Entertainment, Hardware, Software Programs

Mobile World Congress 2013 ? Weekend and Day One Roundup

As MWC 2013 kicks off, we figured that we’d gather up all of the news of the past few days including the first day of MWC into one neat concise article.

Qualcomm RF360 ?
Qualcomm has developed a global LTE front end solution to enable dozens of LTE and 3G radios using one hardware solution. This solution will be first found on their high-end platforms and will eventually trickle down to lesser chip sets. Products with this front-end solution are expected to ship in devices in the second half of 2013. This has the potential of finally creating a truly global phone that could operate on dozens of different 3G and 4G networks across the world. Something that many would consider the holy grail of radios.

HP 7? Android Tablet
HP is finally on the Android tablet market with a 7? slate tablet for $169.99 with a 1.6GHz dual core, 1GB of RAM, dual cameras, 8GB of storage and SD card and a 1024×600 resolution. Too little too late? We think so, but don’t count HP out completely, this may just be a dry run.

Lenovo Introduces Three New Android Tablets ?
With some very unimaginative names like the A1000, A3000 and S6000, these tablets will be two Android 7? tablets and one Slate tablet. The A1000 will be a dual core with 8GB of capacity with SD Card, while the A3000 will be a MediaTek quad core with a resolution of 1024×600 and optional 3G. The S6000 will also make use of a MediaTek Quad Core (MTK 8389/8125) and have a resolution of 1280×800. Needless to say, these tablets are not necessarily aimed at the high end, but rather the inexpensive mainstream. Prices and dates are TBA.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
This is Samsung?s franken device which features an 8 inch screen and is essentially a larger version of the Note 2, but in an 8? formfactor. It can make calls and uses a stylus. What makes it interesting, though, is the addition of an IR blaster, which indicates that Samsung intends to target this device towards the livingroom. An IR blaster would enable this tablet to be used like a remote to control your TV. This will be powered by Samsung?s TV Discovery app included inside of the Galaxy Note 8.0. The Note 8.0 runs on Android 4.1.2 and on Samsung?s TouchWiz UI, so there aren?t any surprises there either. Prices and release dates are still somewhat unknown, but you can figure it?ll sit somewhere above the Note 2 in terms of price. However, because it has the ability to be activated on a carrier, subsidized versions are possible and this device could be sold for around the same price as an iPad Mini on contract.

Samsung Galaxy S4 – March 14th ?
Right as MWC got into full swing, Samsung decided to send out to a bunch of press invites to their New York City launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S4. This invite alluded to the fourth installation of something, clearly the Galaxy S4. Nothing beyond a date has been given yet, however, there?s quite a bit of speculation going around whether or not it will feature a Samsung SoC or not.

Intel Clovertrail + Launched (Video) ?
Intel shows off the Lenovo Phone running Clovertrail+ running game demos at 1080P. Intel is showing off devices with Clovertrail+ designed to show off Intel?s graphical capability with their new Atom mobile processors.

Tegra 4 Performance Shown ?
Over the weekend Nvidia showed off some performance numbers of the Tegra 4 chip which was announced at CES earlier this year. We weren?t necessarily impressed with the specs, but the performance seems to have proven us wrong. Now, we?re waiting to see if they?ve got any more design wins other than ZTE and what the power consumption might be.

LG buys WebOS from HP for Smart TVs ?
In a somewhat unexpected move, LG has bought the WebOS software division from HP in order to smartify their Smart TVs. WebOS has already changed hands twice now that it?s gone from Palm to HP and now to LG. Web OS is certainly a nice OS and just needs some serious software support and developer backing, it would without a doubt be interesting to see in TVs, unlike HP?s plans to put it on printers.

Nokia Announces Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 ?
Nokia announced two new Lumia phones with the Lumia 720 and 520. The 720 will be a 128g phone with a 6.7 Megapixel, f/1.9 aperature camera that does 720P HD video. It will have NFC, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 2000 mAh battery as well as wireless charging. It will feature a ClearBlack 4.3? LCD with an unimpressive 480×800 resolution. Admittedly, this isn?t a flagship phone of Nokia?s but we would?ve liked them to upgrade the display from the 710 we reviewed. The 520 is very similar in terms of specs but has less ram and features a 1GHz dual core Snapdragon processor as well. The camera is a 5MP instead of a 6.7MP and that?s about it. The 520 is a slightly-less-featured version of the 720P with still fairly similar specs.

Sony Launches Ultra Thin and Light Xperia Z Tablet ?
Sony has launched the Xperia Z tablet that has been talked and teased for quite some time. Now, the tablet is being held by users and now sports the title of thinnest 10.1? tablet ever. This tablet will sport a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, with a 1920×1200 resolution display. It will also feature an 8MP and 2MP camera set for back and front cameras which both should do 1080P video. It will also have an IR blaster which should allow you to use your tablet as a remote for your Sony (possibly non-Sony) TV. The device itself will be 6.9 mm thin and is also water resistant as well. It will sell for $499 for the 16GB variant and $599 for 32GB. They are expected to ship this spring with an update to Android 4.2 from 4.1 around the availability of the device.

ASUS Launches 5? PadFone Infinity and 7? Fonepad ?
ASUS launched two devices, the Padfone and Fonepad (not to be confused with eachother). The Padfone Infinity is an update to the Padfone 2, which now features a 1080P display on the 5? smartphone and a 1920×1200 display on the dockable tablet. The Padphone Infinity will be powered by a Snapdragon 600 quad core processor and will have 2GB of RAM and a 13MP camera, 2MP front, as well as up to 64GB of internal storage. It will ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and sport a 2400 mAh battery. The tablet it docks into will have a 5000 mAh supplementary battery, which brings the tablet?s overall capacity to 7400 m
Ah while docked.

The Fonepad, however, is a 7? tablet with a 1280×800 resolution and at first glance looks like an expensive Nexus 7. However, it runs an Intel Atom dual core Z2420 processor (found in Intel?s Lexington platform). It features 1GB of RAM and a 4270 mAh battery. It has a dual camera 3MP rear and 1.2MP front camera setup and unspecified 3G connectivity. The Padfone is expectedly ASUS? best offering and looks impressive, and will likely have an impressive price tag. The Fonepad, looks to be pretty underwhelming and will likely be a $249 priced tablet which I don?t really see being very successful with all of these other 7? and 8? tablets flooding the market, including ASUS? own Nexus 7. Plus, do we really need anything bigger than 5.5" phones? That’s already huge.