MWC 2013: news and reviews from the world’s biggest mobile show
MWC 2013 has kicked off in Barcelona with big news from Mozilla, Nokia, Samsung and more.
Mobile World Congress takes over Barcelona at the end of February, moving to a new larger location this year as smartphones and tablets continue to dominate the tech industry.
Here, we round up the top news at the show – with announcements and first-look reviews from MWC 2013 coming throughout the week.
PC Pro’s Greatest Hits of MWC 2013
28 February 2013 – We’ve picked the top handsets and tech on show at Mobile World Congress this week, including the best Android and Windows smartphones and tablets. Click here to read our picks for the award-winners of MWC 2013.
Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra review: first look
28 February 2013 – Alcatel’s oddly named One Touch Idol Ultra review was actually announced just before MWC, but had it’s first outing for reviewers to get their hands on it at the Barcelona show. Despite being a mid-range handset, the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra is the slimmest handset we’ve seen. It features a 4.7in, 1,280 x 720 AMOLED screen, dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM – find out the full details in our first-look review of the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra.
HP Slate 7 review: first look
27 February 2013 – HP has unveiled it’s Android tablet, the HP Slate 7. The tablet targets the low end of the market at $169 – it is expected in the UK later this year, but pricing hasn’t yet been revealed. Read our first-look review of the HP Slate 7 for more details on the tablet’s specs, which include a 1,024 x 600, 7in display, front and rear cameras, and dual-core 1.6GHz Cortex A9 processor alongside 1GB of RAM.
ZTE Grand Memo review: first look
27 February 2013 – ZTE is looking to rival Samsung’s Galaxy Note II with its own Grand Memo, a 5.7in phone, or as some have taken to calling them, “phablet”. It features a 1,280 x 720 resolution display, and is powered by Qualcomm’s fastest chip, the 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800. Find out more about its specs with our first-look review of the ZTE Grand Memo.
Asus PadFone Infinity review: first look
26 February 2013 – Asus announced two new PadFones, and we’ve taken a look at the higher-end Infinity, as it’s going to have to work hard to justify the £799 price. The PadFone Infinity is a 5in smartphone that docks into a 10in tablet. It’s a good-looking, impressive device, but can it convince in the price? Find out more in our PadFone Infinity first-look review.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review: first look
26 February 2013 – We’ve got our hands on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, its latest “phablet” – an 8in tablet that can also make calls. The Note 8 has a 1,280 x 800 resolution screen, 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a massive battery.
Take a look at our first-look review of the Galaxy Note 8 to find out whether taking calls on an 8in device makes sense.
EE CEO: 4G doesn’t need unlimited plans
26 February 2013 – CEO Olaf Swantee has claimed the average data use on EE’s 4G network is 1.4GB a month, claiming that means his firm doesn’t need to offer an unlimited plan – although it suggests users are merely carefully staying inside their data caps. He also said 25% of traffic on the network was video, and said the average speed was 16Mbits/sec.
Asus unveils PadFone, Fonepad tablets
25 February 2013 – Asus has revealed the latest versions of its PadFone tablets, which use an Android smartphone to power a tablet. The PadFone 2 will arrive in the UK in March for £599, while the higher-spec PadFone Infinity will be £799.
Asus also unveiled the Fonepad, a budget 7in tablet that allows users to make calls. Find out more with our first-look review of the Asus Fonepad.
LG to buy webOS for smart TVs?
25 February 2013 – One of the more intriguing rumours to come out of MWC today suggests LG is to buy webOS from HP in order to use the platform on smart TVs. Neither firm has confirmed the report, but speculation suggests LG is planning to announce the move at the Barcelona show.
HP Slate7 Android tablet announced
25 February 2013 – HP has unveiled its much-rumoured Android tablet, the Slate7. No UK pricing has yet to be revealed, but it’s expected to cost $169 when it arrives in April.
The Slate7 features a dual-core Cortex-A9 1.6GHz processor and runs Android 4.1.
Nokia unveils budget-priced Lumia 520, 720 smartphones
25 February 2013 – Nokia has kicked off Mobile World Congress by unveiling a pair of low-cost Windows Phone devices. The Lumia 520 costs only £120, and comes with a 1GHz processor, 8GB of storage and a microSD slot, and a 4in 800 x 480 display. It will be available in the UK in the second quarter.
The Lumia 720 features a 4.3in display, dual-core 1GHz CPU, and 8GB of storage plus a microSD slot. It will also arrive in the second quarter, and cost about £218. Find out more in our our first-look reviews of the Nokia Lumia 720 and the Nokia Lumia 520.
Huawei claims Ascend P2 is “world’s fastest smartphone”
24 February 2013 – Huawei has unveiled the Ascend P2, claiming it’s “the world’s fastest smartphone”.
That claim is for its “CAT4” LTE, which allows the Ascend P2 to support download speeds of up to 150Mbits/sec. The Android 4.1 smartphone features a 4.7in, 1,280 x 720p resolution display, and runs a 1.5GHz, quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. It’s 8.4mm at its thinnest and weighs only 122g. The Ascend P2 also features a 13-megapixel camera, and can shoot Full HD, 1080p video.
The Huawei Ascend P2 is expected to arrive in Europe in the second quarter, for €399 (around £345).
Mozilla unveils first Firefox OS handsets
24 February 2013 – Mozilla has shown off the first phones running its Firefox OS, with handsets made by ZTE, Huawei, LG and Alcatel. The low-cost handsets – such as the ZTE Open, which will cost less than £70 – are targeted at emerging markets. They’ll arrive in Poland, Hungary, Columbia, Mexico and Brazil in the second quarter, but won’t arrive in the UK until 2014.
Find out more with our first-look review of the ZTE Open running Firefox OS.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 unveiled
24 February 2013 – Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 8, an Android tablet that can make and receive phone calls. Samsung has not yet announced pricing or a specific release date.
The Galaxy Note 8 comes with Samsung’s stylus, features a 1,280 x 800 TFT display, and runs a 1.6GHz chip, alongside either 16GB or 32GB of storage. That can be expanded via the microSD slot.
Greatest hits of MWC 2013
24 February 2013 – PC Pro is picking the nine best products on show at MWC, and you can help. Head over to our Greatest Hits of MWC 2013 blog post to let us know which devices you think are the best tablets and smartphones on Android and Windows Phone, and hardware is the best in show.
LG unveils Optimus F5 and Optimus F7 ahead of MWC
21 February 2013 – LG has unveiled a pair of 4G handsets ahead of MWC, the Optimus F5 and the Optimus F7. The Optimus F5 is a 4.3in handset with 1.2GHz dual-core processor and “largest in class” battery, while the 4.7in Optimus F7 runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. Both come with the latest version of Android and LG’s “QSlide”, an interface to enable the use of two apps at the same time.
Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile, said: “With adoption of LTE expected to explode in 2013, we are sending a clear message to consumers with the Optimus F Series that LTE isn’t only for heavy-content users and techies anymore. It’s for everyone.”
The Optimus F5 will be released in Europe in Q2, followed by the Optimus F7 in “selected markets”. Pricing is yet to be revealed.
Ubuntu tablet and smartphone interfaces on show at MWC
19 February 2013 – Canonical is set to release previews of its smartphone and tablet OS, allowing developers to download the interfaces to a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 tablet, or a Nexus smartphone, in order to start creating apps. The new OSes, part of Canonical’s wider efforts to make a single platform across mobile and PC, will be on show at Mobile World Congress, and the development firm will be on hand to flip Nexus devices to Ubuntu to enable visitors to try it out.