03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Google Phone Prototypes Debut In Spain

The Mobile World Congress became the coming-out party for Google's Android OS as four mobile processor vendors showed off pre-production devices running versions of Android.

Google's Android is a Linux-based, open operating system for mobile phones that will sport Google applications. It will be free for manufacturers to adopt, though how free and open the actual phones end up being will be up to phone manufacturers and wireless carriers.

The biggest surprise of the demos was how well Android runs on slow devices. TI showed Android on a Motorola Q-like QWERTY handheld with their 200 Mhz OMAP 850 platform, where the user interface felt smooth and fast, even with little Apple-like animated transitions between screens.

Qualcomm showed Android on an MSM7201 chip, an existing US chipset that isn't at the top of their line. Android looked smooth and fast on that device, as well.

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