It was a sign of the times, perhaps, that this year's Mobile World Congress was dominated by what was missing rather than what was on the stands.

And even more interesting was the fact that it wasn't Apple.

Samsung's announcement during MWC that the Galaxy S4 smartphone would be unveiled in New York on 14 March undercut every other big news at this year's show in Barcelona.

That didn't mean Samsung wasn't at the event - they still had a lot more to show, including an 8-inch Galaxy Note - which inspired curious looks, if not outright desire, amongst most of the tech press. Asus's 7-inch Fonepad also illustrated the sudden, spluttering trend for absolutely enormous mobile phones. Whether people want to buy them remains to be seen.

Sony, ZTE, Huawei and Nokia were among the other big companies who had new devices to show, but none made quite the splash managed by Samsung's so-far unseen flagship phone.

2013 was also a year in which low-end devices were able to shine. Whether it was low-cost Android phones, Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS or Nokia's £13 phone, there was as much innovation at the bottom of the market as at the top.

So what do the stats say? According to Lissted, who analysed tweets by 619 journalists and bloggers, and 419 media outlets, Nokia was tweeted about more than any other company this year.

Samsung was second in their research of top tech terms, followed by Android, LG, Firefox, Asus, Galaxy, Huawei, Lumia and ZTE.

But what were our favourites of the show?

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  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z

    The Xperia Z was released in Japan a month ago, but went unnoticed here until its announcement by Sony at this year's show. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/25/sony-xperia-tablet-z_n_2757222.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech">It's a compelling 10-inch device</a>. Thin at just 6.9mm, well-built and with a beautiful screen, it will only be hindered by a lack of 10-inch Android apps (still) and the high-quality, but divisive, black-and-glass Sony aesthetic.

  • Ubuntu Touch

    Ubuntu Touch is a new Linux-based mobile OS which also supports HTML 5 apps, including ones built by Facebook and Twitter. <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-57571750-78/ubuntu-touch-beats-firefox-os-to-win-best-of-mwc-from-cnet/">CNET voted it the best product of MWC 2013 by a landslide.</a>

  • Firefox OS

    Firefox OS was announced last year and was on show for the first time in 2013, which devices and a range of manufacturers.<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/26/firefox-os-interview-johnathan-nightingale_n_2765214.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech"> We came away impressed by the vision but ready to see more on execution</a>. Still, its focus on the low-end and developing markets means it has a shot to change the world, even if you won't be using one in the UK for years.

  • Nokia's £13 Phone

    The Nokia 105 is a very, very low-cost phone with few features and a month's battery life. But while you're not playing Angry Birds on it, it's still impressive and potentially a huge advance for markets where access to charging points - and money - is not as simple as it is in Barcelona.

  • Asus PadFone Infinity

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/25/asus-mobile-world-congres_n_2758471.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech">In an eccentric press conference</a> Asus announced the Padfone Infinity, an ultra-HD premium version of its phone-tablet duo. Sliding the phone into the back of the 10-inch screen turns the 5-inch, all-metal handheld into a tablet for browsing and watching movies on its exceptionally clear and bright screen.

  • Asus Fonead

    The 7-inch Fonepad by Asus will cost just £179 when it's released in the UK. But will anyone be prepared to use it? <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/25/asus-jonathan-santaub-reg_n_2759192.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech">Asus told us that the "Dom Joly might catch on"</a>. But we're not convinced yet.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

    Like the Asus Fonepad, the 8-inch tablet by Samsung is usable as a phone. But this is much more of a tablet than a primary mobile phone, with Samsung's high-quality S-Pen and note-taking screen. It's not hugely different to what we've seen before, but we enjoyed using it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/25/samsung-galaxy-note-8-hands-on-preview_n_2757617.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech">and want to see more</a>.

  • Samsung Galaxy S4

    Samsung teased the tech world by announcing its S4 launch date right in the middle of the show. The invitations it sent us were spiffy, but the buzz caused by the news illustrated a wider problem - nothing else was that compelling.

  • To NFC Or Not To NFC?

    Near-field communications - using short-band radio waves to use your phone and bank card to pay for information, share data and communicate - was out in force at MWC again. But even a strong push by the GSMA to get people tapping with impunity by giving out Sony phones loaded with VISA credit seemed to fall a bit short, and it might be time for a new idea.

  • I'm Watch

    This 'I'm Watch' smartwatch was actually a bit ropey in our tests, with poor apps and an unresponsive screen. But the throng around the stand showed that people are ready for an iWatch, whenever Apple wants to get around to letting us pay money for one.