Manufacturers continue to wow with Android devices at MWC

by Marty Gabel

Appolicious Advisor, Kristen Nicole, already wrote a couple of great pieces examining some of the new Android devices announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. High-powered smartphones and tablets from major players like Samsung, Sony and HTC are all on the way soon. It’s such a bumper crop this year, we thought it was worth taking an extra look at some other Android goodies (and one Symbian offering) emerging from other manufacturers as well.

Huawei Ascend D

In the past, Huawei has been better known for its budget and lower-end Android smartphones. Not so anymore. The Chinese manufacturer really upped the ante at MWC with its new Ascend D smartphone. This high-end device sports a 4.5-inch 720p display and runs Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box. Even better, it rocks a new quad-core 1.5GHz processor created by Huawei itself and its design is straightforward and understated. We’re not sure when the Ascend D will be released in the U.S. but April is a possibility. Unfortunately, there is no news on which carriers will offer this handsome, powerful device.

Asus Padfone

Now this is an intriguing one. We are already beginning to see the line between large smartphones and smaller tablets grow ever closer, with the admittedly horribly-named ‘phablet’ phenomenon. But what about a device that doesn’t compromise between a too-large smartphone or a too-small tablet? Enter the Asus Padfone. Here’s a smartphone with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD display running Ice Cream Sandwich and rocking a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor. But the handset slides into the back of a 10.1-inch Asus tablet almost like a dock and that, in turn, powers the tablet. There’s even the option to add a third component – a keyboard dock – to create a laptop-like device. Whether the Asus Padfone will catch on is anyone guess, but it’s certainly innovative.

Nokia Pureview 808

Though this is not an Android device, it’s been getting a lot of publicity over the past few days, so we think it’s worth mentioning here. The technology it contains could revolutionize smartphone cameras. The Nokia Pureview 808 is a Symbian-running smartphone with a 4-inch AMOLED display with a 640x340 pixel resolution and a single-core 1.3GHz processor – not the most impressive spec set, that’s for sure. But what sets this device apart is its 41-megapixel camera. Yep, you read that number correctly. Now, most camera buffs appreciate that just because a camera has a giant megapixel number, it doesn’t mean it offers the best quality images. Things like sensor size and lens quality are far more important. But as a smartphone camera device, the high-megapixel count could make a difference. The images created will be cropped drastically to a manageable size, but there won’t be a loss in quality (like with other smartphone cameras) up to 3x zoom range. Nokia posted some images from the camera and they’re pretty impressive for a device slim enough to fit in your pocket. While the phone specs are not so interesting perhaps, the new camera technology included here could be a sign of things to come.