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Mobile World Congress: HTC, LG and Samsung showcase smartphones, tablets

We walk you through some of the tablets and smartphones unveiled so far at Mobile World Congress 2011

  • Phone and tablet vendors have used [[artnid:376510|Mobile World Congress]] in Barcelona, Spain, to unveil a range of their 2011 offerings. We've taken a look at some of the handsets and iPad-wannabes that have been on show at MWC so far (The conference doesn't finish until February 17).

  • HTC has had [[artnid:376775|five phones and a tablet]] (the HTC Flyer) on display at MWC. As we have come to expect from the company, the handsets seem to have somewhat eclectic names, including the ChaCha, the Salsa, the Wildfire S, the Desire S and the Incredible S.

  • The HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha have dedicated Facebook buttons, which will have context-dependent functionality. The HTC Salsa (left) has a 3.4in capacitive touchscreen and runs version 2.3 of Google's Android operating system. The HTC ChaCha is equipped with a QWERTY keyboard and a 2.6in display.

  • The [[artnid:376824|HTC Desire S]] is the successor to the well-received original Desire Android phone. Its body is made out of a single block of aluminium and the amount of RAM has received a slight bump compared to the original Desire. The handset has a 3.7in touchscreen, and it will be sold initially through Telstra in Australia.

  • Like the Desire S, the [[artnid:376828|HTC Wildfire S]] is an updated version of an earlier HTC Android-based handset. It's a budget smartphone with a 3.2in display. While the original HTC Wildfire had the same size screen - at a resolution of 240x320 pixels - the Wildfire S bumps it up a notch to 320x480 pixels.

  • The HTC Incredible S is an update of the original Incredible. It has a 4in SLCD screen and an 8-megapixel camera.

  • The [[artnid:376858|HTC Flyer]] is a 7in Android tablet with 32GB of storage and 3G connectivity. It won't run Honeycomb - the 3.0 version of Google Android designed primarily for tablet devices. Instead it will run Gingerbread (Android 2.3), though a typo in some HTC press releases mistakenly claimed it would run the later, yet-to-be-released 2.4 version of the operating system.
    However, HTC will install a version of its Sense UI interface. The tablet has a 1.5GHz processor and, interestingly, will include a stylus. Using an included HTC app you will be able to write notes and record audio at the same time.

  • LG has been showing off one of the more interesting handsets at MWC: [[artnid: 376615|The LG Optimus 3D]]. It's an Android-based handset with a 4.3in three-dimensional display, a dual-core CPU and a camera capable of shooting 3D video. LG has partnered with [[artnid: 376545|YouTube]], allowing users of the LG Optimus 3D smartphone to upload 3D footage to the video streaming site.

  • Unlike watching 3D movies at the cinema or watching films on a 3D TV, both of which generally require purpose-made glasses, the LG Optimus 3D offers glasses-free 3D viewing. However, PC World (US) reviewer, Ginny Mies, was unimpressed with the quality of the [[artnid:376615|LG Optimus 3D's display]]: "The effect ... is disappointing. Images don't exactly leap out at you from the display and the quality is a bit grainy and odd looking".

  • Also on offer from LG is the Optimus Pad. It's equipped with an 8.9in touchscreen and will run Google Android 3.0. Like the LG Optimus 3D smartphone, the LG tablet will be capable of shooting 3D video.

  • The LG Optimus Pad is smaller than the 9.7in Apple iPad. We're still waiting for LG to use the Optimus sub-brand in a [[xref:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimus_Prime_%28Transformers%29|Transformers tie-in]].

  • Samsung took the wraps off a new flagship handset — the [[artnid: 376499|Galaxy S II]] — which comes equipped with a mammoth [[artnid: 376496|4.3in Super AMOLED touchscreen]] and runs Android 2.3.

  • The new Android phone, which has a dual-core 1GHz processor, offers a number of [[artnid:376504|enterprise-friendly collaboration and security features]]. According to Samsung, it's the "world's thinnest smartphone".

  • Samsung is also releasing a new Android-based tablet: The [[artnid:376481|Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1]]. It will run Android 3.0 (aka 'Honeycomb'), and will launch on Vodafone in Australia.

  • As it's name indicates, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a 10.1in touchscreen display.

  • Sony Ericsson has unveiled the [[artnid:376488|Xperia Play]]: A gaming-focussed Android smartphone. Although it doesn't have [[artnid: 376486|PlayStation branding]], it does bear the console's iconic cross, square, triangle and circle buttons, as well as other game-friendly controls, including dual touchpads and shoulder buttons. It will ship with a range of games developed for the original PlayStation.

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