Rumour round-up: Mobile World Congress 2011
The biggest mobile phone (and now tablet) festival is upon us and all the big names are here, looking to show the gadget world something special. Thanks to the internet, along with a load of leaky staff, we have a pretty good idea what funky new phones (and tablets) will be announced this MWC:
Leaks galore tell us what to expect from Samsung’s MWC plans. Not that we’re surprised to see successors to Sammy’s leading ladies – the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab – waiting in the wings. The former is the Galaxy S II, a 4.3in WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screened smartie with 1.2GHz dual-core processor and NFC that’s threatening to take the record for world’s thinnest phone. It’s just 8.49mm at its slenderest point. Expect it to run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and we’d imagine it’ll have a 1080p-shooting 8MP snapper on its back panel. The tablet is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab II, a 10.1in Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) device, hoping to challenge Motorola’s Xoom. More details from this later from Sammy’s press event tonight in Barcelona.
We’re expecting two headline products from LG’s offering – the LG Optimus 3Dand the LG Optimus Pad (or G-Slate). The Optimus 3D should have a 4.3in autostereoscopic (glasses-free) screen and some powerful guts to run it. We’re looking at a dual-core 1GHz processor, some serious RAM and a pair of cams (5MP?) for shooting your own 3D vids. The Optimus Pad (as we think it’ll end up being called) will be running on the dual-core 1GHz-engined Tegra 2 platform, have an 8.9in screen (also capable of 3D) and a pair of cams for three-dimensional footage capture.
Well now. Nokia’s made its plans to make the big switch to Windows Phone, so will we see a Windows Phone 7 handset bearing the Finnish brand at MWC? If it seems too soon, consider the above image – purported to be a conceptual device making the most of Nokia and Microsoft’s joint skills. It just remains to be seen whether these can become more than CG renders before the week is through.
How long have we been talking about a PlayStation Phone? Years, that’s how long. And Sony Eric’s not been shy about its new device (unless you consider advertising in the Super Bowl the behaviour of a mobile phone wallflower. Enter, then, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (also known as the PSP Phone, Zeus, Z1 or R800i). We’re looking at Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 4in touchscreen supported by a Bravia picture engine, a 1GHz processor and dedicated graphics. A slide-out gamepad with a touch panel is waiting for mobile gaming fingers. Also expected is Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Neo, stepping in underneath the Xperia Arc (launched at CES) with an 8.1MP cam and Android 2.3.
Could we see Dell add to its Streak range at MWC? The company already offers a 5in and 7in model, and rumours suggest that 2011 will see a 10in tablet from the Americans. If it’s too early to take the covers off that, we might see Dell expand its Windows Phone 7 offering beyond the Venue Pro. Here’s hoping, eh?
When you’ve spent January pumping out the world’s most powerful smartphone (Motorola’s Atrix) and the first Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet (the Xoom), it may be too much to expect a slew of new devices to be laid out on Moto’s stall. Even so, we don’t mind if Motorola wants to give us a glimpse into its future plans.
No surprises here – HP outed three new devices last week, the Veer, the Pre 3and the TouchPad tablet. We’ve already gone hands-on with those and we don’t expect any more surprises lurking in HP’s closet. Still, you never know what webOS-related shennanigans we might find.
Who? Apple doesn’t take part in shows like CES and MWC. It prefers to spread the word, er, organically. Still, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any Apple-flavoured news. Apps and accessories will be big news at the show, not least the Opera Mini browser for iPad, which we’re expecting to hear more about this week.
The Desire 2. That’s likely to be HTC’s headline announcement. It’ll run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) a dual-cammed evolution of the original Desire (pictured) with souped-up hardware and a hi-res screen (possibly Super AMOLED). But will we also see a glimpse of HTC’s rumoured tablet trio – the 7in Flyer, the Scribe and the, er, other one? We’ll know soon enough.
No tips on new hardware from BlackBerry, but we’ll be getting up close and personal with the PlayBook tablet and we may be hearing some interesting app developments. At the moment, rumour suggests Android apps could be heading for BB’s new slate.
And the rest
Over the coming days, we’ll be confirming what’s new and notable from Mobile World Congress 2011. That’ll include some of the things listed here, plus whatever else we find lying around at the show. Hold tight… it’s about to begin.