In case you hadn't noticed, there's a lot happening in the world of smartphones. So you can get your head around some of the flagship phones you'll be hearing about, we've compiled an easy-to-digest summary:
The original iPhone ushered in the first generation of the smartphone new world order back in 2007, and while it may have taken the rest of the market a good four years to finally produce some genuine competitors, the time has finally come for a smartphone to take the iPhone’s place at the top of the pecking order.
And there are lots of worthy candidates for this coveted position. The Samsung Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus 3D and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play – all of which were announced at Mobile World Congress – join this elite new breed of super-phones, which also includes the Motorola Atrix 4G, LG Optimus 2x, HP Pre 3, and the HTC Pyramid.
And then of course, there’s the upcoming iPhone 5, which will no doubt raise the bar even higher, and the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 smartphone, which may or may not be released later this year.
The prevailing theme for these new smartphones is a dual-core processor, allowing for richer graphical interfaces, faster performance, Full HD video playback and encoding, and smoother 3D gaming - both in the traditional sense, and, in the case of the LG Optimus 3D, in autostereoscopic 3D.
The continuing worldwide shortage of AMOLED displays means that only the Samsung Galaxy S II is equipped with an AMOLED Plus screen, however the HP Pre 3 (not announced for Australia) and the HTC Pyramid both come with Super Clear LCDs (a technology which comes close to AMOLED for vibrancy and clarity).
The Samsung Galaxy S II and LG Optimus 3D both bring something new to the table on top of the stock Android 2.3 (aka Gingerbread) build. The Galaxy S II comes with exclusive content hubs for social networking, e-reading, gaming and music (the latter of which includes access to over 12 million tracks from 7Digital), as well as lots of enterprise-specific features like Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and Cisco conferencing and connectivity services.
The LG Optimus 3D features a glass-less 3D 4.3-inch display for viewing and recording 3D content, while the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is the first game-centric Android smartphone with a built-in gaming pad and native support for PlayStation One games.