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February 2012 Roundup
1st March 2012
February is always a busy month in the mobile phone industry because of the annual Mobile World Congress show.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the month, the Nokia 808 PureView is a Symbian handset with an astounding 41 megapixel camera sensor on the back. Nokia expanded their Windows based range with both the affordable Nokia Lumia 610 and also a worldwide edition of the high-end Nokia Lumia 900. Two closely related "candy bar" phones with small touchscreens, the Nokia Asha 202 and 203 are both inexpensive and versatile. Nokia also showed off the inexpensive Nokia Asha 302 messaging phone that can work with corporate Microsoft Exchange mail.
The Samsung with the biggest "wow" factor this month is the Samsung Galaxy Beam with a built-in projector. Samsung also showed off the low cost Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 and the midrange Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 which adds some confusion to Samsung's overly large range.
In an effort to revive flagging fortunes in 2011, HTC revised their range but also caused confusion with their naming convention. The big screen quad-core HTC One X is certainly impressive, and we suspect expensive too. One step down is the HTC One S which is still a powerful smartphone that sits on the very top end of the midrange market. Further into the midrange market is the HTC One V which revives HTC's classic unibody design.
A step down from the Xperia S but still very powerful, the Sony Xperia P is an impressive handset with a relatively large screen. Looking almost identical but much less powerful is the Sony Xperia U - but can any one make sense of these model names?
LG launched a lot of handsets this month, but hard facts have been hard to come by. The LG Optimus Vu is an oversized smartphone.. or a small tablet. LG improved the handset with the technology nobody really wants with the new LG Optimus 3D Max. The powerful 4+1 core LG Optimus 4X HD looks impressive, but might stretch LG's ability to deliver.
The ASUS PadFone is a novel but flawed attempt to combine a tablet and smartphone. Probably the first Intel-powered Android phone to market, the Orange Santa Clara looks intriguing. The Huawei Ascend D quad is battling it out to be the world's fastest smartphone. Motorola don't "do" MWC, but they still announced the Motorola GLEAM+ clamshell phone for the low-cost market this month.
The quad-core Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD shows how competitive this Chinese company is becoming. Samsung refreshed their tablet range with the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and the larger 10.1" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1). Using technology from their Note smartphone, Samsung also announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 which comes with a stylus.
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