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.
Samsung has confirmed to TechRadar that the Galaxy S III will not be announced at Mobile World Congress. This lines up with what we've heard, and refutes earlier rumors that Samsung would be announcing the device in Barcelona next month. A rumor that Samsung never commented on until now.
What is confirmed is that the Galaxy S III will have its own event, similar to the Galaxy Nexus announcement. Of course, since this didn't come from "sources close to the matter" or "some guy I know who heard from somebody," we should obviously treat this with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Want Netflix on your current Android device? Too bad - as LG and Qualcomm told Engadget, the Netflix app will not be available on existing Android hardware (at least not officially).
Apparently, future Qualcomm CPUs will include additional DRM libraries that no current smartphone processor has, making the decision slightly more understandable (though still extremely disappointing). There's still no word on exactly what processors will support Netflix, but we do know that the LG Revolution will be compatible with it - meaning that the app works with single-core chips.
Disappointing news? Sure, but if it's any comfort, the app does look pretty sweet - check out Engadget's hands-on video:
Right now at MWC, Eric Schmidt is showing off a brand-new, Google-developed Android app: Movie Studio. The app, as the name may suggest, is a video editor. It's designed specifically for Honeycomb tablets, and as a video editor, that sort of makes sense. It's pretty rough trying to edit video on a smaller screen, though not impossible (which is to say, I imagine an XDA port for phones will happen as soon as an APK gets leaked).
Movie Studio will contain most of the features you'd expect in a competitive (*cough* iMovie *cough*) video editing app: transitions, audio import, splicing, A/V timeline, and multi-format export and sharing options.
Yesterday's announcement by Samsung of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 might have seemed like something of an echo of the Motorola XOOM. Well, with LG's recent unveiling of the Optimus Pad at MWC, we can still see some resemblance but with a few alterations making it worthy of further attention.
First up, the Optimus Pad refrains from the somewhat popular 10-inch screen diagonal seen on both Motorola and Samsung's tablets. If you have doubts about the handiness of a 10-inch device, it seems that LG shares your sentiments: the Optimus Tab scales the display back to 8.9 inches, while maintaining a similar 1280x760 WXGA resolution.
If the latest iterations of the Snapdragon family have left you feeling hollow, lonely, and disappointed, we bring news to warm your MIPS-craving soul. In a move set to immediately banish the barely-available 45 nm MSM8260 from our minds, Qualcomm have just announced their Krait family. This series of 28 nm chipsets tops out at four 2.5 GHz CPU cores and a matching quartet of 3D processors, utilizing the latest in the Adreno GPU family.
What kind of performance can you expect from these? Well, QC state that performance will jump by 150%, along with a 65% reduction in power consumption - and that's just the CPU.