MWC 2010 – pick of the show

Show’s over, folks. The gates of Mobile World Congress have been chained and padlocked for another year, leaving us to mull the maelstrom of phone new

Show’s over, folks. The gates of Mobile World Congress have been chained and padlocked for another year, leaving us to mull the maelstrom of phone news to come out of the past week. And what a week it’s been, full of shiny new handsets, business announcements, OS launches and industry sniping. We were there to cover it all, but here are our digested highlights.

HTC Desire

While the Legend attracted the lion’s share of buzz at the HTC stand, it was the Desire that won through for us. It may not have moved far from the design of Google’s Nexus One, but it bested the Legend’s screen with a 3.7in AMOLED dazzler and its brains with a 1GHz Snapdragon. It also has a 5MP cam and the new optical trackpad (both also on the Legend) and is set to be the Android 2.1 smartphone to beat when it launches next month. See the full hands-on here.

Want factor: 5/5

The MWC 2010 bombshell, and make no mistake. Microsoft torched WinMo by announcing a totally new OS and, with it, a new way to organise life on the move. Shunning an app-based platform in favour of hub navigation and live tiles, Windows Phone 7 is arguably the biggest news in mobile software since the iPhone (and certainly since Android). The announcement also included plans to police hardware standards. We should see results before the year is out.

Want factor: 5/5

A surprise entry perhaps, not least because our first fondlings were a crashy experience (owing, we think, to the early build of Sammy’s new Bada OS). But the Wave shines, quite literally, with a stunning 3.3in Super AMOLED screen. The ‘Super’ part is a proprietary tech (along with the OS and 1GHz processor), but whatever it is, it’s working (check out our iPhone comparison pics in the hands-on for proof). If the operational niggles can be fixed by launch, this handset has a bright future.

Want factor: 4/5

Voted least likely to run out a half decent phone at MWC was Puma. Yet somehow the sports brand managed to run out an innovative handset running a usable OS and leave us – if not speechless, exactly – impressed. A responsive touchscreen, great attention to detail, a select choice of lifestyle/sports apps and a few personal touches gave the Puma Phone a shine that more established manufacturers have struggled for. And the rear-mounted solar-panel should help you juice up on the fly.

Want factor: 4/5

Taking advantage of the calm before the storm, Garmin outed its latest nüvifones over a week ago. And while it’s hard to get excited by a phone running a soon-to-be-extinct operating system, if you’re one of the people who’ll miss WinMo 6.5 (now ‘WinMo Classic’, apparently), you could do a lot worse than the M10. Despite a resistive screen, we found the sat-navver impressive enough to merit a mention. It might be the last time we say that about a WinMo phone. Sniff...

Of course, if you're not a WinMo fan, there was the – to be honest – much more impressive Android-packing A50, with a more responsive capacitive touchscreen. Both come with a car cradle too, so you'll be car-ready out of the box.

Want factor: The M10 gets a  3/5, but the A50's capacitive touchscreen and improved usability pushes it up a notch to 4/5