Powerful Smartphones Bound for Mobile World Congress

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With only a few more days until the Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona, Spain, rumors are flying about which new phones, apps, and operating systems will be making an appearance. Will we finally see a Zune phone? Will HTC release another powerful Android phone? And what about Samsung's new Bada OS?

Regardless of what rumors become reality, I predict we'll see a lot of powerhouse smartphones with some hefty specs--think Snapdragon processors, AMOLED displays, and high-megapixel cameras. Oh, and I hope you're not tired of Android yet: A barrage of Android phones will be at the show.

Although many of the phones announced at MWC won't arrive in the United States for many months (assuming they even make it to our shores), the show does set the tone for year to come in mobile and gives us a glimpse of the next generation of smartphone game-changers. What follows summarizes what's already known--and what I want to see.

Android Madness Continues

Last year's Mobile World Congress saw a lot of talk about Android, but only one handset announcement--the HTC Magic. Now that the platform has finally taken off, I expect quite a few Android phones will make an appearance at the show. Wireless market research company CCS Insight agrees: According the firm's pre-MWC report, more than 50 Android devices will be on the show floor from a variety of manufacturers. Even if that number is a bit high, a lot of interesting Android offerings should debut.

The Sony Ericsson X10 will run Android 1.6 OS at launch.
On the eve of MWC, Sony Ericsson is throwing a media event, which is sure to include some new product announcements. The long-awaited Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which was officially announced last November after months of leaks and rumors, should finally get a launch date. On Sony Ericsson's product blog, the company has already confirmed that the flashy handset will ship with Android 1.6 but will eventually be upgradable to a "newer Android version."

Motorola is also holding an event on the first night of the conference to show off some new devices. Android-centric blogs speculate that one of them will be the Motorola Zeppelin, which runs Android 2.1 with MotoBlur, Motorola's socially-connected user interface. Fuzzy photos of the Zeppelin have been caught in the wild, and the handset appears to have a large touchscreen (rumored to be 3.7-inches), no QWERTY keyboard, rounded corners, and front-facing and back-facing cameras for videoconferencing.

The HTC Legend--possibly.
HTC is likely to announce a whole pack of Android devices--at least according to a purported leak of a device roadmap. According to the roadmap, HTC is planning to release five Android devices in the first half of 2010. One of these rumored Android phones, the HTC Legend, is the successor to the Hero and will run Android 2.1 with HTC's SenseUI interface. Another, the HTC Bravo, boasts 720p video capture, a 5-megapixel camera, Dolby sound, and DivX video support.

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