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Mobile World Congress 2012 (27th Feb)

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones' started by David 8, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    A few new handsets have already been revealed in the run up to MWC on the 27th Feb.

    3 new Android phones from LG:
    LG Unveils L-Style Line-Up: Optimus L3, Optimus L5, Optimus L7

    Panasonic will be making a return:
    Panasonic Eluga pictures and hands-on - Pocket-lint

    We already saw the Sony Xperia S at CES but a smaller Xperia U is also expected at MWC:
    Sony Xperia U pictures leak ahead of MWC 2012 unveiling | T3

    So lot's of black slabby Android phones to look forward to, hopefully they'll also be a few Windows phones announced.
  2. kBm

    kBm Active Member

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    Well, we already know they will be no Samsung Galaxy S3.....

    So, I'm looking forward to see if any quad core phones are annouced. HTC, LG, and Huawei (touted as the 'new' HTC) are rumoured to be releasing quad core handsets.
  3. Tetlee

    Tetlee Well-Known Member

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    Is it only me that finds new smartphones to be less and less interesting these days?

    The phones themselves just pretty much all look the same, with a black and a white varient, and of course they're either an iphone with iOS, or an Android or WP7 phone.

    Just feels a bit like it's stagnating. The things I'd really like to see improved such as battery life, antenna strength, original designs and official accessories such as Docks etc.(Moto tend to be the most plugged in here) never seem to take priority, instead it's all about slightly faster cores and processors and even slimmer bodys(is there not such a thing as too slim?).

    The new Sony Xperia S looks fairly interesting, but just seeing the newly revealed U version kind of confirms my suspitions that I'll probably get fed up with the reuse of design, with minor tweaks and refinements making my handset feel old. The antenna design of that at least sounds promising though, still waiting to find out if it actually makes any difference.

    Think the last phone I got excited about was the Nokia N9(especially before the Lumia came along sharing the design), the original styling paired with a unique operating system took me back to the excitements I used to get over announcements of new phones.

    Anyway, will wait and see what gets revealed I suppose, maybe there'll be a couple of interesting handsets thrown in there.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  4. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more, with all your points.

    Designs have gotten predictable. Very few manufacturers give any real thought to design these days.

    Hardware specifications have gotten lazy. Rather than focus on what people need, the focus is on big numbers. Make the screen huge without considering resolution, make the camera resolution massive without considering the optic's quality, make the processor clock speed huge and then double the quantity, heck, quadruple it. That's what people want.... Sorry what? People don't want to be forced to their plug socket every single day? People want to make phone calls? Oh damn.

    What really bores me though, is there is so little difference from one device to the next. Why does a manufacturer need a dozen variations of the same hardware, the same software and the same design ethics? At least back in the day manufactures would go to the effort of crippling part of their device and promoting the other, so there was some differentiation! (see the 'featurephone' thread for more on that...). These days, a range of smartphones all do the same thing.

    Give me battery life. Give me an excellent signal all the time (don't just make the signal icon fatter!). Give me a resolution that matches the screen size sensibly. Give me a phone that's practical to grasp, not a top-heavy wafer. Give me a quality camera lens with a proper zoom (my Sharp 902 had it!), not a massive resolution on a tiny sensor.

    But most of all, give me something new that people haven't done before. If you can't, just make one cheap phone, one expensive one and leave it as that.

    Meh. Balls!
  5. Steven

    Steven Senior Moderator

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    Depends how you view it. From up close the current domination of touch screen slabs with seemingly only slight revisions every 6-12 months might seem drab but it is understandable when you consider there is such a hot focus on software (apps), internet connectivity and multimedia.

    Also I think hardware design is limited by components and cost ratio. There just is not that thinner and smaller mass marketable longer lasting battery yet

    20 years time when we are all walking around with phones within rectangular cut out glass this will seem trivial :D
  6. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Yes it's all about software and the software is dictating the hardware, the 3 big OS's need a decent sized screen to be practical to use and the only way to have a big screen and keep the handset at a reasonable size is to lose the keyboard, then what are you left with? A slab of glass with a power button and volume rocker on the side.. it's really dull but that's just the way it is now.

    A proper camera phone would be cool. And when I say proper I mean one that is designed first and foremost to be a point and shoot camera with an optical zoom, decent flash etc. I think there would be a market for that. I'd also like to see longer lasting batteries, I think that's something everyone would agree on. If I forget to take my charger somewhere for the weekend then it's game over and I start getting the shakes :D
  7. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Some teaser pics of a new phone from Huawei, rumoured to be quad core. Does looks very similar to HTC with the red detailing.

    Huawei Ascend D1 Q shows off its corners, packs the same number of processors? - Engadget
  8. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree that they need a big screen, but big screens are the current fashion trend. I think the optimum is 4" for a do-everything smartphone, anything bigger is verging on tablet territory, but I wouldn't say it's essential to a good experience so long as the interface is designed correctly. At the moment we have one interface per-OS that is crammed or stretched onto all screen sizes.

    This is where hardware differentiation could work wonders. The belief that these OS' need a big screen comes from only ever knowing them on these screens. The interface and the OS itself can be separated. Windows Phone's Tile view could easily work on a bog-standard candy bar, by shrinking the tiles to fit. Paired to a normal D-Pad with a standard T9-style keyboard and you have a normal mobile running Windows Phone. So long as developers are willing to get involved and make applications for this form factor, or that can fit either form factor, it would work. Twitter work would well on a small screen, being based on small text comments. News, music, weather, email, photography, messaging, they'd all work. Most of us would consider that limited and therefore pointless, because we consider our needs to be normal. Normal mobiles still sell well. For somebody who only needs this functionality, but wants the battery life of yester-year, it's ideal.

    Imagine the Nokia 6700 with WP (in this scaled down form) and a better camera :)

    The trouble is we all tend to fall into the trap of thinking the only possibility is what we already know. That's the difference between us and those innovative types we all look up to :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  9. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    I can't imagine the current Windows phone OS working well on such a small screen, you wouldn't be able to see the live tiles for one thing, MS would have to design a small screen version and then you'd get fragmentation with apps etc which is exactly want they want to avoid, MS have locked the hardware for a reason.

    Having said that I think it would be cool to have a small screen Windows phone. The Xperia Mini Pro is probably my fave handset from last year, awesome little device. But how many people have you seen using it? Nobody wants a small screen smart phone, people want to surf the internet and play games, they want their smartphone to be as smart as possible.

    In terms of hardware, an idea I had recently was to incorporate the keyboard flap from the old Sony Ericsson P-series phones such as the P910, this would allow for a large screen whilst also making (IMO) a potentially cool looking handset.
  10. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    That's a problem with your imagination :)

    The interface can be changed as much as Microsoft would want, Live tiles could still work (the animated graphics on S40 show what's possible on a small screen) and developers would indeed need to change the graphics within their applications, but the underlying tech would be the same as the OS is the same.

    It's just an example for illustration of a point, I can't really see it happening. I'd love it if it did, as a tiny WP mobile and a WP tablet would be a nice combo :)
  11. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Alright I can imagine it but I just don't see it happening.
  12. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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  13. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    Utterly pointless processing power for 'just' a smartphone. Allow it to run a desktop OS (ala Atrix) and we're talking.
  14. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Given the choice though... you'd go for the quad, right?

    I guess the main the advantages will be in gaming.

    Funny thing is that many people will be ditching their dual core phones which they've had for under year and which have barely been given a workout and upgrading to a quad. The mobile tech industry seems to be fairly recession proof at the moment, I'm losing track of how many new phones are expected at MWC.
  15. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    I would necessarily, no... but then I, like most people on this forum, aren't your average consumer :)
  16. Tetlee

    Tetlee Well-Known Member

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    Well this now has me interested....

    Get ready to capture a pure view - YouTube

    The successor to the N8 almost certainly, wonder what operating system it will be on? If it's WP7 I'll probably lose interest, would love to see it running MeeGo(highly unlikely), or even Symbian which I still actually like.

    Was about to reorder an N9, but think I'll wait until next Monday now to see what Nokia reveal.
  17. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    I think it's worth the wait... but you may well be disappointed if you're not a fan of WP. Not long to wait and find out though ;)
  18. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Definately worth waiting. A WP7 nokia handset with a big fat camera sensor and xenon flash would be nice. I think Meego is a distant memory for Nokia now.

    I wonder if we'll see any flexible screen phones? Nokia and Samsung have demoed concepts in the past so it would be awesome if there were some actual production models coming out. Not sure I'd want one myself though...
  19. Tetlee

    Tetlee Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I think Nokia criminally have decided to leave MeeGo, just when they found greatness(it's like the progression of the also abandoned WebOS), such a waste as it's the nicest operating system I think I've used so far.

    I wouldn't be suprised if the N8 successor is running on Symbian though rather than WP7, I just think the interface can be more suited to what is a camera focused phone. Nokia did say they still have a few Symbian phones to be released(obiously we've seen a couple recently) and wouldn't be one bit surprised if they'd like to make the last one a real treat for the fans, and surely the most popular Symbian phone in recent years has been the N8 so it would truly fit.

    Anyway, like you mention we'll find out soon enough. I'm happy either way as if it doesn't really grab me then I'll know I'm making the right choice going for another N9(nothing else interests me at the moment).
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  20. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Sony have just had their press event, Xperia U and P announced. The 4" screen Xperia P has an aluminium unibody construction and looks very nice indeed, check out this promo vid:




    Huawei and LG have also been showing off their quad core monsters
  21. Tetlee

    Tetlee Well-Known Member

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    The Xperia P looks like a nice phone, prefer it to the Xperia S to be honest. Personally would rather sarifice some of the specs to gain the aluminuim body and lose those horrible microUBS/HDMI caps etc. that the S has. Also as someone that likes official docks that's another trump card over the S, and the phone size is preferable too.

    Could be in the mix with my choices over the N9 and N808 for my next phone, although one of those two more likely.
  22. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    Same here. I'm really into the little details that make the handset feel like a well crafted and desirable object. It looks best in silver I reckon. The Xperia U has flashy lights though...

    HTC is just announcing their line up.
  23. SHATNERSTACTIC

    SHATNERSTACTIC Active Member

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    I wish HTC would do something with that god awful sense skin, really detracts from the first impressions of their new handsets....

    HTC One X announced at MWC 2012 -- Engadget

    As for Sony announcing NEW handsets on Gingerbread... :facepalm:
  24. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    for ICS they seem to have got rid of the ugly grey bar along the bottom of the home screen

  25. SHATNERSTACTIC

    SHATNERSTACTIC Active Member

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    Just really sick of that clock and weather widget. Somehow feels dated. The hardware looks decent for what it is.
  26. Piscauk

    Piscauk Active Member

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    The HTC One S (dual core mid range) looks about as nice a phone as I have seen about. Lovely thing. For the company's sake, I hope this is the core of their range for this year, without the farcical dilution of the brand with 78 **** poor variations on themes or anything approaching the Rhyme design.
  27. David 8

    David 8 Active Member

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    I'm impressed with HTCs line up, all 3 phones look very nice. The One X with that white polycarbonate unibody is a bit tasty. Me want.
  28. RobM

    RobM Well-Known Member

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    I know I'm a grumpy sod sometimes, but am I the only one bored to tears with the offerings so far? A repetitive series of black and grey, 4"ish screened Android devices all claiming to be that little bit faster than the last, all claiming amazing cameras, all claiming something new when, in fact, they look 90% the same as every other device that manufacturer has released.

    Give me something new, please.

    Bah humbug.
  29. Bonesy

    Bonesy Member

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    ? The phone market is as exciting now as it has been since '92.

    Lots of suppliers/brands
    Equal advances on software as well as hardware
    Three leaders (apple, Google, Nokia/Ms) all with very different motivations and conspiracy theories
    Mobile operators who have been completely out-maneuvered
    A plethora of form factors

    Things to remember
    They are trying to improve battery life, but some areas of science are a bit tricky. Most people want the rich functionality at the cost of plugging in.
    Screen manufacturers build their production plants to make certain sizes, so they get volume and therefore lower cost. Making every size would make them too expensive for us.
  30. Bonesy

    Bonesy Member

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    the phone industry has done more to progress the photo industry than the camera manufacturers have done in 30 years.

    Finally, once the leaders emerge in this space, then you'll get lots of variants.
    Nokia drew the analogy of the car industry - same base components, but with multiple 'variants' built. If you drive an Audi, VW,soda, seat you'll understand this.

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