Our Fortune Tech Products: Best of MWC 2013

With the drastic change in our technology our tech products are also changing and these products are making our lives easy to sustain, In the Mobile World Congress that ended last week and as expected, the show brought us the first glimpses (and in most cases second, thanks to a slew of leaks in the build up) of many of 2013’s flagship phones. Of course, it wasn’t all about the big-name OEMs in this brave new world of open source and we don’t mean only Android.

Nokia managed to eke out some limelight for itself and Windows Phone 8. The company launched a mid-range and a low-end device as part of a strategy to dethrone Samsung as the king of the inexpensive smartphone market.

Of course, Android still dominated the show floor. The biggest phone launches were all based on Google’s OS, but we also got a look at the new open source operating systems in the market. Firefox OS made its official debut at Barcelona, but SailfishOS, Tizen and Ubuntu were all on the floor showing off dev edition phones and previews of their forthcoming offerings. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the show.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony had already showed off its Xperia Tablet Z just after CES earlier this year. That tablet was a Japan-only affair, but the company unveiled the 10.1-inch Android slate for the rest of the world in Barcelona.

At just 6.9 mm in depth, Sony claims the Tablet Z is the thinnest in its class. The new device joins Sony's flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z, in bringing a water-proof, dust-proof casing while not sacrificing on any specification. The Tablet Z is IP55 and IP57-certified water-proof (IP55 & IP57), which means it can be immersed in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Sony claims that the Xperia Tablet Z features the same OmniBalance design as the Xperia Z and ZL.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a slim, water-proof design

Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a slim, water-proof design

The tablet will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on launch and has some Sony customisations on top. It will be upgradeable to Android 4.2 immediately after it hits the market. The Tablet Z is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, same as the one on the Xperia Z smartphone.

There is an 8 megapixel camera on the back based on the Exmor RS sensor and a 2 megapixel front-facing unit. In the multimedia department, the Xperia Tablet comes with Sony's S-Force Front Surround 3D, while Sony's Clear Audio+ mode and the two built-in speakers help deliver clear sound in both portrait and landscape mode. The Xperia Tablet Z also offers a microSD card slot for up to 64GB of expandable storage.

Sony has thrown in the NFC One-Touch functions, which allow users to transfer content – audio, video and images – among compatible devices. Sony also sells NFC tags that can be programmed to trigger events when the phone comes in contact with them. The Xperia Tablet Z weighs 495 grams and is available in black in 16GB and 32GB versions. The tablet will retail for $499 (around Rs 26,888) and $599 (around Rs 32,277), respectively.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol X

Alcatel isn’t renowned for being a high-end manufacturer, but the company surprised one and all with its OneTouch Idol X. One feature that puts it in the same league as the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC Butterfly is the 5-inch, 1080p LCD display. Alcatel has also managed to reduce the bezel size around the display and has worked its magic on the thickness of the device as well. As a result, the Idol X is only 7.1 mm thick. The Idol X is no slouch in the CPU department either. It has a quad-core 1.2GHz processor of unknown make, which is most likely the MediaTek MT6589, a CPU used on the other quad-core phone announced by the company at Barcelona.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X brings a full HD display with a quad-core processor

Alcatel One Touch Idol X brings a full HD display with a quad-core processor

Here’s another look at the key specs:

  • 5-inch LCD with full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • 8 or 13 megapixel camera (market dependent) on the back, 1080p video recording
  • 16GB of internal storage, further expandable up to 32GB

The Idol X also has a 2000 mAh battery, which we feel might not make a very long-lasting companion, but the back cover is removable, so you can carry extra packs.

LG Optimus G Pro

Last year, LG’s Optimus G was an exciting handset and the same could be said of the company’s 2013 offering. LG has matured a lot since the days of the Optimus 2X and its phones no longer feature boring industrial designs. In fact, the Optimus G Pro looks to have been designed with the same aesthetics found on the Nexus 4. But the stylish device comes too close to ripping off the Samsung Galaxy Note II thanks to the rounded corners and the flat, wide physical homescreen button.

The 5.5-inch IPS LCD has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a density of approximately 401ppi. While it lags behind the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One in terms of pixel density, seeing individual pixels on a screen of that resolution is next to impossible in everyday usage. The Optimus G Pro is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, which features the Adreno 320 GPU. That’s a combination set to grace many flagships this year and is already seen on the HTC One.

LG Optimus G Pro has a massive 5.5-inch full HD display

LG Optimus G Pro has a massive 5.5-inch full HD display

Other key specs of the phone are:

  • 5.5-inch True HD-IPS + LCD with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 13 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash and 2.1-inch front-facing cam
  • 32GB of internal storage, further expandable up to 64GB

One very neat addition is the 3140 mAh Lithium polymer battery, which should be able to keep up with the power demands of the quad-core processor and 1080p display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0/Galaxy Note 510

The newest addition to Samsung’s Note family brings an 8-inch TFT LCD with a not-so-spectacular 1280 x 800 pixel display. The Galaxy Note 8.0 was launched in India as the Galaxy Note 510 soon after its announcement in Barcelona.

It is powered by an Exynos 4 Quad processor clocked at 1.6GHz and has 2GB of RAM. The good news is this device runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, but with Samsung’s TouchWiz/Nature UX on top.

Samsung's Note series has a new member, the Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung's Note series has a new member, the Galaxy Note 8.0

All of Samsung's Note devices come with S Pens and the Note 510 is no different. The stylus is accompanied by the usual suite of pen-optimised apps. At 338 grams, the Note 8.0 is in the same ballpark as the iPad mini. Just like Apple’s smaller tablet, this one’s back panel is non-removable and contains a 4600 mAh battery. microSD for memory expansion and the micro-SIM slots have been placed under flaps on the left edge.

Here is a quick look at the key specs of the Note 8.0 once again:

  • 8-inch TFT LCD with a 1280 x 800 resolution and a pixel density of 189 ppi
  • HSPA, Class 12 GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direc, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • Micro USB 2.0 with MHL-support and USB Host
  • A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 5 megapixel primary camera with 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 16/32GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB via microSD card

Despite its large size, you can actually use the Note 510 as your primary phone as it has voice-calling functionality out of the box. Besides the Wi-Fi connectivity option, the SIM slot has HSPA+ support for data and voice.

Huawei Ascend P2

Firstly, Huawei made a splash with its Ascend P2, which has a Gorilla Glass 2-protected 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display. The phone shares the quad-core processor used in the Ascend D2 – the Huawei K3V2 CPU with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz. It runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, which is great, but Huawei has laid its Emotion UI 1.6 on top, which is a heavily customised version of the stock UI.

The Ascend P2 is the first in the world to support LTE Cat 4, which means theoretically it can reach download speeds of up to 150Mbps. The camera is a 13 megapixel unit with a BSI sensor and has HDR mode for both stills and video.

The Ascend P2 has a super slim design and Huawei's homegrown quad-core CPU

The Ascend P2 has a super slim design and Huawei's homegrown quad-core CPU

Here’s a quick look at the specs of the device:

  • 4.7-inch IPS HD display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels
  • LTE, 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi
  • GPS with GLONASS
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, NFC
  • 13 megapixel camera with 1080p recording, 1.3 megapixel front camera with 720p recording
  • 16GB internal memory

The phone is equipped with a 2420 mAh battery and Huawei’s Quick Power Control (QPC) and Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) power-saving technologies, which reportedly reduce power consumption and charging time by more than 25 percent compared to other smartphones.

ZTE Open

This is an interesting one. Mozilla’s choice of ZTE for its first Firefox OS phone is curious, to say the least. The open source foundation is banking on ZTE’s mastery of the low-end market to deliver its first device. As such, the Open is a largely-low-end device with specs that will make Android crawl if it ran on top. However, Firefox is built for emerging markets and the OS can run smoothly on the ZTE Open’s hardware. The ZTE Open is powered by a Cortex A5 processor clocked at 1GHz and has 256MB of RAM.

The first Firefox OS phone, the ZTE Open

The first Firefox OS phone, the ZTE Open

Other key specs of the ZTE Open include:

  • 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480
  • 3G (HSPA up to 7.2Mbps), GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • 3.15 megapixel primary camera
  • 512MB internal storage with microSD card slot and 2GB card in the package

ZTE open runs the HTML5-based OS and comes with Firefox Marketplace, has social networking apps for Facebook and Twitter, Nokia’s HERE maps service, Box cloud storage, marquee games from EA Mobile and Disney Mobile Games.

Nokia Lumia 720

Of the two devices that Nokia launched at MWC, the Lumia 720 seems to be a more capable performer and fills the gap between the Lumia 620 and 820. The company is targeting photo enthusiasts with the Lumia 720. The primary camera is 6.7 megapixel with an f/1.9 aperture and Carl Zeiss optics, while the 1.3 megapixel snapper at the front is described as an "HD-quality, wide-angle" camera.

The 720 comes with the latest Nokia services, including Nokia Music, the HERE location suite and an optional snap-on wireless charging cover. We would have liked to see a higher resolution than the WVGA that the 720's 4.3-inch display comes with.

Nokia bridged a gap in its mid-range offerings with the Lumia 720

Nokia bridged the gap in its mid-range offerings with the Lumia 720

Here are some of the highlights of the Lumia 720:

  • 4.3-inch ClearBlack LCD display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels
  • HSDPA, 21.1 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, EDGE/GPRS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • NFC-capable and wireless charging
  • 6.7 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and 720p video recording
  • 1.3 megapixel front-facing wide angle camera and 720p video
  • 8GB internal memory, expandable up to 64GB via microSD

The Nokia Lumia 720 comes in five colours at an estimated starting price of EUR 249, which roughly translates to Rs 17,700. The chipset inside is a Qualcomm MSM8227, with its two cores ticking at 1GHz. There’s an Adreno 305 GPU and 512MB of RAM thrown in. The device is expected to be available before the end of Q1.

Asus PadFone Infinity

Asus’s PadFone range isn’t the most popular one out there, but that doesn’t mean the company is not putting its full weight behind the phone-tablet combo. The PadFone Infinity comes with improved internals and competes directly with other 2013 flagships such as the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z.

The display is a 5-inch Super IPS+ LCD and the 1080p resolution means you get 441 pixels per inch. The PadFone Infinity’s tablet component, or what Asus calls the Infinity Station, retains the 10.1-inch screen, but there’s full HD resolution here too; it now has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, up from 1280 x 800 pixels in the last model.

Two HD displays in one, the Asus PadFone Infinity

Two HD displays in one, the Asus PadFone Infinity

The Infinity packs a quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip clocked at 1.7GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU, a combination that is gracing more and more flagships. The RAM is a healthy 2GB. Buyers can choose from 32GB or the 64GB version of the PadFone Infinity. However, there is no microSD card slot, which is an odd decision considering it could have easily been fitted into the PadFone’s tablet component without making many adjustments.

Here are the key specifications of the PadFone Infinity:

  • 5-inch Super IPS+ full HD display (phone) and 10.1-inch display with 1920 x 1200 resolution (tablet)
  • 4G, LTE Cat3 up to 100Mbps DL, 3G, DC-HSPA+ up to 42Mbps, GSM, EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 13 megapixel primary camera with LED flash and 2 megapixel front camera
  • 32GB/64GB internal storage
  • MicroUSB 2.0 with MHL link and USB Host support

Battery life on the PadFone Infinity sounds promising. There is a 2400 mAh battery within the phone, which the company claims can give you up to 19 hours of 3G talk time and 40 hours when docked into Infinity Station. The dock also has a 5000 mAh battery and can fully recharge the docked PadFone Infinity up to three times. The Infinity ships with Android 4.2, so at least the software experience should be smooth.

Unfortunately, Asus has fouled up the pricing of the Asus PadFone Infinity. The combined price is around £800 (approx Rs 65,000), which makes it a very expensive proposition any way you look at it.


  1. I am going to have Nokia Lumia 720 among these all. I like all the Nokia Lumia series.

    1. @julia Thanks for your comment, even I believe that all the Lumia series of Nokia are the best with easy to understand user interface.