Welcome to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This is the annual event in which we'll see some of the newest phones from the world's top manufacturers, as well as app developers. The event is in its first year at the new Fira Gran Via. (So that magnificent view you see above will shift to something else soon enough.)
This year most of the action's happening on Sunday, Feb. 24 and Monday, Feb 25, so those are the days not to miss.
A quick reminder that for those of you in the United States, Barcelona is between 6 and 9 hours ahead, depending on your time zone. Your best bet? Wake up early and keep your eyes glued to this page. (Sponsored by copious amounts of tapas, cervezas and smartphones.)
In addition to all things Android, we'll be lending a hand for our sister sites, CrackBerry.com, WPCentral, iMore and webOSNation, so be sure to check them as well. Events kick off on Sunday, Feb. 24, and run all week. Be sure to bookmark this page for the latest Android news.
Asus is no stranger to Android tablets, and so while nothing official by any stretch, it's not at all surprising to hear that a new tablet is reportedly heading to Mobile World Congress later this month. Following on from the already announced MeMo Pad 7, what we see here is allegedly the new MeMo Pad 10.
The MeMo Pad 10 is said to follow on from its 7 inch sibling in hitting a lower price point. Reported specs include a 1280x800 display, a 1.2GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera, 16GB of on board storage with microSD card expansion and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. 12 months ago specs such as these would have put the MeMo Pad 10 at the bleeding edge, but by current -- and forthcoming -- standards, it would sit in the mid-range, lower price bracket quite nicely.
The source of the images, tabletsmagazine.nl, claims that several Dutch retailers have already begun to offer pre-orders for the MeMo Pad 10, starting as low as €299 (£259/$407), which sounds very competitive for a decent 10 inch tablet. Of course, until it's official, nothing's official. Treat it as you would all leaks, but we'll be in Barcelona in little over three weeks to see just what Asus does bring.
Source: tabletsmagazine.nl (Translated)
At CES Intel showed for the first time its new, emerging market orientated, Lexington chips. During the keynote presentation though, mention was made of the next generation of performance orientated, dual-core chips for higher end smartphone offerings. Dubbed Clover Trail+, and based on Intel's Atom Z2580, CES also threw up the first smartphone powered by the chip, the monstrous 5.5 inch Lenovo K900. While the K900 is destined only for select Asian markets and Russia at this time, Intel has now promised we'll get to see more Clover Trail+ devices later this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Other than that, we really don't have much to go on. We're promised a look at the new dual-core smartphones, as well as another look at the lower spec Lexington based devices for emerging markets. OEM partners are included, so we should be seeing actual devices that actual consumers can purchase, not just Intel reference devices. If the K900 is anything to go by though, we're pretty excited to see what Intel can bring for the future.
This press image obtained by @evleaks claims to be the next high end offering from Huawei. Following on from the Ascend D2 which first launched at CES, the Ascend P2 that we see here is also reportedly joining the 1080p display club. Only, unlike the D2 which comes in at 5 inches, the P2 display is reported to be just 4.5 inches with on-screen buttons.
Leaks of recent Huawei devices have proved pretty accurate, so while the usual rumor tag applies here too, there's plenty of cause to believe this is what we'll be seeing from Huawei in Barcelona next month at Mobile World Congress.
The P2, besides the display, is also reported to contain an in-house built 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty hefty 3000mAh battery. Software is said to be Jelly Bean, with no indication as to which version. If it all pans out, it's clear to see that Huawei didn't just leave their big guns in Las Vegas. How much is true remains to be seen, but we'll be live from Barcelona next month to take a look at whatever it is that Huawei brings.
Source: @evleaks (Unwired View)
A usually reliable source of juicy leaks, the guys at @evleaks, are back and bringing word of a potential high end device from HTC heading to Mobile World Congress in February. The rumored HTC M7 is supposedly the top of the line successor to the HTC One X, announced itself in Barcelona at the 2012 MWC.
We're supposed to be seeing a first-of-its-kind 1080p display at 4.7 inches with an eye watering 468PPI. Underneath is said to be a second-generation Qualcomm quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Not an unlikely set of specs by any means, neither is the reported Jelly Bean out of the box or the reported new version of HTC Sense.
The camera on the One X was -- and still is, in fact -- a stand out feature on HTC's current top line smartphone, and if the rumors pan out, the M7 will be no different. A 13MP rear shooter with an f/2.0 lens, and a 2MP front facer both with 1080p video recording capabilities. An improved "Cinesensor" image sensor is also said to bring increased image quality along with features such as HDR built in.
Again, nothing here sounds too out of the ordinary, aside from perhaps the 1080p screen at less than 5 inches. But, we're expecting 1080p to be one of the must haves on high end devices coming in 2013, and since the Butterfly won't be heading to Europe anytime soon, maybe this device is why. The report also suggests that the M7 -- still a codename, in case you were wondering -- is scheduled to appear on Sprint and Verizon in the United States. Oh, and Beats. It's got Beats.
It's no surprise to see rumor mills begin to grind as we prepare to enter the biggest show season of the year. Mobile World Congress is but 2 months away, so if HTC is preparing something special, we won't have to wait too long to find out what's what.
It's good to be home.
Don't get me wrong. Mobile World Congress is a blast. That we get to work for a week in Barcelona, Spain, is but one perk of this job, and certainly not one that should be taken for granted. As always, it's great to see old friends and make a few new ones, too. And to top it all off, we had great weather this year. (The past two had been cold, wet and relatively miserable, especially for those of us from Florida.)
Oh, and we got to see the next generation of smartphones. So, yeah, there's that, too.
And with that, a few thoughts on the far side of MWC ...