Mobile World Congress 2013: Day One Round-Up

Mobile World Congress 2013 Round-up

The veritable tech-fest that is Mobile World Congress 2013 got underway in Barcelona today, beginning a week of exciting announcements, goodies and news from the heady world of mobile.

And, like the diligent tech disciples we are, we’ve collated the best bits of the opening day into a nice manageable chunk, meaning you can get your fill of what’s been happening from the comfort of your very own home. Aren’t we kind?

We’ve already examined what might be making an appearance at this year’s event, so here’s a look at everything that went down at the Fira Gran Via on day one…

Alcatel OneTouch Fire

Firefox operating system demoed

It’s been talked about for an awfully long time, but Mozilla’s new Firefox mobile operating system has finally had the covers taken off, and the first device brandishing said platform has also been unveiled.

The internet giant behind the iconic Firefox web browser has been working on the OS for some time, and the fruits of its labour were showcased on the Alcatel OneTouch Fire, a basic-looking touchscreen handset. Despite the simple nature of the phone, the dinky device – there’s only a 3.5-inch display, bless it – was the perfect vehicle for the foxy platform.

Unfortunately it seems the Firefox OS is still some way from release, but the company has confirmed that even more manufacturers have signed up to utilise it. On the list so far is LG, Alcatel and ZTE, so we can expect to see plenty more from the rusty little fox very soon.

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia unveils wallet-friendly range

It seems our favourite hardworking Finns have been ultra-busy in the run up to this year’s event, unveiling no fewer than two pocket-friendly handsets.

At one end of the spectrum we have the Nokia Lumia 520, very much a budget interpretation of the successful range running Windows Phone 8. With a 4-inch LCD IPS display, 8GB of internal storage and 5 megapixel camera it’s unlikely to set the world alight, but coupled with changeable back covers and the vibrant colour palette associated with the Lumia range, it’ll surely find and audience. Still, at approximately £120 SIM free, who can argue?

Even more pocket-friendly than that is the Nokia 301, a new device aimed at the teenage market. Running Nokia’s Series 40 interface it may not provide a fluid and intuitive smartphone experience, but its bold colours and familiar candy bar design hark back to Nokia’s golden era. Which we like. Plus, it’s rumoured to come with Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp integration, so those teens will be covered for connectivity. And the best? It costs around £60. We’re definitely looking forward to giving this one a once over.

But stealing the budget show is the Nokia 105, a basic device that does little but call and text. Its cost? Around £12. Frugal.

Samsung Galaxy Budget Range

Samsung’s budget bonanza

It seems affordable handsets are the order of the day at MWC 2013, and not wanting to be left out, Samsung has got involved with two handsets of its own in the form of the Galaxy Fame and Galaxy Young.

With a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage the devices may not bowl people over, but with the Android Jelly Bean operating system on board, they offer a great slice of mobile action for a reasonable outlay. Both rock the now familiar white body and curved edges of the Galaxy range and look encouragingly stylish, in the same vein as the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, despite the budget price.

If today is anything to go by these are unlikely to be the last budget efforts we see from Sammy and everyone else throughout the course of the week, so we can expect some stiff competition for the latest Galaxy efforts.

So that about does it from day one in Barcelona and, my, has it been a busy one. With budget phones being the theme so far, there’s plenty for manufacturers to get their teeth into, so expect a very busy week indeed. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow where we’ll see what day two has to offer. See you then…