MOST MAJOR smartphone makers unveiled quad-core beauties at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, but it is hard to tell which device will be the next big thing.
Many of the handsets have very similar specifications including large displays that are just a shade under five inches and quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processors that are clocked at up to 1.5GHz.
Of course each manufacturer is taking a different approach to try to stand out in a crowded market. HTC has addressed a major weakness in its One range by upping the quality of its camera.
The firm is touting the image quality of its 8MP camera as it has redesigned the optics to help process clearer and brighter images. Of course the Taiwanese manufacturer also has its HTC Sense interface, which is the best looking and feature rich Android overlay we have tested, even though it drained its battery a little quicker than we liked.
LG's latest mantra for its Optimus 4X HD handset is "clarity, colour and consumption". The firm traditionally been strong when it comes to the displays, and with the Tegra 3 chip helping to lower power consumption, the firm could be onto a winner.
Meanwhile, Huawei is the manufacturer to watch as it is trying to win over users by ramping up its specifications. In terms of raw hardware the Ascend D range is going to have few peers. The 4.5in screen has 1,280x720 resolution and 330ppi (pixel-per-inch) density, which is higher than that of Apple's Iphone.
The Chinese smartphone newcomer has designed its own 1.5GHz processor and added 16GPU cores, compared to 12 graphics cores in the Tegra 3. It claims its Ascend range will deliver the best graphical experience of any handset, and if true it could be a winner.
Of course things will get really interesting when the Samsung Galaxy S III arrives. This is expected to be another quad-core monster, and seeing as how the Korean firm has arguably the strongest brand in the smartphone market, aside from Apple, it is likely to be another hit for Samsung. But it will be good if one of the above manufacturers has a device that makes it a three horse race. µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home