At an afternoon press conference across the street from MWC 2013's enormous venue, ASUS has just wrapped a (hilarious) press conference that saw the introduction of two new devices (or three?) – the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad. Before we dive in for hands-on, let's take a quick look at the specs and pricing for the devices.
Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the tablet/phone combination we were expecting from ASUS today. It's got decent specs, and boasts ASUS' new AOCC "Ubiquitous Cloud" functionality, but has a rather stunning price, pegged at €999. The device isn't expected to make an appearance States-side.
We're here in Barcelona, preparing for what has probably become the world's biggest mobile-centric trade show: Mobile World Congress. This year's show may have a few surprises in store, but there are a few things we're expecting to see. We'll be bring you live coverage courtesy of our friends at Avast!
High on everyone's list is, of course, Samsung. There's been a lot of speculation that the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet will be unveiled at the show, though Samsung has no press conference planned, and hasn't made a point of teasing any new hardware leading up to MWC. Still, Samsung unveiled a number of new products on the down-low at MWC last year, like the Galaxy Beam.
After a long series of post-MWC changes, Samsung has finally readied its long-awaited flagship Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet and officially announced its global availability. The release schedule is set to start immediately with the United States, United Kingdom, Korea, and Germany, followed by other markets "starting in August." The initial release includes only the Wi-Fi only and the 3G/HSPA+-enabled variants, with the LTE flavor coming later this year.
Note: The press release is a little ambiguous on whether the "starting in August" bit refers to the four aforementioned countries or the following global availability, but we're inclined to side with the latter.
It takes a lot to put together something amazing for an event like Mobile World Congress. Countless hours of planning have to go into designing an amazing booth, and days of construction likely take place just to get everything set up. All for three days worth of mobile-packed awesomeness.
The Android team got us psyched the week before Mobile World Congress by showing off its 2011 booth; and now, in a similar fashion, it has created a video to show off what everyone who couldn't make it Barcelona missed this year.
Looks like a whole lot of fun with a whole lot of Android.
Sony's portfolio of non-Ericsson branded phones has just received two more additions, though they aren't much more than variations than the already-announced Xperia S.
The Xperia P features: a 4-inch "WhiteMagic" display, optimized for viewability in direct sunlight (for comparison, the Xperia S has a 4.3" display). It also features a 1 GHz dual core processor, 8 megapixel camera, NFC, and HDMI connectivity. The Xperia P will also launch alongside the SmartDock, which allows content on the phone's screen to be streamed to a TV.
The Xperia U is similar, but offers a nice alternative for those who aren't interested in the recent slew of giant phones.
Starting Sunday (February 26), the world's biggest dedicated mobile technology conference will kick off in Barcelona, Spain - Mobile World Congress 2012. Tens of thousands of journalists, exhibitors, and booth girls, along with millions of business cards and promotional knick-knacks, will swarm the provincial capital of Catalonia like a Baskin Robins on Free Scoop Night. Countless tons of tapas and sangria will be consumed. Few hours of sleep will be had. And most importantly, hundreds of new and exciting Android devices, apps, and accessories will be unveiled. That's where we step in.
In fact, it's fully likely that MWC 2012 will outdo CES in terms of new Android device goodness, because the whole event is centered around all things mobile.
Yesterday, HTC dropped a teaser on their Facebook page: a vector outline of a phone with an HTC logo and a big "5" in the center and a caption of "This Sunday you'll discover something fast." With 5 days to go until MWC began, we took a few stabs at what it could mean. Today, the company has followed up with a "4" teaser image on their Facebook, with the caption of "This Sunday, you'll hear something authentic."
I'm going to go out on a limb here and do some speculation, so take everything with a major grain of salt.
The Mobile World Congress is right around the corner (David an I are packing our bags as we speak), and HTC decided to tease us ahead of time with a picture of a phone outline and a number 5. They didn't have to spend much on making that one - this is literally the simplest and least interesting teaser I've seen in a while (did you get a bunch of new interns recently?):
Since HTC doesn't want to make it fun, we decided to give it a go ourselves:
Shortly after CES ended, we heard word of a new phone from LG that would be the first to sport NVIDIA's impressive new quad-core CPU, the Tegra 3. Other specs were rumored to include a 4.7" 1280x720 display, 16GB on-board storage (plus a microSD slot), a 2000mAh battery (!), an 8MP camera in the rear, and a 1.2MP front-facer.
Now, the extremely reliable Paul O'Brien of Modaco has word from a source that those specs are correct - the sole exception is that the front-facing camera is 1.3MP (not 1.2). The build used in the shots sent to him runs Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3) and the latest kernel from NVIDIA, and suggests little UI customization by LG.
After indicating it would not announce the Galaxy S III at MWC last week, Samsung has now all but confirmed to PCMag it won't be showing off anything particularly exciting in Barcelona this month - because they won't be holding any sort of press conference during the event. Yikes.
After the S III unveil rumor was shot down, we had been guessing that Samsung would be using this opportunity to announce some sort of successor to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but that now seems exceptionally unlikely, as well. Samsung is known for its high production value keynotes and press events, and we highly doubt they'd unveil any kind of noteworthy mobile computing product without a full-blow dog and pony show to go with it.