Mobile World Congress: Day Zero


The world's biggest phone conference has only just started as you're reading this, but I'm already knee deep in new phones to post stories about. As is tradition, two of mobile's biggest manufacturers held their press conferences on the Sunday before Mobile World Congress officially begins on the Monday (at the same time naturally - Congress is no time for convenience).

I hit Samsung first, knowing it would be a big reveal of the first smartphone running on bada, Sammy's new open-source OS as of last December; hoping we would actually find out a little more about bada and what sets it apart. Nay to that second, but I did goggle at, play with and record video of the Samsung Wave - an honestly gorgeous, speedy and high-spec device with Samsung's trademark finesse in the media features.

The Wave was amazing to play with - seriously, a touch-screen of iPhone-esque quality... though to play the usual cynic, it wasn't loaded up with the apps, messages and shrapnel that can lag a touchscreen. I also quite liked the new TouchWiz  interface - previous versions have proved a little clumsy, but v3.0 looks completely different, and the drag and drop motion to add widgets to your (up to ten!) homescreens is much more fluid. It sounds like Samsung will also be able to offer a lot more widgets than the rather tame selection of yore, thanks to its new, developer-friendly OS. Check out more in our First Impressions of the Samsung Wave, posted soon.

After scoring some hands on pix and a product demo, I moved on to Sony Ericsson, which I had heard only that morning would be showing seven new handsets... thanks to someone realizing the value of taking a hyped-up phone and making a 'mini' version (Xperia X10 Mini), or making a 'pro' version (add a keyboard and it becomes a Xperia X10 Mini Pro!)). These Mini's are, as you'd expect, scaled down versions of the high-end Xperia X10, Sony E's much-discussed flagship Android device that should finally see a launch date by April.

 ]I also saw the Symbian S60-running Vivaz HD (and keyboard-laden bro, the Vivaz Pro) in living colour for the first time - and if the YouTube video Sony Ericsson shot with it is to be believed, it's one impressive piece of video kit.

Both are great looking, super lightweight phones that pack a 'central focus' feature thus far only in dedicated video cameras. Sony Ericsson demonstrated this in a video testing the phone's ability to focus on a horizon, then focus in on an object introduced just centimeters away. I didn't get a chance to see any other features, but will get a hands on preview as soon as humanly possible.


I'll be back later tonight with more mobile goodies and gossip. After all, Day 1's just started.

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