Mobile World Congress 2012: First Wave of Smartphones

The coolest phones we've seen from the world's largest mobile show so far include quad-core chips, larger screens, and even one with a projector built in.

The Spring Crop

Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona has not even officially started, and Sony, LG, HTC, and Samsung are already announcing their upcoming wares. The focus so far is on simplicity, as manufacturers seem to cut down on the number of models and work on improving a smaller family of phones. Here are the noteworthy announcements so far, just don’t hold your breath for pricing and availability yet.

HTC Is Back In Form

HTC unveiled the One family of smartphones: (L-R) the One S, One X and One V. The phones have eye-catching designs, good cameras, and come with HTC’s Sense UI running on top of Android 4.0. The One S runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has a 4.3-inch screen, along with an 8-megapixel camera. The One S will be available from T-Mobile. The One V is a budget option with a 3.7-inch display, 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera.

Hands on with HTC One family

HTC's First Quad-Core Phone

The One X is HTC’s flagship device, running Android 4.0 on a speedy Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor. The One X features a 4.7-inch 1280-by-720-pixel display, with an 8-megapixel camera (plus one on the front), and will be compatible with AT&T's LTE network. HTC said that the One X will be available sometime within the next 60 days.

HTC One X hands on

In-House Quad-Core

Huawei’s Ascend D Quad smartphone uses an in-house developed processor to run Android 4.0 on a 4.5-inch high-resolution display. The 8-megapixel camera can record 1080p HD video, and Huawei seems set to offer its phones 20 to 50 percent cheaper than competing products.

How Huawei’s quad-core processor works

Sony Drops The Ericsson

Sony Ericsson recently rebranded itself under the Sony brand and its new line of phones is called Xperia NXT. The phones come with Android Gingerbread (4.0 update promised sometime in Q2), and run on dual-core processors. The Xperia S flagship has a 4.3-inch screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 12-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, and 32GB of internal memory.

More about the Xperia NXT family

Sony Xperia P and U

The Xperia P has an aluminum unibody design with a 4-inch display that automatically adjusts depending on the lighting to save battery. There’s an 8-megapixel camera on board with full 1080p video recording and NFC support. The Xperia U has a 3.5-inch display and a 5-megapixel camera.

More about the Xperia NXT family

Samsung's Projector Smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy beam is an Android 2.3 smartphone with a built-in projector. The phone measures only 0.49 inches while packing in a 15 lumens projector that works for video, images or PowerPoint presentations. The phone has a 4-inch display, runs on a 1GHz dual-core processor, with a 5-megapixel camera, and 8GB of internal memory.

First Look at Samsung’s Galaxy Beam

Samsung Tablet Sighted

Samsung teased us with a 10.1-inch version of the Note, complete with digital pen. Not much is known about this new pen-wielding tablet, but more details are expected later this week.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Sighted in Barcelona

LG Optimus 3D Max

The Optimus 3D Max is the follow up to the LG Optimus 3D that launched last year. It’s thinner than its predecessor, and comes with NFC support, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and a 4.3-inch 3D display (960 by 540 pixels). The camera is 5 megapixels and the phone has an HDMI port, too. The Optimus 3D Max ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but will be updated to Android 4.0 this year.

First Look: LG Optimus 3D Max

LG Optimus 4X HD

The Optimus 4X HD is set to be LG’s flagship phone this year. It has a 4.7-inch display with a 1,280-by-720 resolution, and runs on a 1.5GHz quad-core processor from Nvidia. The phone also includes 16GB of internal memory and dual cameras (8-megapixel back, 1.3-megapixel front). Best of all, even with a 2,150mAh battery, it is only 8.99 mm thin and the phone will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.

Hands On: LG Optimus 4X HD

LG Optimus VU

The Optimus Vu has a 5-inch display (1,024 by 768 pixels), which would categorize it as a “phablet,” something a bit too big for a phone, but too small for a tablet. It packs LTE connectivity, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera on the back, and 1.3-megapixel on the front. The Vu will launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread but an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works.

First Impressions: LG Optimus Vu

Acer CloudMobile

Acer’s CloudMobile will have a 4.3-inch HD display, feature Dolby sound, and will be less than 10mm thick. It's also expected to run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) when it launches later this year. The selling point of this phone will be Acer's new cloud service that offers "unlimited" web-based storage, which will also integrate with future Acer-branded PCs.

More on Acer’s CloudMobile

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