Practical, affordable phones take center stage at MWC 2013
There were a few superphones here at Mobile World Congress, but for the most part, it was budget-friendly fare that hogged the spotlight.
BARCELONA, Spain--Although mobile phones will always have a central role at Mobile World Congress, this year the red-hot buzz went to software, , wearable tech, and other .
With heavy hitter HTC announcing its flagship Android phones that made up the bulk of the announcements.days before MWC, and Samsung saving its , it was the sensible, midrange
However, it was the outlier operating systems that really.
Firefox, Ubuntu, Tizen: The other, other OSes
The mobile, browser-based
also made an appearance under glass, and Firefox has locked down carrier partners to bring its -- frankly, rather green -- OS to emerging markets for cheap.
The usual suspects
MWC 2013 saw a mini trend of large-screen devices (you might call them phablets), like the, the , and the .
There was also a larger trend of wallet-friendly options like the, the , and the and .
On the Windows Phone side, Nokia took top honors with the, a nice midrange Windows Phone 8 device with many of the features you also see on the higher-end .
A step below, theis notable for its low price, but strong feature set -- 139 euros (a little under $200) unlocked. U.S. customers should pay attention, since a variant will also arrive on T-Mobile as the 521.
We also enjoyed unique devices like the ruggedand the dual-screen .
In nonsmartphone land, we liked the, an emergency cell phone that runs on a AA battery. The also made headlines for its ridiculously low retail price of 15 euros.
As with CES last month, MWC 2013 gave the smaller brands a chance to prove their worth.