From smart to not: The phones of MWC 2013 (pictures)
Mobile World Congress is under way in Barcelona, Spain. As the biggest wireless trade show of the year, it always delivers a gallery of new phones. Here's tour of what CNET has seen so far.
BARCELONA, Spain--Mobile World Congress is only a day old, but already the show has brought us a bucketful of new mobile phones. Android smartphones prevail again, but we also saw some new Windows Mobile devices and (gasp!) even a couple of basic candy bar handsets. One doesn't even have a camera!
For a full tour of all of the new devices, take a browse through this photo gallery. Click the links to see CNET's full assessment of each phone, complete with more photos and video, and check out our list of the new tablets of Mobile World Congress, as well.
The Optimus G Pro is another attempt by LG to build a hybrid smartphone and tablet (or a "phablet," if you will). It has 5.5-inch full HD IPS screen with a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution -- giving a high 400ppi. Fortunately, it's a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is more standard on mobile phones than the 4:3 ratio on LG's earlier Intuition.
Of all the new devices that Nokia introduced at the show, the Nokia Lumia 720 is the most high-end. It has the familiar Lumia unibody design, but it adds a microSD card slot that you can use with cards up to 64GB. Also, it's capable of wireless charging, it has 8GB of internal memory, and a 6.7-megapixel camera with an f/1.9 aperture and an LED flash.
The Alcatel One Touch Fire is one of the first smartphones to run Firefox OS, a new software that aims to light a fire under Android. That alone gives it some street cred, even if the other features aren't quite as noteworthy. It has a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and a microSD card slot.
Huawei continues its quest for the high-end market with its new Ascend P2. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and features a 4.7-inch, 720p HD display with a 315-pixel density, a 85-degree viewing angle, 500-nits brightness, and Gorilla Glass 2. Inside you'll find a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.
Equipped with Jelly Bean, Alcatel's One Touch Scribe Easy has a cool magnetic cover and a stylus you can use to transcribe handwriting into text in several custom apps. The size is a little awkward, and the specs won't surprise you, but it won't take a big bite out of your wallet, either.
Part of LG's new midrange F series, the Optimus F5 has a 4.3-inch display, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 8GB of onboard storage, and Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.
The higher-end Optimus F7, which rocks a 4.7-inch IPS display, features a wide and slim physical home button, bracketed by the standard capacitive back and menu buttons. It runs on a midlevel 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2,540mAh battery.
With a with premium hardware, a 4.3-inch display, and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, the Geeksphone Peak is the best way so far to experience Mozilla's browser-based operating system. Other features include a proximity sensor and accelerometer, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front camera, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of flash memory, microSD and Micro-USB ports, and a GPS receiver.
By phone standards, the 5-inch One Touch Idol X is enormous, yet a few design tricks make it seem smaller than it really is. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the rear cover is coated in a colorful rubbery material, and you can choose between two versions of the phone. One has an 8-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot and the other is a dual-SIM model with a 13-megapixel camera and no memory-card slot.
More midrange than the Lumia 720, Nokia's Lumia 520 has a 5-megapixel camera that can record 720p HD video, and 8GB of storage. There's no flash, and Nokia bypassed wireless charging, presumably to help keep costs down.
It's not in a real phone quite yet, but the Tizen Association showed off its new mobile OS. Japan's NTT Docomo will be the first carrier to sell a Tizen smartphone and Samsung will be the first company to make such a device this summer.
So, why the strange name? Well, it's because Samsung's Galaxy Xcover is really a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini in a rugged shell. It's IP67-certified, which means it's dust-proof and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It'll survive a dunking in your drink or the bathroom, and it'll survive you washing it afterward. Inside it has a chunky dual-core 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The display is a 4-inch touch screen with 800x480 pixels.
Another new phone running the Firefox OS, the ZTE Open is faster than Alcatel's handset, but at this stage it's not powerful enough to rival most smartphones. The screen has a mere 480x320-pixel resolution, for example, and the camera is a 3.2-megapixel job.
Encased in a thick rubber skin, the rough 'n' tumble Cat B15 can operate in temperatures from -20 to 55 degrees Celsius (-4 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit) and can withstand up to 6-foot drops (1.8 meters). Features include Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 4-inch touch screen with Gorilla Glass, a 1GHz dual-core MediaTek processor, and a 5-megapixel camera.
The Alcatel One Touch Snap sports a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, a large 4.5-inch screen, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of internal memory. All this drives the phone's Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software along at a, well, snappy clip.
The NEC Medias W N-05E isn't the first handset we've seen with two screens. You can fold out the twin 4.3-inch qHD displays to make it a 5.6-inch tablet of sorts, but the whole thing just seems awkward.
With a design that sort of resembles the Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy Grand has a 5-inch LCD display with rounded corners and a wide home button. Features include Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2, 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, and Bluetooth, and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
Though positioned as an entry-level phone, the One Touch Star has a bright and vibrant 4-inch AMOLED display. It runs Jelly Bean, has some great editing apps for its 5-megapixel camera, and you can get it in a variety of colors.
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.
LG also introduced more devices for its previously established L series. Though all of the handsets run on Android Jelly Bean, they offer varying designs and features. The L7 II (left) is the most high-end of the bunch. It has a 4.2-inch display with an 8-megapixel camera, and a 1GHz dual-core processor. The L5 II (middle) brings a 4-inch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1GHz single-core processor; and the L3 II (right) sports a 3.2-inch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1GHz processor.
Another phone running the Firefox OS, the Geeksphone Keon will be priced between $100 and $150 when it goes on sale in the next few weeks worldwide (it will be the first Firefox OS phone available to buy). Like the Fire, it has a 3.5-inch screen and it's wrapped in a bright "Firefox orange" casing.
Nokia takes us back to classic Nokia designs with the candy bar 301. The 2.4-inch QVGA display, which isn't a touch screen, has a 320x240-pixel resolution. There's a 3.2-megapixel camera (no flash), which includes panorama mode, and burst mode with up to five shots in a sequence. You'll only find 256MB of internal storage, but you can save media on up to 32GB of external storage.
Though it carriers the Galaxy name, Samsung Galaxy Fame won't count as a premium device. Indeed, with its low-resolution 480x320-pixel screen, 1GHz processor, and 5-megapixel camera, it won't take a big bite out of your wallet.
Intentionally created for the entry-level cell phone markets in China, Indonesia, India, and Nigeria, the Nokia 105 focuses on calls, long battery life, and only a few little extras. It has a tiny 1.5-inch display and no camera, but you do get a flashlight, an FM radio, alarms, and a reminder app.
Launching in Europe, the senior-friendly Doro PhoneEasy 622 has a flip design that's smaller than what we've seen from the company before, but it still has big controls and a user-friendly interface. Also, it's the first Doro to feature video recording.
Fujitsu's Stylistic S01 also 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.
About as basic as they come, the Samsung Galaxy Young is a single-core phone with a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, a low-resolution 480x320-pixel display, and a 3-megapixel shooter. So you can see why they call it "young."