During his keynote address, Google CEO Erick Schmidt announced the company’s focus to the mobile world. Under the company’s new mantra of ‘Mobile First’, Google will focus on three key technological segments — computing power, interconnectivity and cloud computing. On the other hand, RIM Blackberry (finally) released a full-fledged browser for their user base. Its current web browser is arguably the weakest part of the BlackBerry experience, so the announcement came as a relief for most Blackberry users. This browser will run on WebKit, the rendering engine behind Apple’s Safari browser and is being touted as an easier and faster to use version which will be available later this year.
On the hardware side, HTC has taken the Macbook Pro formula to an Android device and the result is the Legend, which many considered the best-looking phone on view, with its brilliant 3.2-inch AMOLED display, slightly curved bottom (a bit like the Hero) and optical trackpad. It does not do too badly in the specs department, with the latest version of Android (2.1) and what by all accounts, seems to be a rather good 5.0-megapixel camera. One wishes they had thrown in a faster processor, but even without it, this is a phone to look out for.
Motorola’s much-talked-about Back-Flip was on display at Barcelona, but it was the freshly announced Quench that made headlines. A totally touchscreen-driven Android device, the phone seems targeted at the younger crowd, packing in a decent 5.0-megapixel camera, a 3.1-inch touchscreen and removable covers of different colours.
It also has a new onscreen typing system where one can type by moving one’s finger on the keypad instead of tapping on it. Our only gripe is that it seems to run on the rather outdated Android 1.5. Hopefully, Moto will update.
Although not overwhelmingly large at 3.3 inches, Samsung’s Wave uses Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, which has touch sensors on the display itself rather than being embedded in a layer on top of it. Of course, there is more to the phone than just a terrific screen. It comes with a 5.0-megapixel camera and it’s blazingly fast, thanks to a 1 Ghz
processor and 512 MB RAM.
What’s more, it is the first phone to run on Samsung’s much-hyped Bada OS, which is designed mainly for touchscreens with large icons and an emphasis on social networking and entertainment.
Sagem’s Puma phone grabbed headlines not just because of the sports apparel company’s name tagged with it, but also with its innovative and sports-oriented interface, featuring a music player shaped like a turntable (you can scratch on it) and a calculator with a sense of humour. Which just goes to show that keeping things simple still works.