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MWC Tuesday roundup: Elop talks cheap and our thoughts on Asus and Samsung devices

We get our paws on the latest products from Asus, Samsung and Ford
Wed Feb 27 2013, 10:49

BARCELONA: THIS YEAR'S MWC is nearly done and dusted, with day three already a distant memory.

It might have been frantic, but Tuesday in Barcelona was unusually quiet. Many companies, such as HTC with its One smartphone, preempted the conference with pre-MWC launch events so there have been few big announcements and exciting product launches.

However, the day kicked off with a bang. The INQUIRER attended the keynote titled "Connecting the next billion" featuring talks by Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop held a keynote speech at MWC 2013

While Kovacs talked up Mozilla's newly launched Firefox OS, which will make its debut on phones from ZTE and Huawei in developing countries, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop spoke of the Finnish firm's dominance in those same emerging markets - something that's unlikely to change any time soon, given Nokia's new £13 105 handset.

Elop also spoke of how Nokia is looking to blur the line between its feature phones and its Windows Phone powered Lumia smartphones, suggesting that we'll be seeing even cheaper Lumia handsets than the Nokia Lumia 520.

Following the keynote, we quickly dashed to the show floor to get our hands on the few products that were unveiled at this year's conference.

Among these was the Asus Fonepad, a device that blurs the line between tablets and smartphones with its 7in screen and calling capability.

The Asus Fonepad runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Although we weren't immediately sold on the idea, the Fonepad managed to impress us during our hands-on time, and we imagine it's likely to see success, similar to the Google Nexus 7.

We also got our mitts on the Samsung Galaxy Xcover smartphone, aimed at ourdoors types and apparently sea divers with its rugged casing and underwater features. It's not the prettiest of handsets, but it felt like it could take a good beating.

One of the most interesting products we saw yesterday was Ford's in-car Spotify integration. Ford demonstrated the product for The INQUIRER, showing us how you can easily hook up your iPhone to its in-car entertainment system and use voice commands to control the music streaming service.

We've got another day here on the MWC show floor, and who knows what we'll get our mitts on today. µ


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