Certainly the eager beaver of the group, LG didn't waste any time announcing a flood of various handsets it plans to show off at MWC. We've counted a grand total of six smartphones already made official by the vendor, and it's quite possible we'll have a few other surprises in store for us.
If any manufacturer were to get a prize for the most leaks ahead of a trade show, it'd be HTC. We've heard a lot of specs, a lot of name changes, and while it seems as though the rumors have this one nailed on the head, we have a feeling that whatever the manufacturer has in store for MWC goes a lot deeper than just a couple smartphones. Here are some of the specs and rumors we've compiled so far.
We haven't even arrived in Barcelona yet and Samsung's already lost the race. How so? It's all because of one single number: three. More specifically, the Galaxy S III. Sammy has a two-year history of taking to the MWC stage to announce its flagship Galaxy S device, but that all ends this year as the manufacturer's explicitly stated that the next in line will not
arrive in time to be shown off at the show. Not only that, no press conference will be held at all. We can still expect to see the highly anticipated handset unveiled within the first half of the year, but that's all we really know at this point.
With that said, Samsung isn't showing up to BCN empty-handed. In fact, we've already seen four devices announced ahead of next week's mobile bonanza. Here's what we know so far.
In a way, it seems so difficult to comprehend the fact that it's been a full year since Nokia made the gutsy decision to offer its promise ring to Microsoft's mobile OS. But here we are, one MWC later, and the Lumia family sure is growing like a weed. Espoo already has two Windows Phones for sale with a third on the way in the very near future, but we expect to see at least a couple more additions to the genealogy chart -- and if we're so lucky, perhaps even a sneak peek at Tango, the next rumored update to the platform. In addition, we're expecting to see a tantalizing Symbian-running camera flagship as well as more Asha devices equipped with Series 40.
Sony won our hearts with a strong showing at last month's CES, but we're pretty sure we didn't witness everything the company has up its sleeve. The new Sony Mobile Communications is among the vendors keeping their lips zipped shut, but doesn't stop the rumors from coming in at full speed. So, what have we gathered so far?
The Chinese manufacturer is such a tease, as it gives just enough information to whet our appetite, but then leaves the biggest stuff for later. Quick to unveil three smartphones, the company then sent out an announcement telling us that it has plenty more in store. In all, ZTE plans to release a grand total of eight new devices at the show, and we have a feeling it'll be hard to keep up.
Talk about a quiet riot. Huawei's got something big up its sleeves, but by golly, nobody gets to know... yet. Naturally, the Chinese manufacturer's invite talks the talk, we just hope it can walk the walk. We know it has the capability: the company is well aware of its reputation as a "budget brand" and is hard at work trying to pump out new lines of higher-end phones and tablets -- the Ascend and MediPad, specifically -- in an attempt to change its image. So what could Huawei possibly surprise and delight us with this weekend?
The companies listed above will certainly not be the only ones at the show -- with the exhibitor list featuring hundreds of businesses all focused on the mobile industry, we're bound to come away from Barcelona having seen a few surprises. Here are a few more players that we're expecting to see some big news from.ASUS
ASUS decided to get the MWC party started much earlier than normal by talking up its long-awaited Padfone
all the way back at CES. A device that was announced nearly nine months ago, Jonney promised us the
phone / tablet hybrid -- in other words, a 4.3-inch smartphone with a 10.1-inch tablet dock -- would ship this quarter with ICS, and we're going to hold him to that.
That's not the only thing ASUS will be showing up with, however. The vendor has released a teaser video titled "Twice the Detail, Twice the Fun," which naturally leads us to believe we'll be seeing a dedicated tablet with a high-res display.Acer
The first smartphone revealed by Acer won a prize for its design, which would've been great news for the manufacturer if it didn't let the cat out of the bag at the same time. The CloudMobile
was outed three weeks prior to MWC for receiving an iF Product Design award, and inadvertently became the second major product announcement for the show (behind the Padfone's CES reveal). Acer played it off like a boss, but we have a feeling it would've preferred to wait just a little bit before the general public knew of its existence. It appears that it won't arrive until Q3, but at least the device will sport a 4.3-inch HD display and ICS when it comes.
Additionally, Acer also added the glossy Liquid Glow to its MWC plate, which appears to be a mid-range device featuring a 3.7-inch WVGA display, 1GHz CPU and 5MP rear camera. It also promises that ICS will be available when the handset launches.
Viewsonic had a few things to show off at CES last month, but it's not done making large additions to its tablet and smartphone repertoire. First up, the slates: the "super-light, super-thin" G70 will run ICS and feature 1GB of RAM, 4GB internal storage and a 2MP rear shooter with 0.3MP front-facing cam to accompany it. Next in line is the ViewPad E100, a 9.7-incher that brings a 1,024 x 768 IPS display and a 1GHz chip into the fold. Last but not least is the ViewPad P100, a Windows 7 that delivers a 10-inch 1,280 × 800 IPS display and a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600. Pricing and availability -- as well as a few crucial missing specs -- have not yet been announced.
Moving over to the smartphone side, the vendor's introducing a new trio of dual-SIM ViewPhone handsets. We have the 4s, which will bedazzle us with its 3.5-inch 960 x 640 Super Clear IPS LCD -- a breath of fresh air when compared to the OEM's CES phones -- as well as a five-megapixel camera, a VGA front-facing imager and a 1GHz chip. The 4e, however, seems to be a much lower-end choice, packing a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 LCD, a slower processor at 650MHz and a three-megapixel camera. Third on the list is the 5e, a 5-inch WVGA device that's slim on any other details at the moment.Panasonic
Panasonic has only announced one device so far, but has far-reaching possibilities. The Eluga
-- short for "ELegant, User-orientated GatewAy" -- is geared to mark the company's return to the European market with Android 2.3.5, a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 CPU, 8MP camera, NFC and 8GB of internal storage. It's also 7.8mm thick. It's definitely not going to be at the high end, but is a stunning device nonetheless, and we can't wait to get one in our hands.
The Japanese firm has so far brought three devices
into the spotlight: a Cloud UX device that uses two 4.3-inch displays that open and close like a book, a 5-inch "large screen in one hand" model, and a 4.3-inch "stylish" device. Needless to say, we're definitely looking forward to playing with the first two options. As for any other models, the company hasn't yet specified.Fujitsu
At CES we were able to sneak a peek
at Fujitsu's Arrows Mu, a Tegra 3-wielding prototype smartphone, albeit from behind a glass box. The manufacturer now appears ready to show it off and, y'know, let us actually hold it. The model being shown off
will have a 4.6-inch display, 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chipset, Ice Cream Sandwich, a 13.1MP rear camera and a fingerprint sensor.
Without a press conference or any significant rumors to call its own, Moto seems destined to play a rather low-key role in this year's MWC. We've heard the rumors that suggest we'll behold a Medfield-powered handset, but naturally Motorola's not making a peep about such an idea. We're also hoping to see more European versions of US-based phones, such as the Droid 4 or Droid RAZR Maxx. And even though we're not banking on it, we'd still love to have some personal hands-on time with Blur's ICS upgrade.RIM
RIM appears to be putting its primary MWC efforts on its software, as the BlackBerry maker is said to be making preparations to exhibit its newest QNX-based OS, BlackBerry 10. We're not expecting the upgrade to actually arrive on devices until this fall, but it's quite likely that Research in Motion wants its new OS to generate some early buzz to help the company ride through the lengthy waiting period.