Expert Reviews MWC Awards
Mobile World Congress is here, but only the very best devices will walk off with an Expert Reviews MWC award
Well, Mobile World Congress is over, and we've run ourselves ragged bringing you all the latest mobile and tablet news and hands-on reviews.
There's just one more thing to do. We've decided to honour the greatest products from this year's MWC with the Expert Reviews Awards. These are the best-designed, the most exciting and the most innovative products we’ve seen. If a product has one one of our awards, we think it'll go on to make waves in the coming year.
Read on to see the the categories for the Expert Reviews awards, along with the winners!
Smartphones have never been bigger, either physically or figuratively. We've seen a flurry of unveilings at MWC, from established players keen to keep hold of their market lead, to hungry up-and-coming names and minnows after a piece of the pie.
The winner of this award is the best smartphone overall - the one that combines an amazing screen, fast performance, great battery life and an impressive camera all in one sleek shell.
And the winner is…
ASUS PADFONE INFINITY
Asus pulled out all the stops with its new PadFone Infinity. The handset itself has a sky-high specification, with a gorgeous 5in Full HD screen, and we loved its brushed metal back.
The PadFone is, of course, more than just an Android smartphone; slot it into the dock and it becomes a 10.1 tablet with a 1,920x1,200 display.
The PadFone may be expensive at €999, but no phone we saw at MWC came close to its classy built quality and fabulous screen. It wins the Expert Reviews Best Smartphone award.
Read more about the Best Smartphone winner in our Asus PadFone Infinity review - hands-on.
Tablets came out of nowhere a couple of years ago, and the market has exploded. Everyone wants some of the action, not least Microsoft with its touchscreen-friendly Windows 8 operating system. We've seen HD screens, fast processors and innovative designs, but only the perfect slate walked away with our Best Tablet award.
And the winner is…
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
We saw several impressive tablets at MWC, but the Xperia Tablet Z really blew us away.
It's an incredibly slim and light Android tablet, with a gorgeous screen; there's no air gap between the LCD and glass, so it feels like Android is gliding under your fingers.
It runs Android 4.1 beautifully, and Sony says an update to Android 4.2 is in the works so you'll be bang up to date.
On top of all that, Sony has even found time to make the Tablet Z both water and dust-resistant, so your beautiful screen will stay pristine. It's a tablet that screams "buy me", and wins our Expert Reviews Best Tablet award.
Read more about the Best Tablet winner in our Sony Xperia Tablet Z review - hands-on.
Innovation is what drives the technology industry forward. Companies may learn from each other, but success comes from daring to be different. The popularity of portable devices has led to some seriously clever thinking as companies try to pack all the usefulness of a laptop into a slim phone or tablet, and over the past year we've seen all kinds of clever hybrid tablet devices.
There was some stiff competition at MWC, but one product stood head and shoulders above the rest for sheer thinking outside the box.
And the winner is…
NVIDIA PROJECT SHIELD
Mobile gaming keeps getting bigger, but some people want to move beyond touchscreens and get stuck in to some proper console-style gameplay on the move.
Cue Nvidia to the rescue with Project Shield. This Android-powered portable gaming platform has a built-in Xbox-style gamepad, so is perfect if you like pinpoint accuracy in your portable gaming.
This isn't Shield's main trick, though; it will also play PC games. Connect it to the same network as your Nvidia-powered gaming PC and it will stream content directly from your computer, so you can play Crysis 3 in bed or in your shed.
It's a clever system and a godsend for those who like gaming on the go, but just can’t get satisfaction from flinging birds at pigs. It wins the Expert Reviews Best Innovation award.
Read more about the Best Innovation winner in our Nvidia Project Shield review - hands-on.
Now read on to see which other hot products walked away with one of our prestigious awards...
BEST OF MWC AWARDS
They may not have walked away with one of the big awards above, but these electronic goodies are still going to do big things. If it's caught our eye and we think you should buy it, it's won an Expert Reviews Best of MWC award.
Here are the winners…
With the £120 Lumia 520, Nokia has brought Windows Phone 8 to the masses without sacrificing its legendary classy build quality. It's a good-looking handset available in a range of funky colours, and runs Microsoft's fast Windows Phone 8 OS smoothly.
Asus thinks the FonePad is a replacement for your tablet and phone. We don’t fancy making many phone calls on a device this large, but this doesn’t stop the FonePad being a 7in tablet with built-in 3G for just £190 - it's a bargain.
Huawei is a company with serious ambition. With the Ascend P2, it's really going up against the big boys. This is a quad-core handset with a hugely bright 4.7in 1,280x720-pixel display for a knockdown £350 - it's like getting a Samsung Galaxy S3 for an £80 discount.
The Galaxy Note 8 is a more compact version of the Galaxy Note 10.1, complete with its innovative S-Pen stylus.
The new, smaller model has excellent handwriting recognition and we were seriously impressed by its ability to run two apps side-by-side on the screen - making the Galaxy Note 8 much more useful than the average tablet.
AMD makes the best laptop processors for gaming, and it has now turned that expertise to tablet chips.
The new Temash processors will let your Windows 8 tablet play modern games at 1080p, so keen gamers no longer have to choose between the power of a laptop and the portability of a tablet. The best of all worlds.