick up the smartphone since February 22.
The specs make for impressive reading, with a 4in screen, dual-core 1GHz processor and 5MP camera. Even more interesting is the Motorola Atrix’s compatibility with a range of specially developed docks. There’s the laptop dock, the HD multimedia dock, the vehicle dock and the, er, standard dock.
Hurry up, Motorola. We’re getting impatient.
UK release date: Q2 (June?)
Next time on Where’s the stuff? we’ll look at LG and Samsung.