Aaand it’s over. Too soon, too uneventful, but what can you do? After all, it’s not like we expected MWC 2013 to blow our socks off. And it didn’t. Not in the least. In fact, I challenge you to name three super-awesome devices you saw in Barcelona for the first time. You got ten seconds.
What, you can’t even name two? How about one? That’s bad, but we shouldn’t make a huge fuss of it. It’s not like there weren’t uber-cool gadgets on display. There were, only they weren’t there exclusively or for the first time ever.
Sony’s Xperia Z, HTC’s One, LG’s Optimus G Pro, even the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, they were all known to the public previous to their Congress appearances. Meanwhile, the few surprises – Asus Padfone Infinity, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or HP Slate 7 – were oft-rumored ahead of the show and therefore… not so surprising.
But enough with the complaining and let’s get down to business. What were the MWC 2013 stars in this unfortunate context? That’s a tough one, but, after plenty of deliberation, we think we have the top 5 smartphones. We’ve even ranked them for you, so here they are in reverse order of their hit potential:
5. ZTE Grand Memo
The massive 5.7-incher would have probably had no trouble in reaching our podium if a. it would have come with a Full HD screen and b. it wouldn’t have been for that annoying processor controversy.
As things stand, the Grand Memo doesn’t look bad, but it’s probably going to be forgotten in a couple of months. Oh, and it’s way too large for this writer to ever feel comfortable holding it.
4. Asus Padfone Infinity
It’s not technically (just) a phone, but, if we leave the tablet transformation part aside, the handheld part has all the success ingredients, save for a microSD card slot. You got your 5-inch Full HD screen, quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2 gigs of RAM, 13 MP camera and even the latest and greatest version of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Unfortunately, like the Grand Memo, the Padfone Infinity will be all forgotten soon. Extravagant pricing and limited availability do that to a gadget, no matter how cool it looks.
3. LG Optimus G Pro
I’m sure that this is going to spark some controversy, but there’s something about the G Pro that doesn’t make me want to award it more than the bronze medal. It could be the slightly too large display. Or maybe something about the design that doesn’t feel original. Or the fact that a G2 follow-up is already looming.
Whatever it is, the 5.5-incher is a highly commendable yet short of brilliant smartphone. Don’t shoot the messenger, a’ight?
2. Sony Xperia Z
Hey, what do you know, the number one phone at CES is the number two of MWC. The Xperia Z might have only routinely visited Barcelona, but it still was one of the few devices that everyone wanted to snap a picture with.
And I know what you’re going to say. The Z has an S4 Pro CPU beneath its hood, while the Optimus G Pro, Padfone Infinity and Grand Memo all pack Snapdragon 600 chips. But, at the end of the day, Sony’s big guy comes out on top because it’s out now. It’s as simple as that. Oh, yeah, and the water and dust proofing also help.
1. HTC One
The One was destined to be number one since its unveiling, but, to be honest, we had our doubts about giving HTC’s flagship the gold. There’s so little to set this guy and the Xperia Z apart that we really can’t say which one is better before thoroughly reviewing both.
Call us shallow, but, all in all, we gave the One the upper hand because it’s fresher than the Xperia Z. And because it would have been a bit too much for Sony to sweep both the CES and MWC.
And now let the controversy begin. Who did we not include on the list? Who made the cut illicitly? And how would you have ranked the top 5 smartphones exhibited at MWC? Remember, we’re not only talking about brand new devices, showcased for the first time ever, but simply phones on display in Barcelona.