Sponsored Feature: What next for the smartphone?

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Sponsored Feature: What next for the smartphone?
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The annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona is always an event that gets smartphone fans excited.

After all, it's where all of the main manufacturers show up, many of whom unveil their new product range for the coming year. This year's MWC proved no exception, with some great new models 'outed' from the likes of HTC, LG, Sony, and Samsung.

And make no mistake: 2012 looks like being a bumper year if you're looking for lots of new high-tech features on your next headset acquisition.


Nokia, for example, has had some lean times of late, but turned up at MWC with a smartphone that featured a whopping 41-megapixel camera in its proverbial pocket.

Rather more typical, though, were smartphones armed with snapping devices that can shoot 13-megapixel images, meaning that the mobile phone is rapidly replacing point-and-shoot cameras in many households.

If you've been on the lookout for the best iPhone deals you can find, then you'll probably have noticed how many rival smartphones now have screens way bigger than Apple's iconic iPhone - Apple's blower has a relatively meagre 3.5-inch viewing area.

Many of the new devices at MWC were boasting screens well in excess of four inches, while something like the Samsung Galaxy Note manages to successfully bridge the gap between smartphone and tablet with its 10.1-inch display, which can be controlled with a stylus.

It's this merging of smartphone and tablet technology that points to some of the most interesting developments so far in 2012.

Padding up

Asus, for example, which is well known for its excellent range of netbook computers, arrived in Barcelona with the Padfone, a gadget that combines the phone and slate, with a handset that slots into a tablet. You can also pair it up with a keyboard, so it's a quirky little thing that sort of fits a whole variety of functionality requirements.

Needless to day, all of these extra features and enormous displays mean that smartphones are becoming increasingly reliant on power to keep them going.

Long gone are the days when you could have a mobile phone that wouldn't need charging for days on end. Now, most smartphones require rejuicing at least once a day, and that doesn't look like changing any time soon.

Thirsty business

Something else with a thirst for battery power is the new range of quad-core processors that are being used to drive new models.

It's now commonplace to find your new smartphone running a dual- or even quad-core processor - these kinds of chips are going to make all the difference when it comes to getting the best from these heavily graphics-driven devices.

With more and more of us using our smartphones to take photos and shoot HD video, and then post them on the web or a social networking site, we need responsive handsets that can do it all... and in a matter of seconds. Interesting, then, that one of the boldest claims made at MWC was by Asian brand Huawei.

This burgeoning electronics manufacturer made much of its new Ascend D Quad device, which the company claims will have an enviable battery life of two or three days.

Add to that the fact Huawei plans to make it the world's fastest smartphone to date, and it's little wonder that most eyes at this year's event were looking towards the East.

This post was contributed by Rob Clymo on behalf of Broadband Genie.