The crowds are dispersing, the dust is settling and Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 is coming to a close. And once again it’s been another year of killer smartphones, some of which have the potential to redefine the space completely. HTC has led the line with some awesome efforts, but Samsung, LG, Acer and Sony Ericsson have all done the business too. Here’s our pick of the expo's Top 10 phones.
1 HTC Desire S
HTC once again proved that it’s the very best Android mobile maker at this year’s show. The Desire S is everything we could have hoped for from a sequel to last year’s best-seller. A gorgeous unibody aluminium design, updated Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, beefed up HTC Sense and Android 2.3 Gingerbread make this an irresistible package.
2 Samsung Galaxy S II
It’s hard to imagine the ace Galaxy S being trumped so soon, but the S II has definitely outdone its predecessor. Android Gingerbread, NFC smarts for contactless payments, Super AMOLED panel and all in a frame that’s been commended for its lightweight style. With a dual-core processor, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t Sammy’s best phone ever.
3 HTC ChaCha
The Facebook phone. Well, one of two alongside the HTC Salsa. This makes the top 10 by dint of the fact that HTC has opted to add on a QWERTY keyboard to go with the dedicated Facebook button, making this a messaging mobile to treasure. The Facebook button means breezy uploading of pics and location and points to a series of new social networking phones to come in 2011.
4 Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
The PlayStation Phone, or the Xperia Play as it’s also known, is hard to argue with. Great looks, well thought out gaming buttons and gorgeous graphics, plus PlayStaion Suite support, mean this will help put Android on the gaming map. The iPhone now has a serious mobile gaming rival.
5 Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
Sony Ericsson’s decision to load up all of its phones with Gingerbread is more than welcome, proving it finally understands the issues of fragmentation. The Xperia Pro will benefit from being so up-to-date, with a 1GHz processor, QWERTY keyboard and a toning down of SE’s rather ugly Android custom skin.
6 HTC Incredible S
The Incredible S’s arrival on these shores has been anticipated for some time. The 4-inch monster has been around in its original form across the pond for nearly a year. The ruggedised frame is great and makes for a sturdy alternative to the Desire S. One word of caution: it only packs Android 2.2 FroYo, although an update is promised.
7 Sonim XP300 Force
Sonim always rocks up at MWC with a new tough phone, but the Force really is its best yet and proof that phones don’t need to be smart to be cool. It can handle drops of 30 metres, its screen is protected by Gorilla Glass, it’s water and dust proof and works down to -20C. This is one for extreme types only, but nonetheless it’s a real talking point.
8 Samsung Wave 578
Bada has been forgotten as a platform, but Sammy’s budget touchscreen effort is ace. With NFC, it’s up there with the best Android phones, while ebook skills and the TouchWiz interface complete the package. It won’t beat down top-end rivals, but this is a great budget alternative.
9 LG Optimus 3D
A gimmick? Maybe. But the LG Optimus 3D has had tongues wagging all week in Barcelona. Its dedicated 3D button lets you shoot video and take snaps in three dimensions, while the screen plays back everything you could possibly want in the futuristic format. The 4.3-inch touchscreen is a beauty, the only let down being the inclusion of Android FroYo instead of Gingerbread.
10 Acer Iconia Smart
With a 4.8-inch, 21:9 screen, Acer’s Iconia Smart is certainly different to anything else we’ve seen this week. In many ways, it apes LG’s BL40 Chocolate phone, but in fact it bests the Korean’s effort with Android 2.3, HSPA+ and a 1.1GHz processor.