Mobile operating systems have long been a popular theme at the word's biggest wireless trade show and the 2013 confab is no exception. Sunday brought us the announcement of the new Firefox mobile OS, and today the Tizen Association entered the game, as well. The group showed its new operating system at a press conference that closed the day. CNET's Luke Westaway and Rich Trenholm got their hands on an early device so check out their First Take and photo gallery for a short tour. As Roger Cheng wrote yesterday, Japan's NTT Docomo will be the first carrier to sell a Tizen smartphone and Samsung will be the first carrier to make such a device this summer.
Checking back with the Firefox OS, Andrew Hoyle and Stephen Shankland took a test-drive with the Geeksphone Keon. That's the fourth Firefox handset we've handled in Barcelona, Spain, after the ZTE Open, the Geeksphone Peak, and the Alcatel One Touch Fire (LG and Huawei sneaked in a couple of Firefox models, as well). The Keon is a lot like the One Touch Fire, actually. Both have 3.5-inch displays and they're wrapped in a bright "Firefox orange" casing. This new family of smartphones is winning a lot of attention, though CNET's Brian Bennett thinks that it's one mobile OS too many.
Day 2 is a great time to prowl the show floor in search of unique and noteworthy handsets that we may have not seen before. That's just what Aloysius Low did with the NEC Medias W N-05E. With two full-size screens, it reminds me of the YotaPhone and the Kyocera Echo. Aloysius doesn't see a bright feature for the Medias, but it is worth seeing for yourself.
The Fujitsu Arrows X F-02E is a powerful Android phone that has an exquisite screen, a quad-core 1.7GHz processor, a 16.3-megapixel camera, a fingerprint scanner, and a water- and dust-resistant shell. And speaking of phones that can take a beating, check out Jessica Dolcourt's encounter with the Cat B15. Bearing the name of the same company that makes industrial forklifts, tractors, and mining equipment, you'd expect the B15 to be durable. In fact, Cat says that it can operate in temperatures from -20 to 55 degrees Celsius (-4 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit) and can withstand drops of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters).
Fujitsu also brought the Stylistic S01, which is aimed at seniors. The feature set for the Ice Cream Sandwich device hits a bit lower than most Android phones, but it has access to all of the Google's apps that you'd expect. Sweden's Doro showed the PhoneEasy 622. Launching in Europe, the 622 has a flip design that's smaller than what we've seen from the company before, and it's the first Doro to feature video recording.