Top New Mobile Phones From Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress has just wrapped up in Barcelona, and not surprisingly, a bevvy of amazing new mobile phones has been announced and applauded by the gathered techies.
The biggest news was from Google's Eric Schmidt, and it wasn't a new phone announcement.
Forget about buying a feature phone, he says smart phones are going to be the same price as feature phones by this time next year.
HTC's wide range of HTC One smart phones for different price points and Huawei's Ascend D Quad are both great examples of this. Sony's three Xperia phones, the S, P and U will also cover a range of price points and affordability.
Schmidt was of course referring to the Android phones which dominated the show with an enormous stand. Unfortunately for Android, it was revealed by Channel 4 on Sunday that many of its apps have been selling users' information without their knowledge.
Bigger, better and weirder were massive themes in the new phones shown at MWC. The Samsung Galaxy Beam projects high quality images or images for hours, the Nokia 808 Pureview packs a never-before-seen 41 pixel camera and screens are creeping up to 5 inches in length. Are you ready to be thrilled by a colleague's holiday photos at life size?
Like Nokia's immense camera offering, HTC One is a camera-focused phone which directly challenges the usually unspoken key competitor - iPhone. The HTC CEO Peter Chou wasn't shy about trying to beat Apple though. He directly compared his new phone's camera to Apple's iPhone 4S, and clearly came out on top.
The phone as a multi-purpose gadget will be part of our future. The Sony phones can all be used as a dongle to create a mobile work station or mobile video library when plugged into your big screen TV, bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
The Asus Padfone showed the next step in phones as a completely integrated device. The tablet and phone are sold together, with the phone powering the tablet and slotting in to the back.
You may have heard of Near Field Communication (NFC) as a way of making cashless payments. It will soon be the norm for transferring all kinds of data, as demonstrated in the new Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC and Sony.
Shazam will use NFC to share music on Android phones this year, Sony's smart tags can be touched to launch the application of your choice, like Satnav. We could very soon all do away with printed business cards when NFC is built into all phones.
Payments will be a very practical use of NFC, and BlackBerry remains the only mobile operator to have approval from Mastercard and Visa for payments.
Water damage is a big deal for UK phone users, and Panasonic hyped up the water and dust-proof features of the new Panasonic Eluga. Several geekier traders demonstrated their waterproofing membranes, which other makers could build into their new gadgets.
Check out the top phones from Mobile World Congress below. Will you be trading in your phone for one of these new gadgets?