It's been a busy first day at Mobile World Congress 2009. We've had new handsets from nearly all the major manufacturers, while Nokia has confirmed their own application store. All the handsets unveiled today look in good stead to reinvigorate the mobile market. Even Sony Ericsson has gone against form by announcing their plans for a multi-tasking touch-screen device, rather than the seasoned candybar and slider formats we have come to expect from them.
The temporarily named Idou is the flagship device of Sony Ericsson's new brand of all-in-one media phones, Entertainment Unlimited, which aims to merge the best of the Walkman and Cybershot ranges into one device. I got to have an initial play with it, and despite its software still being in development, it was slick both in terms of looks and usability. The Idou is also the first mobile phone with a built-in 12.1-megapixel camera complete with Xenon flash, while the large touch-screen looks ideal for movies and games. It's a shame we'll have to wait until the second half of the year to get our hands on a fully working model.
LG too look like they're going from strength to strength with the full unveiling of the LG Arena. LG have fixated on cornering the touch-screen market lately, and I'd go as far to say that this is the best user interface the Korean manufacturer has produced so far. A nifty looking cube icon on the home screen rotates with each finger swipe to display a list of your various menu options. Click on multimedia for example, and voila, you've accessed your camera, internet and music player functions. The only slight surprise lies with the five-megapixel camera, particularly as its predecessor, the Renoir, boasted a hefty eight.
However, while not nearly as high specced, my favourite handset unveiled today would have to be the Samsung Beat DJ. A phone which allows you to scratch tracks and add sound effects and voices is just fun, and a refreshing take on the whole music phone genre.
Click on the links for photo galleries of the Idou and Arena. And keep checking back here for more updates of all the latest from MWC 2009.