Non-Android phones take centrestage
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The Indian Express brings you the big launches from Mobile World Congress 2013, a four-day event which kicked off in Barcelona, Spain on Monday.
Alternative smartphone operating systems have created a buzz at MWC 2013. In the past two days, phones running Firefox OS and Jolla were announced. Samsung- and Intel-backed Tizen operating system is the latest operating system announcement at MWC 2013. It was announced on Wednesday. Tizen 2.0 seems to be inspired from Google's Android and HP's webOS. It is based on the open source Linux operating system. Many reviewers have compared it to Android 2.2 (Froyo) and said that the OS needs polishing, just like the old version of Android. Samsung demonstrated a reference device at MWC, which showed that the user interface is similar to Android. Intel hasn't managed to get a foothold in the smartphone processor market so far and the company might hope to do so with phones running Tizen. Samsung said it will launch a few Tizen phones this year.
Opera Software had recently announced its decision to change the rendering engine in its browser from Presto to Webkit (used by Chrome and Safari). The company showcased an early build of its Webkit-based browser at MWC 2013. The new version comes with several rendering improvements and adds a new layout for switching between tabs and speed dial. There is an 'off-road' mode in the browser, which compresses webpages to reduce your data consumption. The new speed dial (bookmark tiles) is much cleaner and has two other tabs. Swipe left to access history and right to open the discover tab that shows you popular websites and articles.
Asus Padfone Infinity
Asus launched Padfone Infinity, a phablet and a tablet sold in one package. The device is the successor to Padfone that was launched last year. Padfone Infinity is a 5-inch phablet with a 1080-pixel display. To use it in tablet mode, users must dock the phablet behind the 10-inch tablet display. Switching between phone and tablet mode is much smoother with the Padfone Infinity. It will be useful for those who want to watch movies or read on a larger screen or for those who don't their tablet to be an extension of their phone (instead of two different devices). The price is steep at 999 euros (roughly Rs 71,000). Even though the Padfone Infinity looks like a sleek high-performance machine, users can buy a high-end phone and a tablet for that much money.