In June of 2007, Apple ushered in the era of the handheld computer with the release of the 1st generation iPhone. Since then, we’ve been inundated with a storm of smartphones and tablets, and that trend doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down in the slightest in 2013 and beyond.
This year’s Mobile World Congress featured a ton of new gadgets to share pocket space with your wallet—and help lighten its contents as well. Here are 5 noteworthy gadgets that will enter the battlefield of consumer electronics, with highlights that will help you determine which one will be the recipient of your hard-earned cash:
First on the list is another smartphone model from HTC. While at first glance it may not distinguish itself from the horde of 5-inch smartphones already on the market, the One has a few tasty features up its sleeve, including:
- A custom home screen named “BlinkFeed,” which features a constantly running news ticker in the background
- The patented “Zoe” camera, which can record video and take photos simultaneously
- A premium aluminum design that gives it a bit more flair than other similarly-priced phones
- A nice, solid price point of $300 with a contract from wireless carriers, making it competitive in 2013
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
If you’re new to the tablet game, you may be left scratching your head a bit when trying to tell the various models apart. Sony’s Tablet Z definitely stands out from the pack, with such features as:
- A thickness of just 6.9 mm, making it the thinnest and lightest 10.1 inch tablet currently on the market
- A waterproof exterior, with a built-in infrared port for linking up and controlling your various gadgets and devices at home
- Very competitive internals, featuring a quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage for the entry-level $499 model
Huawei Ascend P2
Another gladiator destined for the smartphone arena, the Ascend P2 has internal specs similar to its competitors, with external features to match. But the single bullet-pointed item for Huawei’s new entry is, on its own, enticing enough to rank it with the best of the new offerings—its custom LTE Cat 4 chip is capable of data speeds up to 150 Mbps.
To give you some perspective, remember that the dominant speed for computer modems as recent as the year 2000 was 56kps. That’s kilobytes per second. The Ascent P2 is capable of over 150,000k per second, which means that Huawei’s new smartphone can surf the web over 2,600 times faster than any home computer from the turn of the millennium.
There isn’t a wireless carrier that can offer those speeds at the moment, but there’s a lot of speculation that we may see it by the end of 2013. If that’s the case, the Ascend P2 will be ready.
HP Slate 7
Hewlett-Packard made waves a few years ago when they massively slashed the cost of their 1st generation TouchPad to $99, at a time when the next cheapest tablet was at least triple that. They’re back this year with a new budget-price model, which may be the perfect choice for someone looking to ease their way into the tablet world, with features like:
- A crisp 7 inch screen, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, and a duel-core processor
- An aluminum case and Beats Audio hardware
- A very attractive $169 price tag
Asus PadFone Infinity
In an age of innovative technological hybrids, it’s surprising that the smartphone/tablet combo hasn’t caught on with consumers yet. The PadFone Infinity is Asus’ 3rd attempt to create the magic formula that will break into the mainstream market, but a possible $1,300 price tag means that only the most dedicated gadget connoisseurs will give this beauty a chance. But if you’re ready to take the plunge, you’ll get:
- A 5-inch 1080p display on the smartphone, with a 10.1-inch 1080p display when you slide the phone into the tablet dock
- A quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, a nice 64 GB of storage space, and a 13 megapixel camera
- If the PadFone Infinity actually makes it onto any U.S. based wireless carriers, you’ll get the portability of a smartphone with the increased usability and comfort of a tablet, without having to double up on data plans each month with your provider
Only time will determine how many of these gadgets will find mainstream popularity. But it’s a certainty that 2013 will be an incredible year for smartphones and tablets, and if you’ve been waiting to stick your toes into the market, there will be more than enough opportunities to finally get you off the fence.
If you decide to take any of these devices home this year, you may find that you want some financial protection against many common mishaps that can befall these expensive toys. As a leading insurer of smartphones, tablets, and all of the other gadgets that fit in your pocket and brighten your world, we want to help you make sure your investment is protected. Check us out today for an affordable policy that will keep you from paying the full cost of a replacement if the worst case scenario happens.
Image courtesy of GSMA.com