5 of the best – Mobile World Congress 2011
If last year's Mobile World Congress was all about new operating systems, this year saw the true merging of phones and computers.
For the first time, tablets took centre stage, with virtually every tech big gun showing off their twist on the iPad. And not to be outdone, terrifyingly powerful super-phones jostled for your love and attention. Here's our pick of the five best things from MWC 2011:
1. Samsung Galaxy S II
Just weeks after the Motorola Atrix blew our Space Invader socks off at CES, Samsung has matched its dual-core power with this Galaxy S successor. Its X-rated specs list includes a 4.27in, 800x480 Super AMOLED Plus screen, 8MP camera with 1080p video capture, 1GB RAM and Android Gingerbread. Somehow, this is all squeezed into a shell that's 8.49mm thick.
Killer feature: Dual-core power in an 8.49mm-thick chassis
Read our Samsung Galaxy S II hands-on
2. LG Optimus 3D
The Stuff office recently marvelled at the Nintendo 3DS' glasses-free 3D powers, and now LG has given a smartphone the same nifty trick. But there's more to the Optimus 3D than watching mini Avatar – it packs two 5MP cameras to let you record stereoscopic movies too. it's also a formidable smartphone in more traditional ways, with a 1Ghz dual-core processor and 4.3in, 800x480 screen for you to gaze at in wonderment.
Killer feature: 3D video recording, and a glasses-free 3D screen
Read our hands-on with the LG Optimus 3D
3. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
It feels like we've known it for years, but the Xperia Play made its first official public appearance at MWC 2011. Otherwise known as the PSP phone, it'll give you access to the new PlayStation Suite and will have no less 50 games available at launch. About time too, Sony.
Killer feature: Dedicated gaming controls. Oh, and its very existence
4. HTC Incredible S
This European version of the US-only Incredible goes some way towards living up to its grand moniker. It's fronted by a truly stunning 4in 'Super LCD' screen, and not too shabby 8MP dual LED camera round the back. We're also rather fond of its unique 'vacuum packed' styling. It only runs Android 2.2 Froyo, but will be cheaper than the similarly specced Desire S when it hits shelves in April.
Killer feature: Impossibly crisp 4in, Super LCD screen
Read our HTC Incredible S hands-on
5. HP TouchPad
HP announced the TouchPad at a fittingly Apple-esque event just before MWC, but it was in Barcelona that it stood toe-to-toe with its many rivals. The tablet-optimised version of WebOS brings all of the tricks seen on Palm's smartphones including Cards and Stacks, but adds bonus extras like fullscreen notifications to take advantage of the 9.7in, 1024x768 screen. It's a bona fide iPad rival, and we can't wait to see it battle Apple's second tablet and the Blackberry PlayBook later this year.
Killer feature: Slick WebOS interface
Read our HP TouchPad hands-on