Samsung Wave Highlights Gadget Glut at MWC

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — So many new gadgets have been released in the first 24 hours of this event in Barcelona that it’s hard to keep track of them all. But many believe the Samsung Wave is the head of the class.

The Wave is the first Samsung phone to use the Bada, linux-based operating system. It’s getting big-time props for its Super AMOLED display, which some are calling the best they’ve ever seen. It’s so vivid, it makes some wanting a bigger size – it’s 3.3 inches. Samsung has pledged to release a phone with a four-inch Super AMOLED display sometime in 2010.

Samsung was far from being the only one active on the gadget front on the first day of MWC. Just to name a few others …

Sony Ericsson debuted a trio of new phones: the Vivaz Pro, the X10 Mini and the X10 Mini Pro. The X10s use the Android OS. The Vivaz Pro expands on the original Vivaz design, adding a slide-out keyboard. Since it operates on the Symbian platform, it’s unlikely to make it to the U.S.

Not to be outdone, Motorola introduced another new Android phone. The Cliq XT (called the QUENCH in Europe) comes without a slide-out keyboard. Obviously, the benefit here is that it’s much thinner than its predecessor. The Cliq XT also has a touch pad underneath the display to facilitate scrolling. And it uses MOTOBLUR, Motorola’s content-delivery system, which the company says organizes messages and synchronizes contacts to keep conversations in constant motion. The best function might be the ability to enter whole words by swiping your finger across the QWERTY keyboard on the touchscreen display.

Huawei is showcasing the world’s first HSPA+ smartphone powered by Android at MWC. The U8800 smartphone will be commercially available in the third quarter of 2010, and able to support high-speed Internet access, which is faster than existing 3G smartphones. The U8800 uses the Android 2.1 operating system, and integrates HSPA+ capabilities to support downlink super-speeds of up to 14 Mb/s. Huawei says that’s fast enough to download a 400Mb feature-length movie within 30 seconds. The smartphone will feature a 3.8-inch wide screen, providing users with a broader field of vision and allowing them to take full advantage of a multitude of features and Internet applications.

Microsoft got in the game, unveiling its Windows Phone 7 Series. CEO Steve Ballmer told the crowd at MWC that the new platform offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone. Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.

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