The HTC One, HTC’s flagship model released in March, promises to get the Taiwanese manufacturer back on the map this year. While many critics might have dismissed HTC’s ability to get back on track with the device, there’s no hiding from the fact that the One is a real game-changing smartphone.
The device sports a 4.7 inch display, 4 MP camera featuring HTC’s Ultrapixel technology, and a 1.7 GHz Quad-core processor, making it run at lightning speed.
The HTC One is packed with over 300 new features, with over 100 of these being targeted at making the phone’s camera the best around. With its Ultrapixel lens, HTC has ensured that the One can take pictures that are brighter and sharper, with the camera letting in 300% more light than the HTC One X.
The HTC One’s amazing camera quality doesn’t stop there; with HTC Zoe, users are able to record 3 second videos with audio and burst shot photography each time a still shot is captured. Record, amend and review all of your favourite photos which can be compiled automatically into a 30 second movie which captures your moments perfectly.
With other impressive features, such as its live screen, BlinkFeed, and BoomSound dual-frontal stereo speakers, the HTC One is set to become the king of the Android world in 2013.
Reviewed by Charlotte Kertrestel
The much anticipated HTC One has finally made its way into our hands after the device’s launch date was pushed back by two weeks. And to be honest, I have never been so excited unwrapping the packaging of HTC’s latest offering.
So will the phone live up to our extremely high expectations after previewing it at this year’s MWC?Read full review
Although HTC’s big flagship release of the One+ won’t be taking place until March, the Taiwanese company has had a stab at the mid-range market with the HTC Desire 816.
The HTC Desire 816 might well be a mid-range smartphone, but with a set of specs more commonly seen on a premium smartphone, does the Desire 816 offer the best of both worlds?
First things first, the HTC Desire 816 sports a whopping 5.5-inch display, placing it firmly in the phablet category. Mid-range smartphones traditionally have a smaller screen than many flagships, so this is an unconventional move from HTC.
In many ways the Desire 816 looks like the HTC One range of smartphones, with dual frontal speakers and a smooth and simple case. The only thing that makes it stand out as a mid-range device is its plastic chassis compared to the aluminium frame of the HTC One.
Also, the phone is available in a range of vibrant shades, including black, white, orange, green, dark blue and grey.
One great feature about the HTC Desire 816 is its camera; very rarely do you see a massive 13 megapixel lens on the back of a mid-range smartphone, let alone a 5 megapixel camera on the front of the device, perfect for selfies.
Although even HTC Zoe installed on the Desire 816, so with that, on top of a 13MP snapper, you can’t complain!
Under the hood, the HTC Desire 816 sports an impressive quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon processor with 1.2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. In practice, this means the phone will allow you to open multiple apps at once without experiencing delay.
The device also runs Android 4.4 out of the box, laced with the latest version of HTC’s Sense 5.5. However, the representative at HTC wasn't able to show us the phone switched on, presumably because it will give too much away about the upcoming HTC One+.
It just goes to show that without even seeing the device switched on, with specs like this, you’re onto a winner with the HTC Desire 816.
Like the look of the HTC Desire 816? You might not have to wait long to get your hands on it as HTC has announced that the device will be released in China, and then to the rest of the world starting in April.
Although the Desire 816’s price tag hasn’t yet been announced, based on previous releases, we predict that the device will be available for an affordable £150-250. This means that HTC Desire 816 deals on contract will probably start at less than £20 a month!Written by Charlotte Kertrestel
3 Mobile was originally launched as Three Mobile supplying the latest 3G mobile phones and today are still holding their popularity with mobile phone consumers.
From the outset 3 Mobile decided to undercut the competition with lower line rentals and call charges whilst offering bigger bundles of minutes, texts and data.
So is it time for you to take a look at the latest mobile phone deals on 3 Mobile?
In this report I will highlight a selection of phone deals that may prove irresistible to those shopping for a new smartphone!
Okay, so let’s start with a deal for those who have a working phone and just want to save money on their monthly rental payments.
For just £6.90 per month you could enjoy 200 minutes, 5,000 texts and 500MB of data every month and the contracted term is for just 12 months - buy this deal.
If you want a new smartphone with a low monthly rental then the Nokia Lumia 520 is a great choice.
You can get the Nokia Lumia 520 direct with Three at £13 per month with 100 mins, 5,000 texts and 250MB of data on a 24 month term – buy this deal.
The iPhone 5s is the latest offering from Apple and you can get this for £37pm with 500 mins and 5,000 texts along with unlimited data on a 24 month contract – buy this deal.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone can be purchased for £31pm with 500 mins, 5,000 texts and unlimited data on a 2 year contract – buy now.
The HTC One with its awesome sound output delighting music fans can be snapped up for £30pm with 300 mins, 5,000 texts and unlimited data with a 2 year term and cashback is also offered with this deal – buy this deal today.
If you haven’t found a deal that suits you on 3 Mobile or any other network then why not drop me an email, including your intended usage and mobile phone desired or phone features desired.
I will do the leg work for you and drop you a reply with the best phone deals available in the UK.
Written by: Michael Brown
With HTC revealing its mid-range smartphone, the Desire 500, last month, Mobilephones.com was at this year’s IFA in Berlin to bring you the latest images of the device.
The smartphone has obviously designed with the HTC One in mind, and the Desire 500 shares the One’s premium-looking appearance, with a frontal speaker and slim-line dimensions.
The smartphone previewed at IFA had a white body with modern blue panels along the sides, though the Desire 500 is also available in red and a more conservative black.
The main feature of the HTC One is its novel BlinkFeed, which has revolutionised the way users view their home screens and apps. Luckily, HTC has decided to offer BlinkFeed on the Desire 500, which displays the latest news, notifications, and your personal photos all on one dynamic home screen which updates in real-time.
Although the concept of dual-SIM phones sometimes leaves UK phone fans confused, the Desire 500’s dual SIM capabilities make the device perfect for a European and Asian audience.
Users can switch from one SIM to another, which is great for separating work and personal use, or to use when travelling through a variety of countries.
Although the Desire 500 is primarily designed for the mid-range market, it has an impressive set of specs. With a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, the device can handle multi-tasking well, and with Android 4.2.2 already loaded onto the phone, you won’t feel like you’re not using a high-end device.
Although the phone doesn’t offer the same Ultrapixel camera as the HTC One, the Desire 500 does have a decent 8 megapixel lens, which isn’t bad for a mid-range device.
What’s more, the phone features a Smart Flash which automatically alters the flash according to the distance you are away from the object.
One slight disappointment about the HTC Desire 500 is, however, the fact that it doesn’t include the popular HTC Zoe, which takes short bursts of video to capture your every moment. That said, the Desire 500 does offer Video Highlights, which automatically creates 30 second movies from your albums.
What do you think of the HTC Desire 500? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, or log in to post a comment below.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel
With the fourth-and potentially the deciding-Ashes test kicking off this week, here are the top England and Australian cricket players to follow to keep up with all the action…
Getting used to the live home screen can be a bit tricky, but does our guest road tester think it will catch on?
Initially I thought that the phone was really big. I’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S3, which is technically bigger, but I think that because the HTC One’s screen takes up more surface area, it makes it look wider. Other than that, though, I thought the phone was quite sleek and light.
I really liked the fact that all of your social media posts showed up on the home screen, because that’s usually the first thing I look at when I unlock my phone anyway. However, if you press on a particular Facebook post, it just took me to the Facebook app which I used to carry on looking at updates, so it kind of defeated the object a little bit.
I did like being able to choose which newspapers or magazine I saw articles from though. I’m really into sport but hate snooker and golf, so it’s good that you can choose which specific sports you get stories about. Because of the live screen as well, you don’t actually have to click on a story to see what it’s about- if you’re not interested just scroll past it.
Also, I liked the fact that you have a normal home screen too in case you want to revert to the traditional way of doing things!
At first I didn’t get the difference between normal mode and HTC Zoe. And when I did realise, I didn’t see the point in it taking 3 second videos instead of a simple photo. However, when I looked back at the movie that the HTC automatically makes, I saw how cool the short clips made the movie look.
Although I liked HTC Zoe, I’m glad that HTC lets you use the normal camera as well to take traditional photos that I’m used to with my Samsung.
I’ve actually bought Samsung speakers that I use to listen to the music on my phone, which was obviously an additional expense, so having a decent set of speakers on my phone itself would definitely make a big difference.
When I tested the HTC’s speakers I was actually really impressed, as I didn’t actually think a phone could be as good as actual purpose-built speakers.
As much as I liked the HTC One I’m not sure whether I’d want to move away from my trusty Samsung Galaxy S3 just yet. I think I’ll wait until the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes out and then I’ll be able to decide…
Are you waiting on the Samsung Galaxy S4 before you pre-order your HTC One? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Alternatively, check out our great HTC One deals and Samsung Galaxy S4 deals starting from just £32/month.
This week’s app of the week reflects the laid back and chilled out mood you might be in after celebrating the four day Easter break, and simply offers you something interesting to look at as you ease your way gently back into the world of work…
The Guardian Eyewitness app isn’t anything ground-breaking or revolutionary; it is simply an interesting application that you might find yourself glancing at as you board the train on your daily commute, or flick through while you're waiting for the kettle to boil, for example.
Eyewitness essentially displays a new image from around the world each day for you to gaze at, whether it’s a fun and quirky photo of the day’s sporting events, or a thought-provoking snapshot which depicts real people in alien cultures getting on with their daily lives.
Accompanying each picture is a short caption which explains what the image is depicting, emphasising the significance of the people or the places in question.
I found myself obsessively checking the Guardian Eyewitness app as soon as I woke up each morning, eager to find out what was going on in the world without having to even read the news. As corny as it sounds, I also discovered that the app opened my eyes, giving me an insight into other people’s lives.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, and I feel like just glancing at a scene of the anti-government protestors in the Middle East, or a snapshot of the Mikhailovsky ballet company rehearsing, I am being transformed into a completely different world where I am trying to piece together people’s stories.
The app is completely free to download and can be found in both the Google Play Store and Apple’s app store.
Although the app only releases one new image per day, it allows you to review the past week in photographs by scrolling through the various pictures and their description.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel
The HTC One is available on a choice of monthly rental contracts from the top networks in the UK and with so much choice there is the perfect HTC One contract deal for every type of user. Contracts come with a different allowance of minutes, texts and internet usage and generally run for a period of 24 months, this allows the networks to offer this top of the range handset for free or at a greatly reduced price on a monthly rental contract. The fantastic connectivity of this smartphone will lend itself perfectly to mobile web browsing so a HTC One contract with unlimited internet usage is a great choice for anyone that wants to really explore this aspect of the phone.
The HTC One on EE is available on 24 month contract deals starting from as little as £31.00 per month with a charge for the handset or from £41.00 per month on a 24 month deal with the phone being free of charge. The EE tariffs all include unlimited UK minutes and text messages making these perfect for those that love to chat and send text messages. The data allowances on EE range from 500MB per month up to 8GB and with the EE network already offering 4G services in various areas of the UK users can access the superfast 4G features of the HTC One straight out of the box when in compatible areas.
The T-Mobile network has a range of high value HTC One contracts starting from just £31.00 per month on a 24 month agreement and the handset is free of charge. The £31.00 contract includes 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet usage making this a great HTC One T-Mobile contract for anyone that uses a lot of data and sends a lot of text messages. Users that make a lot of calls can choose from contracts with minute allowances up to 3000 minutes and a range of data and text allowances to suit.
Orange is offering the HTC One for free on contracts from as little as £28.50 per month with 400 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of internet usage. For enjoying the multimedia aspects of this phone such as video streaming and sharing videos on social networks users may want to opt for a higher data allowance and the choice of HTC One Orange contracts include data allowances from 250MB to 8GB per month. The Orange network also gives users access to extra benefits such as Orange Wednesdays for 2 for 1 cinema ticket deals every Wednesday.
Vodafone has a choice of contracts and the HTC One is available for free from as little as £29.00 per month. Users that make a lot of calls can choose a tariff with up to 3000 minutes of UK calls and for text messaging addicts there are a number of HTC One Vodafone contract deals with unlimited text messages included in the monthly rental. Data allowances vary on Vodafone from 100MB to 2GB per month which is generally enough for typical daily mobile use however if users intend to do a lot of streaming or downloading video or downloading a lot of music then a network offering higher data allowances may be preferable.
When considering the cheapest contracts we need to look at the monthly rental and monthly allowance. A lower monthly rental cost may seem appealing but if the HTC One contract will be used for high volumes of calls, texts and mobile internet usage then a slightly higher monthly rental cost will save money over the length of the agreement. For those that use their phone for lots of calls and texts as well as web browsing should really consider a contract with a high amount of calls, texts and data included each month as out of allowance call costs and charges can be high and will result in higher bills. The lowest monthly rental that the HTC One is available on for free is £28.00 per month and this contract includes 100 minutes, 100 texts and 100MB of Internet usage. This tariff is perfect for any low volume users that use the phone for a couple of text messages per day maybe one short call and check emails once every few days. As many users now access their email, social networks and message and call regularly on their smartphones for a cheap HTC One contract the best idea is to choose a deal with more included. There are many contracts that include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts and for anyone that really wants to put the HTC One through its mobile browsing and streaming paces an unlimited data plan is the best option.
The HTC One is a super powerful and advanced mobile phone and due to the fantastic specification of this smartphone the networks are offering the phone on 18 and 24 month contract deals to subsidise the cost of the phone. The monthly rental payment collected by the network partly goes towards the cost of the phone so users can get this fantastic phone for free when signing up to an 18 or 24 month agreement. Having a HTC One contract length of 18 to 24 months is not an issue as the handset can be adapted with apps from Google Play and will power through multitasking thanks to its dual-core processor.
The HTC One smartphone is packing some very impressive features into its slim chassis and this makes the phone very desirable and with this in mind the networks compete to bring the best HTC One deals. The phone is available for free on various contracts or for a small charge on others. The fantastic connectivity options on the phone will allow users to enjoy 4G and 3G web browsing so many HTC One deals include a decent data allowance as well as text messages and calls included in the monthly rental cost. The HTC has so many great features including social networking and mobile web browsing and for the full low down on this phone you can check out the HTC full picture. Fans of the HTC brand that are still unsure if the HTC One is the phone for them can see how the phone stacks up against the other top HTC phone in our feature the HTC One Vs. HTC One X Plus.
Mobilephones.com has all the top HTC One deals from the UK networks and retailers so they can easily be compared in one convenient place.
With Samsung revealing its latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S4, how will it compare to HTC’s One, which wowed the crowds at this year’s MWC?
Samsung Galaxy S4
136x 69x 7.9mm
137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm
As you can see, there are quite a few differences between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. For starters, the Samsung device features a slightly larger screen, though with that, it comes in at 1.4mm slimmer. With that, the HTC One also weighs in at 13g heavier than the Galaxy S4.
Dimensions aside, however, there’s not much to tell these two devices apart in terms of determining which one is better than the other.
|Samsung Galaxy S4||HTC One|
Rather disappointingly, Samsung has chosen not to touch the Galaxy S4’s aesthetic design, keeping its smooth, rounded edges and polycarbonate casing.
One the other hand, HTC has decided to overhaul its flagship model’s appearance by giving it a slightly more up-to-date square design, made fully of aluminium rather than plastic, giving it an overall more high quality finish.
Group Play Vs BoomSound
Samsung’s unveiling of its new feature, Group Play, certainly was an interesting addition to the live reveal, held in New York tonight. The feature essentially allows a number of Samsung Galaxy S4 devices to play together as a de facto stereo system, with each device acting as a separate speaker, enhancing the volume and audio quality when enjoying music as a group.
The HTC One, on the other hand, features BoomSound, a step up from Beats Audio, which makes full use of the device’s dual frontal speakers. Because the speakers are located on the front of the phone, it means that audio is not muffled in any way when the phone is laid down on a surface, which is more often than not when listening to music.
I would say that HTC’s BoomSound is a more useful feature, and whilst Samsung’s Group Play is a cool function, I feel that it is more of a novelty than an everyday feature that could enhance my everyday life.
Now here’s the big one: the camera comparison.
I was well and truly blown away when I experienced a demo of HTC Zoe, the One’s incredible camera and accompanying camera features. Not only does the HTC One sport an Ultrapixel camera instead of a more traditional megapixel camera, but it is also supported by an array of over 100 new camera-related features.
The Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera doesn’t look so bad either, in comparison. With 13 MP, the device is expected to produce some high quality, sharp-looking images. So how do the two compare?
Samsung Galaxy S4
· Burst photography, allowing you to view the best shots in one frame
· Capability to delete unwanted objects or people
· Automatically record short videos at the same time as taking still shots
· Record sound at the same time as taking a still shot
· Using both the front and rear camera at once in both videos and photos
· Automatic making of videos to sum up your album
Looking at the evidence above, it’s a pretty hard decision to make. Although I was really impressed by what I have seen in tonight’s Samsung Galaxy S4 reveal, I feel that HTC might have stolen this one with its One device, but only by a slim margin.
However, that’s not to say that the HTC One will be more successful in the market this year. After all, you only have to take one look at tonight’s New York reveal to realise how big Samsung’s marketing budget is, and with HTC’s recent launch-date set-back, Samsung might already be the winner of the race for the Android crown in 2013.
The HTC One is a huge jump up from the HTC One X released last year. Is it a similar situation with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Vs the Samsung Galaxy S3?
Check out the best HTC One deals, available once the handset is released later this month.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel
The HTC One is just days away from being launched, and already the device is being tipped to take the Android crown for 2013. But once HTC’s newest flagship model is launched, what can we expect to see from the Taiwanese manufacturer?
While HTC might not be as secretive as Apple or even Samsung about its new releases, it would seem that the company is still playing its cards close to its chest in relation to details about the One's succeeding models.
That said, while it might not be possible to predict the specs, features and functions of the next HTC release, we may well be able to guess HTC’s next strategic move.
With the influx of new smartphone models entering the market each year, the way that manufacturers attempt to keep on top of the game has had to adapt to the ever changing nature of the competition. So can we look at the marketing strategies of some of the big names in the mobile phone world for some insight into HTC’s plan for 2013?
Apple has long been considered the king of consumer electronics, and the iPhone, in its many variations, is still one of the most popular devices in the world today.
So how can Apple’s marketing strategy help us to second-guess what other mobile phone manufacturers might be planning for 2013? You just need to look at Apple’s range of products over the last couple of years to see a general trend- a pattern which is based around one thing: handset size.
Although there’s an obvious progression in size amongst the iPhone range itself- the iPhone 3, 4 and 4S all sport a 3.5 inch screen, whereas the latest iPhone 5 features a slightly larger 4 inch display- this doesn’t give us much of a clue about other manufacturers’ plans in relation to their 2013 releases, especially as most smartphones are already exceeding the iPhone 5’s 4 inch screen.
A general pattern emerges, however, when Apple’s products are lined up side by side.
As you can see, the strategy for Apple is simply to provide its users with a device that suits everyone’s needs in terms of size. We’ve had the iPhone since 2007, and in 2010, we saw the iPad, Apple’s first tablet, sporting a 9.7 inch screen. Apple’s strategy to bridge the gap between smartphone and tablet, however, was demonstrated with the release of the iPad Mini, which features a 7.9 inch screen.
And with rumours reporting that Apple is set to launch the iPhone Mini, we can only speculate that Apple’s intentions are to launch a series of devices, which all look identical, and tick each box in terms of their dimensions.
What's worth noting is that all of Apple’s devices look remarkably similar. It takes one glance at either an iPhone, iPad, or iPad Mini, to register that the device is an Apple product, and that it constitutes part of Apple’s smartphone and tablet range.
With Samsung fast becoming the most popular phone manufacturer in the world, it is also worth seeing whether we can learn anything from its marketing strategy which may shed some light on what 2013 will bring.
Although Samsung, unlike Apple, has released tens of smartphones and tablets over the years, a clear trend has emerged more recently, demonstrating Samsung's attempts to offer its users a complete range of devices in terms of size.
You just need to look at Samsung’s popular smartphone, the Galaxy S3, which has a 4.8 inch screen, next to the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung’s second phablet, which boasts a 5.5 inch display. In the tablet range, Samsung has just revealed its new Note 8 at this year's MWC, which sports an 8 inch screen; a step down from the Note 10, which, as you might have guessed, has a 10 inch display.
Further to that, however, Samsung has even recognised that its Galaxy S3 might be considered too large for some mid-range smartphone users, and has released the Galaxy S3 Mini as a result, to cater for this gap in the market.
Moreover, with the Galaxy S4 predicted to have a 4.99 inch screen as an attempt to close the gap between the existing S3 and Note 2, and the Note 3 purportedly having a 6.3 inch screen, it is clear that Samsung is attempting to tick every sized box in its smartphone and tablet range. Less focus is being put on what the devices look like; after all, in the Galaxy line-up, you’d probably struggle to tell the difference between the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2 and the Note 8, handset size aside.
Another change in strategy that we have seen with other mobile phone manufacturers is the number of devices it releases at any one time.
For instance, last year saw Sony reveal its Xperia range with the S, T and the V models at MWC in Barcelona, whereas this year’s CES saw Sony unveiling only one device - the Xperia Z.
Sony then chose to follow up with the Xperia Z tablet at MWC last month. If you just look at the two devices, one thing is clear: both the Xperia Z smartphone and tablet look identical in terms of design.
So how likely is it that HTC will follow its impressive flagship model with a mini, or even a super-sized version of the One? And what will these devices look like?
As you can see, Apple and Samsung have set the trend of launching identical-looking devices in a variety of handset sizes, with Sony following suit with its Xperia Z smartphone and tablet early this year. It seems highly unlikely that HTC would ignore this growing trend, which has proven to be successful in some of the biggest consumer-led companies to date.
A HTC One Mini, or perhaps a HTC One phablet, then, seems the likely next move for the Taiwanese manufacturer.
After all, we have already seen HTC’s strategy mimicking that of Sony; last year HTC launched its One series of smartphones with the One SV and the One X at MWC in February, as did Sony with three of its Xperia devices.
This year, however, the Taiwanese manufacturer has only unveiled a single device, again, like Sony. This leads us to believe that HTC’s next move will be to unveil an identical looking device with different handset dimensions.
So surely this pattern discussed can’t just be a coincidence? Especially with HTC’s One being acclaimed as a real game-changing device, it is highly unlikely that the company will choose against replicating the successful design in the form of a phablet, a tablet and even a smaller smartphone.
All of this, of course, is only speculation. But with the growing trend being set by the biggest companies within the mobile phone arena, there surely must be some level of reality in our predictions.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel
Taking place in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the year's largest mobile phone event and presents the industry with an opportunity to show off their latest wares, network and discuss what will be making headlines at next year’s event.
The organisers have confirmed that over 72,000 people from more than 200 countries attended MWC, which is a new record for the four day event.
With every major manufacturer clamouring to showcase their latest handsets, and even Samsung stealing the limelight with its Galaxy S4 news, it’s difficult to know where to look and what to look at. In fact, more than 1,700 companies exhibited at the show, covering 94,000 net square metres of space.
So with so much going on, here we cover the show’s highlights and combine the news, pictures and videos that you’ll need to know in order to get the full lowdown on what’s hot and what’s not…
We got to spend some quality time with the new HTC One smartphone and came away head over heels in love with it. The Mobilephones.com team, with two resident Apple lovers in tow, unanimously declared the HTC One as their favourite device on display at MWC and there really is a lot to love about it.
Its BlinkFeed is a new concept in home screens and provides you with direct access to your latest news, social media updates, emails, weather and even favourite TV shows from one place. No longer do you have to go into individual apps to get the latest info, or simultaneously run apps side-by-side, with BlinkFeed, everything is one place.
Other things we loved about the One include BoomSound, which features dual frontal stereo speakers. This produces the level of sound quality you’d normally expect from speakers, let alone a mobile device.
HTC has also introduced Zoe, not a personal assistant rival to Siri, but the name given to its new camera. With a headline figure of only 4-megapixels in the camera, HTC were keen to demonstrate that less really is more. Ultrapixels allows more light into the camera’s lens by reducing the number of megapixels and this produces some really clear images.
What’s most interesting is that the concept of taking an individual snap has completely disappeared. Instead, each time you take a photograph, the camera records 20 still images and accompanying sound, which lasts for three seconds. This results in a live image gallery and lets you create sequence shots that display frame-by-frame action.
This is only the tip of the iceberg with the HTC One and really does position the device as the smartphone to beat in 2013.
One of the busier, and more colourful stands at MWC was Firefox and here we were treated to a full hands-on demo of their new Operating System.
In the same week that Sony released an experimental build of their new OS for the Xperia E phone, the buzz around the stand suggested that they were gaining some genuine momentum.
The OS is open and built completely in HTML 5, which makes it easy for the majority of developers to work with. Christian Heilmann, principle evangelist for Mozilla, gave us a full walk through using the ZTE Open handset and this demonstrated the power of the OS (full video to come soon).
Of particular note is the dynamic search function, which allows you to search for anything in a browser and receive results that include apps as well as those from the web. So for example, Christian searched for U2 and brought up a list of results including Soundcloud, Wikipedia and YouTube.
We found the OS extremely easy to use and the ZTE Open was a funky and simple handset to demonstrate its qualities. The OS is being rolled out for launch in Brasil, alongside other emerging smartphone markets, and it does feel like the Mozilla Foundation have a strong strategy in place to continue this growth.
Perhaps the busiest team at MWC is Nokia, announcing a number of new handsets. Among these are the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720, which both use the Windows Phone 8 OS. These will be hitting European shores during the second quarter and should be priced at around £220 for the 720 and £120 for the 520. For the specs, this is a great price and makes it a real contender for the entry-level market – something Microsoft is keen to dominate for WP8.
Not content with launching two new reasonably priced Lumia handsets, Nokia also announced two phones targeted at the bottom-end of the market. The Nokia 105 will be available at the stunning price of just €15 and the phone’s specs do reflect that. It’s a basic text and call only handset, although does feature a nifty LED flashlight. This is being positioned as a secondary handset or for use in remote locations where battery time is more important than access to Facebook.
The second budget device is the Nokia 301, a basic mobile phone available at just €65. It’s not quite a smartphone, and the device’s specs are low-end, but it does have some cracking features including a 3.2-megapixel camera wth a panoramic feature and self-timer. What was particularly interesting about this device is that it supports two sim cards. There are a number of dual-sim handsets on show at MWC and the Nokia 301 is one of the cheapest.
The Ascend P2 is the first phone to use an LTE Cat 4 chip, which could offer 4G download speeds of up to 150Mbps. I say could, because reaching these speeds depends on the amount of bandwidth offered up by networks. Either way, this is an impressive device with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor that features, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. This sits inside a device with a 4.7-inch screen with 315ppi, a whopping 13-megapixel camera and running of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
With all eyes on the vast halls of the conference centre in Barcelona, Samsung threw a curveball by announcing the reveal date of its new S4 Galaxy device for March 14.
With the king of Android handsets choosing a private media reveal in New York of its new Samsung Galaxy S4, it gave the MWC limelight to a new tablet. The Galaxy Note 8 appears to be the larger cousin to the Note II, with similar styling, the latest S-pen stylus and its updated version of Jelly Bean that features split screen multitasking abilities.
DTS is teaming up with Qualcomm on its new Snapdragon 800 processor to bring 7:1 surround sound to your mobile device. In one of the more impressive demos of the show, DTS demonstrated how its stunning Headphone:X technology enables mobile phones running with Snapdragon 800 to feature almost cinematic quality sound through any set of headphones.
Using post-processing techniques, your ears are tricked into thinking that you’re surrounded by speakers and because this all happens device-side, you can hear the results in any set of headphones.
When I was first treated to a demo, I was given the full 7.1 surround sound treatment via speakers in a quiet booth away from the noise of the show. I was then given a set of headphones and treated to Headphone:X. I genuinely thought the DTS team were playing a trick on me as I couldn’t tell the difference between the two, the sound quality was that good.
With handsets set to feature Snapdragon 800 from late 2013 and early 2014, we’ll have to wait a while before we can try out this awesome tech at home.
Demonstrators at the HTC stall at this year’s MWC have shown us how the latest flagship model, the HTC One, is going old school by using infrared technology to turn your smartphone into one of the most advanced TV remotes around. Called HTC Sense TV, the infrared feature allows you to change the channel on your HDMI compatible television, search through movies and programs to watch, and even save your favourite programs to your BlinkFeed home screen as a reminder.
With HTC Sense TV, along, with all of the One’s many features, the Taiwanese company certainly have impressed this year.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel