It's Valentine's Day and the GSMA World Congress is coming to a close. It's been a busy few days for the CNET team. Bonnie Cha and I journeyed from San Francisco with CNET TV's Ariel Nunez, CNET UK's Andrew Lim flew in from London, and John Chan of CNET Asia came all the way from Singapore. As one of the biggest mobile shows on the planet with more than 55,000 attendees, GSMA produced a lot of interesting news, from new smartphones to the first prototypes of the Android platform. Barcelona was a good host, which is impressive considering just how the show took over the town. So as we pack our bags and escape for a few days of rest, we're proud to bring you the highlights of the show. And be sure to check out our full GSMA coverage and watch the GSMA videos.
Handset news dominated the show, of course. Sony Ericsson and Nokia battled it out for the most high-profile announcements. Sony Ericsson unveiled a new Walkman phone, the W980, two new Cyber-shot models, the C702 and C902, and it introduced its new G-series line with the G700 and G900. The latter two models are especially noteworthy as they make interesting use of their touch screens. And last but not least, Sony Ericsson showed off the Z770, which is a super slim flip phone with an emphasis on Web browsing.
Meanwhile, Nokia wasn't any slouch, either. It rolled out the Nokia 6220, which brings a 5-megapixel camera to a midrange phone. And speaking of touch screens, LG showed off the LG KF600 and the LG KF700. Both offer lots of touchy-feely action, and the KF600 is the GSM version of the LG Venus.
Samsung wasn't a wallflower, however. The company did its best to make its new Soul (SGH-U900) the talk of the show (posters advertising the phone were all over town). The Soul also has a navigation touchpad that takes a cue from the Motorola Rokr E8. As you move through different functions, the icons on the touchpad change. Samsung also introduce the SGH-F400, SGH-F490, and F480, and also the SGH-G810 and SGH-P960. On the other hand, Motorola had a quiet show. It only introduced a new Wi-Fi phone, the Motorola Z6w, and two entry-level phones, the W161 and W181. It was certainly a change from CES last month where Moto dominated the mobile in Las Vegas with the Rokr E8 introduction.
We also got the chance to check out some carrier and service news. T-Mobile dropped that the carrier would switch on its 3G network in the United States by this summer. Also, by the end of the year, T-Mobile said it would bring the Apple iPhone to Austria and that one of its markets would get an Android cell phone. Speaking of Android, we took a test drive at the ARM booth. Though it doesn't look like much yet, it is taking shape. The LiMo Foundation is another open-source alliance from mobile phones. It showed off its first supported handsets. Another interesting stop was Modu, which is a company that's produced an intriguing modular phone.
GSMA 2008 saw plenty of smartphone action. Nokia released two new additions to its N series of multimedia computers: the geotagging Nokia N78 and, to everyone's delight, the Nokia N96, which now comes with 16GB of internal memory and a revamped design. Sony Ericsson stole some of the spotlight when the company revealed that it will start developing Windows Mobile smartphone and debuted the first such device, the Sony Ericsson EXPERIA X1. If you had to judge by the number of people swarming around the X1 at the Sony Ericsson booth, there's plenty of interest in this phone. Speaking of Windows Mobile, Microsoft announced that it will acquire Danger Inc., the manufacturer of the Sidekick handhelds, and made available MSN Direct services on Windows Mobile phones. And last but not least, HTC came out with a couple of new devices: an updated HTC Advantage X7501 and the GPS-enabled HTC P3470.
GPS was also big at the GSMA Mobile World Congress. We saw a number of handsets with integrated GPS at the show, including a number of the previously mentioned smartphones and the Symbian-based LG KT610. In addition, Nokia released a beta version of its mobile mapping and navigation application. Nokia Maps 2.0 adds even more navigation capabilities with a pedestrian mode and multimedia city guides. Finally, we got a hands-on look (sort of, anyway) at the Garmin Nuvifone with full video for your viewing pleasure.