BARCELONA: Mobile World Congress (MWC) is once again upon us. However, unlike previous years, the big name players like Samsung and HTC have kept strangely quiet.
The lack of activity from the powerhouse players has allowed budget smartphone maker Huawei and newcomer Mozilla to steal the limelight with their respective Ascend P1 smartphone and Firefox OS announcements.
The Ascend P2
Huawei opened up the MWC 2013 proceedings midday on Sunday, unveiling its top end Ascend P2 Android smartphone.
Following in the tradition of its predecessor, the P1, Huawei's P2 is designed to be the company's flagship handset and is set to take on the likes of HTC's One and Samsung's Galaxy S4 come its release later this year.
While it would be all too easy to dismiss the P2's chances of succeeding when faced with such lofty competition, we did find an awful lot to like about Huawei's new flagship.
Chief among the P2's perks is its fast performance. Huawei claims that when connected to 4G the phone is the fastest LTE device on the market, boasting data connection speeds of as high as 150Mbit/s, if you can find a network fast enough.
While we haven't yet had a chance to test Huawei's claims, if true, the P2 could prove to be one of the 2013's most compelling smartphones.
Mozilla Firefox OS
Finishing off the first day, Mozilla held a press conference to reveal which smartphone manufacturers and network carriers are currently confirmed to launch devices running its forthcoming Firefox OS.
With big names including, ZTE, Huawei LG and Alcatel confirmed to be making Firefox OS handsets and 17 of world's biggest network carriers poised to support them, our thoughts on the platform's chance of success has changed markedly.
Now, having had a hands-on with the Firefox OS running on ZTE's Open smartphone, we're even more optimistic the HTML5-based mobile operating system could be one to watch.
We can't wait to have a more thorough go with it when it launches summer this year.
Stay tuned at V3 for more up-to-the-minute coverage of MWC throughout the week.
25 Feb 2013