Android Releases at MWC 2012
As is usually the case at Major Tech Trade Shows, there was a huge number of Android Devices announced or showcased at Mobile World Congress 2012. There were a few interesting ones showcased though, and we’ll try to cover that in this post.
Image Via: Official Google Mobile Blog
HTC hasn’t really been able to hold onto their top position as an Android Device manufacturer (Android was launched on a HTC Device, the G1, as was the Nexus Program, with the Nexus One). Part of this was attributed to the number of devices they launched, the other part being attributed to HTC Sense. Sense was a big add on initially when Android as such wasn’t fully featured, but later versions were clunky and slowed down the phones. HTC has acknowledged both these issues and their response at MWC was the HTC One series, with Sense 4. There’ll be fewer devices released with the focus being on Quality. Thus far, the One series consists of just 3 devices, the One X, One S, One V. Thankfully, all of them run Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.
The One X is the flagship device. It’s a unibody Polycarbonate device (like the Lumia 800/900), has a 1.5 GHz Quad Core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a 4.7″ Super LCD2 720p Display and a 8MP f2.0 Camera. HTC’s trying really hard to sell the cameras on the One series; the camera starts up in 0.7s and A/F takes 0.2s. To do all this, the phone has a separate image processor. You can record video at upto 1080p at 30FPS, and take photos while recording videos. Oh, and there’s Beats by Dr. Dre audio. The LTE version (US only) will be sold with a Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Processor.
The One S is the Midrange Device here, which should work well for people who don’t want a massive screen. It’s got a 4.3″ qHD display, the same BSI 8MP camera as the One X, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processor, and has a Ceramic Metal outer shell that’s made using a process called Microarc Oxidation. And Beats by Dr. Dre Audio.
The One V is the “Low End” device. It’s based on the design of the HTC Legend (which a lot of people loved). There’s a 3.7″ WVGA display, a 1GHz single core CPU, a 5MP BSI f2.0 Camera. Yes, it has Beats by Dr. Dre Audio.
All the HTC phones should be available worldwide by April this year.
LG hasn’t been doing well either (by any stretch of the imagination). They were the first to launch a Dual Core Device, the Optimus 2x (G2x in the US), but that didn’t do too well. Their UI was cartoonish and their update schedules were way off. They showcased a whole bunch of devices at MWC, but there’re two that kinda stood out (for better and for worse).
Optimus 4X HD
Image Via: Clove.co.uk
The Optimus 4X HD is the sequel to the Optimus 2x (obviously), and as the name implies, has a 1.5GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad Core Processor and a 4.7″ 720p IPS display. It has an 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front facing camera. Thankfully, it’s running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and an updated UI which doesn’t look all that cartoonish. Clove reports that it’ll be out by June.
The Optimus Vu was the other LG phone that stood out, though not necessarily in a very good manner. It’s another Phablet, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note. However, the 5″ display 1024 x 768 display has a weird 4:3 aspect ratio, making it wider and shorter than the Note. It has a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Processor, an 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front facing camera and 32GB of storage. It also has a stylus, but unlike the note and it’s Wacom digitizer, the Optimus Vu just utilizes a standard capacitive stylus. Oh, and it’s running Android 2.3.
The Asus Padfone has been in the works for over a year now. It’s been showcased before, and people thought it would turn out to be just vapour-ware. Well, it’s finally out, and this is the wackiest device there ever has been (and in a very good way). What it is, is a phone that goes into a dock that becomes a tablet that goes into a dock that becomes a netbook like the Transformer. It’s got a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core 1.5GHz processor, a 4.3″ qHD Super Amoled Display and an 8MP f2.2 Camera. As you can see in the Image Above (and the video below), it goes into what they call a “Padfone Station”, and that turns it into a 10.1″ 1280×800 display Tablet, which also has a battery. The Station is just a tablet shell. The Transformer bit doesn’t end there either; there’s a keyboard dock, just like the Transformer, which the Station goes into. And now you have a netbook. With even more battery (gotta have more battery). Oh, that’s not all either. There’s a stylus (just another normal capacitive stylus) that doubles as as bluetooth headset when the phone is in the station! Now that’s a true transformer. It’s running ICS, but there’s no mention of availability or cost.
Samsung’s been going strong of late, and while they had previously launched both the Galaxy S and the SII at MWC, they didn’t have a massive presence this year. The rumoured Galaxy SIII wasn’t announced there, but they did showcase a few tablets and phones. Two stood out though.
By itself, the Beam is a standard mid-range device (oh how the mid-range definition has changed over the years). It’s got a 4″ WVGA screen, a 1GHz dual core processor, 5MP camera and runs Android 2.3. But it does have an LED Pico Projector built into the phone. It isn’t the first phone with a Pico Projector that Samsung has released; the original Beam was launched in 2010 and ran Eclair (Android 2.1).
Galaxy Note 10.1
The Note 10.1 has a 1.4 Ghz Dual Core Exynos Processor, a 1280×800 screen, and a Wacom Digitizer. It’s basically, the Galaxy Note with a larger screen. And it’s definitely a Tablet. Again, thankfully, it runs Android 4.0 (but has TouchWiz). It’s also got a HSPA Radio (3G), upto 64 GB of storage with Micro SD expansion, and has Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas optimized for use with the S-Pen, bundled in.
Huawei is currently in the position HTC was in a few years ago; Moving from an ODM to a Brand. As such, they’re pushing really hard with their new Android 4.0 Devices. They’ve also worked on their own processor, just like Samsung, and they say it’s the fastest Quad-Core device around.
Ascend D Quad
The Ascend D Quad (and the XL) is their brand new Flagship device. It’s got a 4.5″ 720P screen, Huawei’s own Quad Core Processor at 1.2/1.5GHz, 8MP BSI camera and runs Android 4.0. The D Quad has a 1850 mAh battery (the XL has a 2500 mAh battery), but Huawei says their proprietary power management system increases battery life by upto 30% compared to industry average by adjusting power consumption according to usage needs. That’s something that needs to be tested in real life use. There’s no mention of shipping, availability or pricing as of now, but it does look like a good device.