Hands-on with the killer smartphones and tablets of 2011

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Hands-on with the killer smartphones and tablets of 2011

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has seen a flurry of new smartphone and tablet devices launches. Jonathan Bray is out in Spain, getting his hands on all the new releases. Read his initial verdict on 2011's potential big hitters below.


The HTC Desire won a Recommended award in our recent smartphones labs, so the follow-up Desire S has a lot to live up to. Its physical design is an improvement, thanks to an aluminium unibody chassis, but its 1GHz processor keeps the Desire S in the middle of the smartphone pack.


HTC has refreshed its look with the Incredible S, dropping the duotone for a matte-black finish, which annoyingly picks up fingerprints and smudges. The Android 2.2 device has a strange shape - the rear bulges out oddly - but it feels good in the hand and has solid specs: 1GHz processor, twin-LED flash 8-megapixel camera and 4in, 480 x 800 screen.
Image credit: phonearena.com


HTC's first Android tablet doesn't use Honeycomb like so many of its rivals, instead opting for Android 2.4 overlaid with its own Sense UI. The Flyer features a good-looking aluminium unibody design, 7in screen and 1.5GHz processor, and also comes with a stylus - although, oddly, there's nowhere to store it on the tablet.


The HP Pre 3 is a fresh start from its predecessor, the Pre 2. It features a bigger screen, nicely-curved body, and an excellent keyboard - possibly the best we've seen. The Pre 3 runs a 1.4Ghz processor, but could be let down by a low capacity battery.


Click here for a full preview of the HP Pre 3



The Samsung Galaxy SII is the successor to one of the best-selling Android handsets on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S. It's slimmer, lighter and sports an improved version of Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, giving the 4.3in screen eye-poppingly detailed resolution of 1,280 x 800.

Click here for a full preview of the Samsung Galaxy SII



Like its smartphone sibling, the LG Optimus Pad brings in 3D features. Unlike the handset, LG's first tablet only has a standard 8.9in capacitive touchscreen, but it does feature a pair of cameras on the back for 3D photography and video. It runs Android 3 on a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor.

Click here for a full preview of the LG Optimus Pad



The HP TouchPad is the long-awaited result of HP's 2010 takeover of Palm and its promising webOS operating system. The device boasts full multi-tasking, "touch" synchronisation with other Palm smartphones, a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8060 processor and more.


Click here for a full preview of the HP TouchPad



The HP Veer is a tiny spin-off of the Palm Pre 2, but it was still big on "ooh" factor. The Veer will fit nicely in a pocket, but the glass-fronted, 320 x 400 pixel touchscreen is on the small side for web browsing. While it manages to squeeze in a slide-out physical Qwerty keyboard, the 103g Veer saves space with a nifty magnetic adaptor for headphones and charger.


Click here for a full preview of the HP Veer



LG's Optimus 3D offers something unique - as you can guess from the name, this smartphone features 3D. Thanks to the autostereoscopic, parallax barrier 3D screen, geeky glasses aren't required to view the 3D menus, video, games and apps. The Optimus also captures 3D photos and video, with a pair of 5-megapixel cameras on the back. It features a 4.3in, 800 x 480 display and runs a dual-core, 1Ghz CPU.


Click here for a full preview of the LG Optimus 3G



Samsung's second tablet is bigger and better than its predecessor. The Galaxy Tab 10.1in is thinner than its 7in sibling, and boasts a 1,280 x 800 pixel screen that's even higher resolution than the iPad. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will run Android 3 on a speedy-feeling 1Ghz Tegra 2 chip.


Click here for a full preview of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

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