Mobile World Congress 2012: Sony, HTC and LG announce flagship mobile smartphones
SONY, HTC and LG are among the major manufacturers to have announced their new smartphone ranges for 2012.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the manufacturers increasingly opted for newer, quad-core processors, with only Sony continuing to use older, dual-core models.
The announcements were made on the same day as Chinese giant Huawei announced what it called the world’s fastest smartphone, the Ascend D Quad, which it claimed was able to perform better than either Apple’s iPhone 4S or the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
LG’s new flagship, the Optimus 4X HD, offers a four-core processor and a high definition screen, as well as a 4G receiver for territories such as America where the technology is available. The firm emphasised that the phone could be used for intensive gaming, and some officials claimed that in normal use the device could last for two days without needing to be recharged.
LG makes the display, battery and camera for the Apple’s iPhone, and hopes that it can produce a similarly successful phone itself. The firm is also producing a small tablet, called the Vu, for the American market. The Optimus 4X HD will run Google’s latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and will feature a 4.7” screen with a 1.5GHz processor. LG will also make a series of less expensive devices, targeted at different demographics.
Sony also announced an expansion to its Xperia line of phones, the first the company has made since the end of the Sony Ericsson joint venture. The P and U Xperia models mark an attempt to sell the brand at more mid-range prices. Sony’s incoming Chief Executive emphasised that his task was as much to continue to try to integrate Sony’s music, video games and movies into phones as it was to improve devices. Improved displays would form a key part of the new strategy, the firm said, and the P model features a new technology called ‘White Magic’ for better outdoor viewing. Analysts at CCS Insight said they believed Sony “must quickly exploit its content assets” if its phones were to succeed.
HTC, however, focussed primarily on devices rather than on content. Although the Taiwanese manufacturer announced an improvement to its Dropbox tie-up, allowing enhanced back-up and synchronisation of files, the new 'One' range focused on improving photography and design.
The X, S and V models emphasised their new software, enhanced camera performance and the care taken over the design. Although analysts generally liked the individual products, CCS Insight added that “betting on attractive hardware to lure buyers may be risky in a cutthroat market”.