BARCELONA, Spain--Mobile World Congress 2011 is off and roaring, as we finally get a chance to have some hands-on time with a few of the products announced this past weekend. But it's not all just handset coverage; Barcelona has also become a hotbed for the latest news in the mobile industry.
Indeed, it seems Nokia and Microsoft are not quite done discussing their partnership, as Nokia's Stephen Elop and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer took to the stage at Mobile World Congress to tout their vision for the future. Elop tried to allay some fears, while Ballmer gave a sneak peek into the future of Windows Phone 7, which includes IE9 and multitasking support, among other new features.
We're not done discussing the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, as we compared it with Sony's own NGP to see which one is worth buying. We also got up close and personal with its siblings, the Xperia Neo and Xperia Pro, both of which ship with Android's Gingerbread firmware.
But if you really want a peek into the future, LG proudly showed off its new 3D smartphone, the LG Optimus 3D, along with a sneak peek at its tablet, the LG Optimus Pad. While 3D smartphones may not be everyone's cup of tea, our own Kent German's reaction is surprisingly favorable toward the Optimus 3D after taking a closer look at it.
While Motorola didn't announce new handsets, it did say that it will bring its Droid Pro smartphone and Xoom tablet to Europe in addition to the U.S. market. It also announced that it has acquired security company 3LM and that its Motoblur interface will have new features.
Other companies continued to show off new products throughout the day. RIM took the opportunity to say it has more PlayBook tablets in the works, ZTE introduced its Skate smartphone along with the Amigo and the Blade, Huawei announced its latest Ideos X3, Sonim continued its rugged phone trend with the XP3300 Force, and Doro introduced a few new basic phones. Rounding out the hardware news is the PowerTrekk battery charger that runs on water and the Comodo Console for the car.
Mobile World Congress is not all about hardware; there was the occasional software news as well. Adobe spelled out more of its Flash plans for Android, Intel unveiled the Meego tablet interface, plus translation tools, and Skype launched a plan to bring its service to more handsets in 2011.
It was a very busy day in Barcelona for our CNET crew, and the show keeps going on. Check back in the next few days for more from Mobile World Congress!