An eight-megapixel camera inside a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. A waterproof toughphone with all the features you'd expect from a top-end smartphone, and another if not two more Google Android phones. The buzz has been intensifying like a bee in mating season, but next week will finally see the doors of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2009 swing open and the rumour mill is in full speed.
Samsung, LG and Toshiba have jumped the gun and already unveiled their flagship devices prior to MWC - the Tocco Ultra Edition, Arena KM900 and TG01 respectively. Sony Ericsson is said to be on the verge of unveiling its most powerful Walkman phone to date - the Hikaru. The whisper is that the handset will sport a large touch-screen, an eight-megapixel camera and 8GB of onboard memory. We've been critical of the manufacturer for regurgitating the same old models of late, so we're quite excited about the prospect of something new.
Something that has been confirmed is the i-mate 810-F, a phone that if all is to be believed will be able to withstand a good old kicking yet with the nouse that one would expect from a dedicated smartphone. Highlights include HSDPA, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi all operating on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Yet that's not the half of it. This super-savvy phone can also withstand temperatures as cold as -10°C or as hot as 60°C, as well as being fully waterproof. Even the US military has endorsed this bad boy.
RIM is another of the big players rumoured to be on the crest of something big. The BlackBerry 9300 Gemini apparently sports a full QWERTY keypad (which would suggest it will belong to the Curve family), high definition screen (for all you movie buffs), plus HSDPA, Wi-Fi and built-in GPS.
Another rumour doing the rounds is that the 12-megapixel barrier is set to be broken. Now we've said before that a decent camera is not just about the megapixels, but there's no denying it's one of the first credentials consumers look for when purchasing a camera phone. So it won't be the biggest surprise if this particular rumour bears fruition, but what will be more interesting is who will be the one to deliver. Our money is on Samsung.
However, it's the Android Market that's really got people talking, with rumour rife that we will be seeing at least a second Google Android phone before February 19. Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and HTC (again) have all been mentioned as possible outlets. That narrows that down then.
Whatever happens, Mobile Choice will be at MWC reporting back about it all. So bookmark us in your favourites and keep up to speed with our daily updates.