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Congress A wave of advanced smartphones For 2013, the city of Barcelona – last year


dubbed the Mobile World Capital by the GSMA – will again host the Mobile World Congress, but the show will migrate to Barce- lona’s other main fairground. T is, the GSMA says, will provide some 50 per cent more space to accommodate further growth. Dates are February 25-28, 2013.


Extreme phones on display at the Mobile World Congress included this quad-core handset, as yet unnamed, by Fujitsu. Based on a Tegra 3 processor, accompanied by fast HD graphics and a 13·1 megapixel camera, it is dustproof and waterproof. On the back, seen here, is a fi ngerprint reader which can be used in the enterprise for authentication, or just for Internet banking


I


nevitably, smartphones were a major phenomenon at the 2012 Mobile World Congress. According to a tally by Strategy Analytics, 42 new models were announced, including 13 from


ZTE and fi ve each from Samsung and LG. (Apple does not participate in the event.) Among the most innovative were the Samsung Galaxy Beam, which can project a 50-inch


display of video, games or your PowerPoint presentation; the Optimus 3D Max smartphone from LG, which showed a signifi cant improvement in brightness and 3D display quality over its 2011 predecessor; the compact Ascend D quad from Huawei Device, claimed to be the world’s fastest phone, thanks to a proprietary quad-core 32-bit 1·2/1·5GHz processor; and the remarkable Nokia 808 PureView, whose 41 megapixel image sensor, Carl Zeiss optics and special Nokia Pure- View algorithms demonstrated truly exceptional image quality. With image resolution to spare, this phone allows pictures to be zoomed and cropped without unacceptable loss of sharpness. Though the 808 PureView runs a Symbian operating system – the latest version, known


as Symbian Belle – it has set expectations for future smartphones from the Finnish company, which has decided to standardize on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Strategy Analytics’ smartphone haul also included two new Windows Phone models, but all the rest were based on Google’s Android software.


Left: Nokia’s 808 PureView phone, whose camera captures still images of up to 38 megapixels, or full HD 1080p video. As with many other new smartphone models, attention has been paid to the sound side too: there’s Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1 channel surround sound playback and Dolby Headphone technology for personal surround sound, and it can record in near- CD quality


Left: Huawei’s Ascend D quad, described by the manufacturer as an entertainment dynamo. A 330-pixel-per- inch display supports 720p video playback, complemented by Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and Audience earSmart voice technology. Despite the computing punch of the phone’s quad-core processor, the standard 1800mAh battery is claimed to last 1–2 days in normal usage (photo: Huawei Device)


26


A wave of waterproofi ng At last year’s congress, a British start-up com- pany called P2i introduced a nano-coating technology developed for waterproofi ng personal electronic devices such as mobile phones. P2i was back again this year with a more centrally-placed exhibition stand – but a number of other exhibitors off ering similar protective processes for phones and tablets had made the journey to Barcelona too.


“You see it fi lling up with water?”, asks Rick Peterson, of HzO. “The point is that it is still working, and it’s literally fi lling up”


“T ere’s some great companies here and we


don’t focus on any of that ourselves”, was the diplomatic comment of Rick Peterson, of one of them, HzO. Instead, he indicated a bowl of water before him with a couple of live mobile phones submerged in it. “Let me just point out a couple of things”, he went on. “You can see that clock is ticking – that one’s been in there for 52 minutes, and this one has been in with the back off . I don’t think you’ve seen that anywhere else. T at’s the diff erence. “We’ve not only created the unique coating


but we’ve created a unique process that ena- bles it to treat just the internal components. You can’t feel it; in fact, we mask it so that the external part is not coated. It doesn’t matter if water gets inside – in fact, if you look at the screen, you can see thing is full of water. It just doesn’t matter any more. You don’t have to worry about keeping water out.” T ough the company does not claim that


LAND mobile March 2012


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