Mobile World Congress 2012: This year’s hottest gadgets

Highlights from this week’s confab in Barcelona

Top tablets, smartphones and other mobile gadgets on display

It's the end of February, which means that it’s time for the world’s leading mobile device manufacturers and mobile carriers to gather in sunny Barcelona, Spain for the annual Mobile World Congress tradeshow. As you’d expect, this show will feature new tablets, smartphones and other mobile gadgets from big-time vendors such as Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, Nokia and more. In this slideshow we’ll give you the lowdown on all the hot new devices.

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Panasonic Eluga

If you buy a Panasonic Eluga, you’ll never have to worry about dropping your smartphone into the toilet again. That’s because Panasonic says the device is not merely water-resistant but actually waterproof and can be fully submerged into water without being destroyed. The device’s other specs are pretty standard: 1GHz dual-core processor, Android 2.3, 8MP camera and 8GB of storage.

Samsung Galaxy Beam

If you’ve ever wanted your smartphone to double as an old-time movie projector, Samsung has a device for you. The Galaxy Beam’s key feature is a small projector beam at the top of the device that is capable of projecting whatever is on your smartphone screen onto a screen or your wall. More impressively, Samsung says the device can project images of up to 50 inches, meaning that its small projector beam packs quite a lot of power. Otherwise the device is a fairly standard smartphone with Android 2.3, a 5MP camera and a dual-core 1GHz processor.

Nokia 808 PureView

It’s been a while since anyone has bought a mobile phone based solely on the quality of its camera. But then again, no smartphone has ever had a 41-megapixel camera before Nokia unveiled its 808 PureView smartphone this week. Although the phone’s camera is certainly unrivaled in the current market, it does come with a big downside: It will be one of the last phones to run on Nokia’s soon-to-be-defunct Symbian operating system. But if you want a device just for making calls, surfing the web and taking amazing pictures, the PureView could be right for you.

Huawei Ascend D Quad

Huawei is known much more for its chips than its own devices, but the company is hoping to change that with the new Ascend D Quad smartphone that features its own quad-core processor, Android 4.0, a 4.5-inch display screen and an 8MP camera.

HTC One X

The One X is HTC’s big showcase smartphone at MWC this year and it features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.0 and a 4.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. It also weighs in at a mere 130 grams, making it one of the lighter big-time smartphones on the market. And finally, the One X will feature the latest version of HTC’s Sense GUI that has long been a fixture of all its Android devices.

Nokia Lumia 610

Not everyone wants to spend top dollar for a cutting-edge smartphone, which is why Nokia is releasing the Lumia 610 device that will reportedly sell for around $100. The device runs on Windows Phone 7.5 and generally lacks the big-time specs that other phones at MWC have displayed. But at the same time, it’s cheap and it looks to be a very solid device for users who just want the basics.

The Asus Padfone

Although Asus has been toting around its Padfone design for several months now, it looks like the smartphone-tablet hybrid will finally be ready for primetime at MWC. The Padfone is literally two devices in one: A 4.3-inch smartphone that can actually dock into a 10-inch tablet. The Padfone is expected to run on Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”).

LG Optimus 4X HD

The Optimus 4X HD is the first “Holy cow!” smartphone announced at the show as it features the super-powerful 1.5GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and a 4.7-inch display screen with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. From a specs perspective alone, the Optimus 4X HD looks like a game changer.

AT&T Digital Life

This new remote platform is sure to be a popular item at MWC, as it allows users to remotely manage home wireless devices and sensors from a tablet or smartphone. Digital Life essentially lets you set up sensors on different devices, including your home heating system and surveillance cameras, and allows you to control them from your mobile device as long as it has access to the web.

The Acer Liquid Glow

Acer’s rather oddly named new smartphone is intended to be a low-cost Android device that has many of the bells and whistles of other cutting-edge smartphones, including Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), support for near field communications (NFC) and a 5MP camera.

Novera Solano

Although Novera isn’t a well-known manufacturer, it has generated a fair amount of buzz so far with its Solano tablet-laptop hybrid. What makes this particular device neat is that it has a flip-rotating design that allows you to close up your laptop and still have your tablet facing upward. The device also runs both Windows 7 and Android, so you can get both an optimized PC and tablet experience.

ZTE Mimosa X

The Mimosa X promises to be just one of many handsets ZTE shows off at MWC. The smartphone runs on Android 4.0 and features a NVIDIA Tegra dual-core processor. ZTE also says it plans to debut some other multicore Android and Windows Phone devices during the show.

ViewSonic ViewPad G70

Well what do you know? It’s another tablet running on Android 4.0! This one has front and rear cameras and features both WiFi and 3G connectivity, as well as a seven-inch display screen with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels.

Acer CloudMobile

Judging from its name, it’s a fair bet that the CloudMobile will have a lot of cloud-based capabilities, most likely from Acer’s AcerCloud platform. As with many of the other phones in this slideshow, the CloudMobile features Android 4.0, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has a 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels.

We want to hear from YOU! Seen a smartphone or tablet that’s intrigued you at MWC yet? Let us know in the comments.

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