BARCELONA: Nokia and Asus have dominated the second day of Mobile World Congress (MWC) after a busy Sunday, releasing a host of new Windows Phone 8 and Android products ideal for business use.
Nokia's low cost marvels
Nokia kicked off the day bright and early, hosting a press keynote at 8:30am. Bleary eyed and more tired than we'd liked to admit the V3 team dragged itself out of bed praying the Finnish phone maker would unveil the fabled Lumia Pureview phone long rumoured to be in production.
However, the firm's Nokia's MWC focus is clearly on the mid to low rather high tier business smartphone market, unveiling its new Lumia 520 and 720 handsets.
While many in the audience were clearly were disappointed at lack of a Pureview handset, the phones were notable releases.
The 920 was released less than a year ago and as we noted at the time, it is one of the most innovative smartphones currently available in the UK. In fact, the only real downside to the device is its hefty £500-plus cost.
For this reason when we heard Nokia had spent its time finding ways to bring some of the 920's camera and screen innovations to the budget-priced 720 and 520 we couldn't be happier.
Add to this the unveiling of Nokia's new Here Maps, Drive and Lens services, which add augmented reality features to the already great apps and the event was worth getting up for, just about.
Asus's new tablets
In to the afternoon and it was Asus's turn to try and impress us. Considering the massive Infinity symbol littering Asus' MWC promotional material we were expecting the Taiwanese firm to release a new convertible device.
For that reason, when Asus chairman, Jonny Shih triumphantly unveiled the company's new Padfone Infinity, we weren't too surprised.
While the new Padfone does look very nice, feature a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz processor and super crisp 5in 441ppi display, it is pretty similar to its predecessors.
Indeed, like those predecessors, the Infinity is a standalone smartphone that comes paired with a separate tablet dock.
The phone can be inserted in the rear of the dock to convert it into a fully functioning 10in Android tablet.
However, it was when Shih took a page out of Apple founder Steve Job's book and told us he had 'one more thing' to show us that we were on the edge of our seats.
Luckily our anticipation was for good reason, with Shih bringing out Asus's new Fonepad 7in mobile tablet. The Fonepad is interesting because as well as being an affordable sub-£300 tablet, it's also a fully functioning mobile phone, featuring a microSim as well as microSD card slot.
While we're not sure we'd want to be seen in public using the Fonepad to make calls, we have to confess we are curious about the device and can't wait for a chance to get a full hands on with it come our visit to Asus MWC stand.
Right, now it's time for some well-earned tapas and a Rioja or two before we do it all over again tomorrow.
26 Feb 2013