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MWC Monday roundup: Asus, ZTE and Nokia unveil latest smartphone innovations

Asus and ZTE bet big on phablets
Tue Feb 26 2013, 10:48

BARCELONA: IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE that day two of Mobile World Congress (MWC) is already behind us, but what a day it was.

Monday was all about redefining the smartphone. ZTE, for example, is clearly betting big on mammoth screened devices, announcing the ZTE Grand Memo at the show yesterday. This phone takes Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 handset and makes it even bigger, as the ZTE Grand Memo touts a 5.7in screen.

The INQUIRER was quick to get its hands on the device. Well, we say get our hands on, but we could barely get our fingers around the Grand Memo, not to mention how stupid we felt when we held the phone up to our face.

ZTE Grand Memo

Sure, we might just have abnormally small hands, but we couldn't help but think that ZTE had gone a step too far with the Grand Memo's size.

Following ZTE's announcement, we weren't expecting or hoping to see any larger phones on the MWC show floor, and then came Asus' announcement.

As well as announcing its latest Padfone device, which is a 5in smartphone with a 10.1in docking station, Asus shocked the crowd by announcing the Fonepad. The Asus Fonepad is, essentially, a 7in smartphone, a device that makes Samsung's Galaxy Note look positively small in comparison.

Asus' Padfone unveiling also arrived after Samsung's announcement of the Galaxy Note 8.0 on Sunday, an 8in tablet that also has the ability to make phone calls. However, Samsung seemed keen to point out that its 8in Galaxy Note is not a smartphone, but it seemed that Asus had different ideas.

Of course, not every company is betting big on phablets, and Nokia steered clear of mammoth screened phones during its conference on Monday morning.

That's not to say the firm didn't impress, as its Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 won over MWC attendees with their top-end specs and affordable price tags.

The Nokia Lumia 520 runs Windows Phone 8

The Finnish phone maker also revealed the old-school Nokia 105 during its conference, a well-specified candy bar phone that will go on sale for a mere £13.

So, with 7in phablets and £13 phones on show on Monday, it seems that this year's Mobile World Congress is all about showcasing the diversity of mobile phones. Who knows what we'll see on Tuesday. µ

 

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