Mobile World Congress, the annual celebración de los smartphones in Barcelona, Spain, has come to an end. Almost 70,000 people attended the tech convention, where 1,500 tech firms showed off their latest smartphones, tablets, mobile apps and software. It was just three companies, however, that together made the biggest splash in the MWC piscina: HTC, Samsung and Nokia.
Sure, Microsoft sent PC users racing to grab the free Consumer Preview of Windows 8 (there were over a million downloads of the Win8 Consumer Preview on the first day of availability alone), and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt captivated the crowds with his wide-ranging rant against Internet censorship (despite being mistakenly interrupted -- ahem -- by the announcement of an invitation to a certain Apple event). But it was HTC, Nokia and Samsung that told the most compelling, and most controversial, stories at Mobile World Congress. Nokia and Samsung both showed off innovative and divisive gadgets, unveiling a smartphone with a 41-megapixel camera and a 10-inch tablet whose main selling point is a stylus, respectively. HTC, meanwhile, announced a total reversal of course, revealing that from now on, all of its smartphones would be united under one single brand name: All For One And One For All, as a trio of literary swashbucklers might have said.
Which of these three musketeers of smartphones and tablets (and phablets) had the best, most exciting, most game-changing 2012 Mobile World Congress? Read on to find out more about the Nokia 808 Pureview, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and the HTC One series, all of which have the potential to transform what our mobile gadgets are capable of in the future, and shift the landscape of handheld devices as we know it: