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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Mobile World Congress roundup: New Lumias, waterproof Sony tablet and more

Here’s a look at some of the new hardware — in addition to the i-mate Windows 8 Pro phone — that was announced Sunday and today at the opening of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Nokia announced new mid- and low-range Lumia phones, including a Lumia 720 coming to Asia markets starting this quarter and the Lumia 520, which is coming to the U.S. via T-Mobile. Nokia noted that both of these Windows Phones will also be carried by China Mobile, which last year began carrying its Lumia 920T.

The 520 has a 5 megapixel camera, 8 gigabytes of memory and a rainbow of case colors. T-Mobile isn’t saying when it will begin selling its version, the 521. Because it’s dubbed “affordable” by Nokia and T-Mobile, it probably will sell for about $100 or less with a contract.


Hewlett-Packard chose the mobile show to unveil a new 7-inch consumer tablet called the Slate 7. It’s running Android — not Windows or the WebOS. The tablet starts at $169 for a model with a 3 megapixel camera, dual-core ARM processor and micro USB port.

Sony announced a new 10.1-inch Android tablet that it’s calling the thinnest tablet of its size in the world, at 6.9 millimeters thick. It’s also waterproof — at least for a while. Sony claims the Xperia Tablet Z can be immersed in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes and will still work, so you can stream movies in the bathtub worry-free.

The Xperia Tablet Z also has a new Qualcomm 1.5 gigahertz “asynchronous quad core processor,” plus an 8 megapixel camera, surround-sound speakers, a built-in universal remote to control other devices and total weight of just 495 grams. It goes on sale this spring starting for about $499 for a 16 gig model and $599 for a 32-gig model.

Sony also announced that it’s working with Spanish carrier Telefonica on the development of new phones based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS open source mobile platform, with plans to begin selling the handsets in 2014. A screenshot of the OS from Mozilla:

Samsung announced that it will unveil the Samsung Galaxy S 4 — the successor to its wildly successful Galaxy S 3 — on March 14 at an event in New York. In Barcelona, it’s presenting the Galaxy Note 8.0, an 8-inch tablet filling the gaping void between it’s 7-inch and 10-inch models. The 8-inch tablet is designed for touch or pen input using a new version of Samsung’s “S Pen” and connects via Wi-Fi or HSPA+ wireless. It’s going on sale in the second quarter globally.

Asus and Intel showed a new version of the Asus Fonepad, a phone-tablet hybrid device. Asus had been building its large phone/small tablet devices on Qualcomm hardware but today it announced a 7-inch version that’s using Intel’s new Atom Z2420 processor. The device, which has 3G wireless capability, goes on sale in March:








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