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MWC Sunday roundup: HP Slate, Ascend P2 and Firefox phones

HP bets big on Android, while Mozilla looks to take on Google's mobile OS
Mon Feb 25 2013, 16:40

BARCELONA: MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS (MWC) might not have started officially until Monday, but The INQUIRER saw a day full of announcements on Sunday here in Barcelona.

Huawei kicked off Sunday's proceedings with the launch of the Huawei Ascend P2, a smartphone that it claims is the fastest 4G phone ever with the ability to reach download speeds of 150Mbit/s.

The Huawei Ascend P2 has a 4.7in HD screen

That's not the standout feature of the Ascend P2 however, as Huawei concluded its announcement by revealing the handset's £300 price tag, close to the SIM-free cost of Google's popular Nexus 4 handset.

With similar specifications, such as the handset's 4.7in HD touchscreen, 1.5GHz quad-core processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, it looks like Huawei has positioned itself well for UK smartphone domination.

While we're not 100 percent convinced that the Huawei brand is strong enough yet to beat Samsung and Apple, we're certainly excited by what the firm could achieve, especially considering that HTC's and Sony's latest flagship phones have £500 price tags.

Huawei's glitzy launch event was soon followed by the hotly anticipated Mozilla announcement, where the firm revealed the first handsets to run its Firefox operating system. These include the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Fire smartphones, which both cater to the low-end smartphone market.

MWC  Firefox OS on ZTE Open home

Mozilla is looking to bring innovative mobile web experiences to every country around the world, but we can't help but think that the launch of a top-end Firefox handset would have created much more excitement.

HP rounded off day one with the surprise announcement of the HP Slate7, a 7in tablet powered by Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system. What's more, HP revealed that this tablet will cost just $169 when it reaches the market, putting the firm in direct competition with Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

The HP Slate7 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

It's fair to say that HP hasn't been very successful in the tablet market so far. For example, HP's webOS-powered Touchpad was a well documented flop, and if speculation is to be believed, the firm's Windows 8 tablets haven't done much better. µ

It's refreshing to see HP addressing its mistakes and going with a popular tablet OS, and although we're yet to get our mitts on the tablet, its budget price tag could well make this device a success. Not to mention its top-end specifications sheet, which includes a quad-core 1.6GHz processor, a 7in HD touchscreen and integrated Beats Audio technology. Sure, the firm has a long way to go to convince customers that it has done things right this time, but thanks to the Slate7's dirt cheap price tag, consumers are unlikely to need too much persuading. µ


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