Images: Exciting smartphones to look up to in 2011
Get Ahead reader Sanaullah Khan lists smartphones that will make a mark in 2011 in response to our reader invite (below). All these phones featured in the recently-concluded Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in January this year.
Sanaullah completed his bachelors in Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Hyderabad and Masters of Science in Digital Communication Networks from London.
The Mobile World Congress -- the perfect place to launch next generation mobile by different mobile companies -- held in Barcelona this year saw the release of many exciting new handsets with cutting edge technology.
This year's show has seen a host of mobile phones with dual core processor. It's amazing to see the achievements that mobile technology has now made where it is now possible to carry a mobile device with a processing power previously found only on computers.
This year also saw the release of numerous handsets and tablets based on Android.
Let us look at the most exciting phones launched by Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC and HP.
The most exciting handsets unveiled by Sony this year during the Mobile World Congress were Sony Xperia PLAY and the Xperia arc.
Sony is now looking to leverage its PlayStation brand for its smartphones. It aims to stand out from the crowded place of Android smartphones flooding the market today and provide a phone with a gaming experience not found anywhere else. Hence Sony has released the world's first PlayStation certified smartphone.
The phone comes with a slide out PlayStation gaming pad which sure doesn't make the phone slim by any means but it still manages to stay sleek at 16mm. The controller is well placed and along with a brilliant 4-inch screen it will provide the ultimate gaming experience to gamers.
The phone features a 1 GHz processor and runs android 2.3 and is expected to launch mid 2011.
That is sure to not go down well with gaming fans since most of the latest smartphones have now started to come with a dual core processor.
Apart from the slide out gaming pad the phone features all the usual specs found in most Android smartphones today which a 5mp camera with flash, front camera for video calling , Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and all the Google apps available on Android.
Sony is hoping that this will appeal to the younger generation of mobile phone users who are more inclined towards gaming. The latest and popular titles from the PlayStation collection will now be available on the Android market.
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Image: Sony Xperia PLAY
Xperia arc is Sony's update to the Xperia X10 and comes with an outstanding 4.2-inch screen powered by Sony's BRAVIA engine.
Sony has incorporated its BRAVIA engine technology found in its LCD TV's in the display of the phone to make the videos look astonishingly sharper. Apart from providing spectacular picture it is also one of the thinnest smartphones available at the moment measuring a mere 8.7 mm in the middle and 9 mm at the edges.
It comes loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
It also has an 8-megapixel camera with flash and a special sensor which will make taking photos in the dark a pleasure. And you could also record HD videos on the phone and display it directly on your TV via the HDMI connector.
For those who are looking for cutting edge technology in the Xperia arc will be disappointed due to the fact that it has a 1 GHz processor as opposed to dual core processor available in most smartphones being unveiled this year.
Sony will be hoping the Xperia arc would put it in the front of the pack in the smartphone market.
Image: Xperia arc
Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung has a lot riding on the Samsung Galaxy S2 as can be evident from all the publicity Samsung has been generating before the event. But is sure does live up to the hype.
The Galaxy S2 is a worthy successor to the hugely successful Galaxy S. The 4.3-inch Super Amoled Plus screen displays stunningly beautiful pictures. The phone is powered by a dual core processor and a GPU.
It has an 8-megapixel camera with flash and a front facing camera for video calling and can also do HD video recording.
The Galaxy S2 has Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 interface superimposed on Android. Samsung says that the phone will have the latest version of Android running when it is released.
The Korean company has surely managed to pack a lot in such a wafer thin device (8.49 mm) and provides one of the best multimedia experiences on a smartphone. This is by far the best phone with all the features you could wish for contained in one single slim handset.
Image: Samsung Galaxy S2
LG Optimus 3D
With the launch of Optimus 3D, LG releases the world's first 3D smartphone. In keeping with the trend of dual core powered smartphones releasing this year, LG's Optimus 3D makes use of the huge processing power provided by it's dual core processor to amaze the user with 3D experience without the need to wear 3D glasses.
You will be able to watch 3D movies, pictures and animation in the specially created 3D zone app. It can also take amazing 3D pictures and videos thanks to its two stereoscopic 5MP cameras with flash.
The phone will run Android 2.2 when it releases in May so you could expect all the Google goodies that come with Android. It has a 4.3-inch screen, HDMI output, front facing camera for video chats and much more.
Only time will tell if customers would want 3D in their phone.
Image: LG Optimus 3D
HTC Desire S
The phones showcased by HTC this year were evolutionary rather than revolutionary and none of them included a dual core powered device.
The best selling phones of last year were given a spec upgrade and undergone some minor design changes and released this year with an S at the end of the name.
HTC says these phones will be available in Q2 2011.
HTC Desire S
HTC Desire S is the update to the hugely popular and successful HTC Desire. It has a 3.7-inch multi touch screen but retains the same screen resolution as the previous model. It now has front facing camera for video calling, a slimmer aluminium casing, no track ball and no physical buttons.
The camera is 5 MP with flash and can also record videos in HD. The Desire S runs Android 2.4.
Image: HTC Desire S
HTC Wildfire S
HTC is looking to gain huge momentum in the mass market by providing a fully featured phone at an affordable price. The HTC Wildfire S also has a 600 MHz processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 5 MP camera with flash and Stereo FM.
The HTC Wildfire S now boasts a 3.2-inch screen with a much higher resolution than it's earlier version and the design is more streamlined with the optical track pad now gone.
It also comes in a variety of colour options including purple, black and white. This phone certainly has mass-market appeal and will surely put HTC in the forefront of budget smartphones.
If you are looking for an affordable budget smartphone then this phone will give you the best value for your money.
Image: HTC Wildfire S
HTC Incredible S
HTC Droid Incredible has been hugely popular in the US and was previously available only on a CDMA network.
Now HTC has unveiled Incredible S which will be available for the GSM market around the globe. It has a huge 4-inch screen and comes with an 8 MP camera with flash which can also record HD videos.
The unique visual appeal of this phone is the ridged back cover which aligns with the internal components of the phone and is not a rectangular block like most other phones.
It runs Android 2.2 which looks a bit outdated since most phones now come equipped with Android 2.3.
Image: HTC Incredible S
Contrary to the rumours floating around for the past few months, Facebook did not release any 'Facebook Phone'.
Instead HTC released an Android phone with Facebook deeply integrated into it's User Interface. The exciting feature is a dedicated Facebook hardware key in the front which gently glows to notify of any updates.
And also with the press of the Facebook button you can upload pictures, videos, update your status, share a website, 'check-in' to a location and do much more.
You can also chat with your Facebook contacts with the Facebook chat widget built into the UI. These smartphones are aimed at the Facebook generation.
Image: Facebook Phone
HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha
Yes, you might be cringing at the names but apparently that's what HTC deemed fit to name their two Facebook integrated phones.
The HTC Salsa has 3.4-inch screen while the HTC ChaCha features a 2.6-inch touch screen with a QWERTY keyboard.
Both the phones have Android 2.3 running and apart from the front facing camera for video calling it also has a 5 MP camera with flash so you could take beautiful pictures and videos to share with family and friends on Facebook.
Image: HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha
HP Pre 3 and HP Veer
HP launched the HP Pre 3 and the HP Veer just a few days before the Mobile World Congress but the handsets were on display at the event for everyone to experience them.
The HP Pre 3 sports a 3.6-inch screen with a QWERTY slide out keyboard and the HP Veer is its smaller version coming in with a 2-inch screen also with a cute little QWERTY keyboard.
The HP Pre 3 consists of a 5 MP camera with flash which can record HD videos too and also a front facing camera for video calling.
Surprisingly the tiny HP Veer manages to hold many of the features you'll find in larger devices like a 5 MP camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a GPS.
The Web OS found on both the phones is slick and provides one of the best user experiences on a smartphone. One of the things holding back these phones from success is the lack of apps, the total count is well behind iOS and Android apps available at the moment.
Image: HP Pre 3 and HP Veer