February 24, 2012, 6:36 AM — Mobile World Congress 2012, which starts on Monday in Barcelona, is the world's largest and most exciting trade show for phones--and now tablets. The industry gathering pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the year when it comes to major mobile trends.
Next week we'll likely see the much-anticipated arrival of Tegra 3-powered devices; you can expect at least a handful of phones and tablets based on Nvidia's new quad-core chip. One quad-core phone already announced is LG's first: the Optimus 4X HD. Also, will an HTC quad-core phone finally make its debut? We'll find out at HTC's press conference on Sunday, the day before the show opens.
The Optimus 4X HD has a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels. It runs on a 1.5GHz quad-core processor from Nvidia, with 16GB of internal memory and dual cameras (an 8-megapixel back camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera). Best of all, it's only about 9mm thin with a 2150mAh battery, and it will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.
In addition, LG has announced the Optimus 3D Max, a thinner follow-up to the Optimus 3D launched at last year's show. The Optimus 3D Max ships with Gingerbread (Android 2.3), but LG assures us that the smartphone will receive an update to Ice Cream Sandwich shortly after it ships.
Other Smartphone Announcements
This week Nokia released a teaser video alluding to a camera-centric phone announcement on February 27 (the first day of the show). "Get ready to capture a pure view," the video states. Will Nokia up the megapixel ante and reveal a 12-megapixel camera? Nokia's flagship phones have always had stellar cameras: We praised the cameras in the Lumia 800 and Nokia N8. We'll find out what Nokia has up its sleeve on Monday.