When it comes to mobile technologies, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the highlight of the year, with manufacturers unveiling the handsets, smartbooks and operating systems they'll make available later in the year.

This year's show included the launch of three new mobile operating systems - Intel and Nokia's MeeGo, Windows Phone Series 7, and Samsung's Bada OS - plus a slew of powerful new handsets.

We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

At last: Windows Phone 7 is here

At long last, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series (the official name for Windows Mobile 7) at a packed press conference on the first official day of the Mobile World Congress.

Slated to launch on handsets by Christmas 2010, Windows Phone 7 Series is a complete overhaul of previous versions of the OS.

If you're familiar with the Zune HD's user interface, you'll feel right at home with Windows Phone 7.

Overall, Windows Phone 7 impressed me: I found the interface clean, user-friendly and socially connected.

The Quick Launch screen (pictured) is one of the most intriguing features and certainly a far cry from the old Windows Mobile start screens of yore.

Large, colourful tiles serve as shortcuts to your most-used or favourite apps or websites. You can also place live tiles on the screen with links to your Facebook profile or friends.

Every Windows Phone 7 device is a Zune

No official 'Zune Phone' was launched this time around. However, every Windows Phone 7 Series device will have a Zune music and video player.

This is a feature I've wanted in Windows phones for a long time, as I love the Zune interface but despise the Windows Media player.

Windows Phone 7 users will also be able to sync their media using the slick Zune PC client.

Adios, Windows Media Player!

NEXT PAGE: HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

HTC Legend

The successor to the popular HTC Hero, the Legend is a solidly designed phone.

Shaped from a single block of aluminium, the Legend has a seamless, smooth surface with separate front and back pieces. It has a gorgeous 3.2in AMOLED display, which is an upgrade from the Hero's 3.2in LCD screen.

The display nicely showcases the new HTC Sense, which runs over Android 2.1 (Eclair). Like the Hero, the Legend has a 5Mp camera; it took pretty decent photos at the show.

As RIM did with its most recent BlackBerry models, HTC made the switch from a physical trackball to an optical trackpad.

This is a welcome update, since trackballs tend to get dirty or fall out. I found the trackpad nicely responsive, letting me scroll quickly through the Legend's menus.

HTC HD Mini

A smaller version of the gorgeous Windows Phone-based HTC HD2, the HD Mini sports a 3.2in capacitive touchscreen (as opposed to the HD2's monolithic 4.2in display).

Though perhaps not as striking as its older brother, the HD Mini nevertheless offers a display that is equally bright and crisp. In design, the HD Mini has sort of an industrial look with exposed fasteners.

And for whatever reason, HTC has given the HD Mini a bright yellow internal structure and battery.

Like the Palm Pre Plus and the Pixi Plus, the HD Mini can turn into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for your computer or other wireless devices.

HTC didn't give further details on how this capability would work in terms of data plans or pricing. The HD Mini will be available in March.

NEXT PAGE: Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

Garmin Nuvifone A50

A joint effort between Garmin and Asus, the nuvifone A50 is a globetrotter's dream phone.

The Android-based A50 includes Garmin navigation software with turn-by-turn voice directions for walking or driving.

Because the maps are stored on the device, you can navigate even while roaming out of the country or if you lose your signal.

The A50 has a crisp, bright 3.5in HVGA capacitive touchscreen (perfect for map reading), a touch qwerty keyboard, a 3Mp camera with geotagging, and 4GB of memory, as well as an expandable microSD slot.

The nuvifone A50 will be available in Europe in the first half of 2010, but pricing has not yet been announced.

HP Compaq AirLife 100

The HP Compaq AirLife 100 melds smartphone technology with netbook usability. Powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, this super-portable smartbook boasts a 10.1in AMOLED touchscreen, an almost full-size keyboard, and version 1.6 of the Android OS.

It also has 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS connectivity, as well as a front-facing 0.3Mp VGA webcam.

I had some hands-on time with the AirLife at the show and was impressed by its ease of use and responsiveness.

NEXT PAGE: The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

Nokia + Intel = MeeGo OS

Nokia and Intel have joined forces to develop yet another mobile platform: MeeGo. A hybrid of two operating systems, Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin, the OS will be open-source and based on Linux.

MeeGo is intended for advanced smartphones, tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle technology, and even connected televisions. It supports ARM architectures as well as Intel's Atom processor.

The first devices should launch in the second half of 2010.

Motorola Quench

Motorola revealed its eighth Android phone, the Motorola Quench.

Like the original Cliq (known as the Dext in the UK), Motorola's first Android device, it runs Motorola's MotoBlur user interface over Android 1.5.

The Quench has a 3.1in touchscreen, which is a bit small compared with other smartphones on the market; Flash Lite support; and pinch-and-zoom capabilities in the browser.

It also sports a 5Mp camera and comes preloaded with all of the Google services you'd expect on an Android phone.

NEXT PAGE: Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

Opera Mini on the iPhone: wishful thinking?

At the show, mobile browser company Opera demoed a version of its Mini browser on the iPhone.

In my hands-on time with it, I found that pages loaded quickly - faster than on Safari, even - and the interface was a breeze to navigate. But Mini on the iPhone is almost too good to be true.

Opera hasn't submitted the app to Apple yet, and App Store approval may be a bit of a pipe dream: Apple has rejected a number of apps in the past that supposedly duplicate the functionality of the iPhone's built-in applications.

Similarly, a third-party browser alternative to Safari might not go over so well, unfortunately.

Opera Mini renders pages on a server and then compresses them by 90 percent.

It uses relatively little of the phone's resources, resulting in a quicker mobile web surfing experience.

Samsung's Bada launch

Samsung launched its first Bada OS phone, the Wave, on the eve of the Mobile World Congress, in what can only be described as a splashy event.

Wall-to-wall videos of waves, blue-coloured cocktails, shark fins (pictured), and sea-creature-like dancers almost made me forget I was at a phone launch.

Samsung sees Bada phones as being accessible to everyone, no matter what your income or tech experience may be.
But can the Bada OS compete with the legions of Android phones now storming the mobile world?

NEXT PAGE: Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

Samsung's first Bada handset: The Wave

Whether Bada will succeed or flop is unknown, but the Samsung Wave, the first phone to feature the OS, has some pretty hard-to-ignore specs.

The Wave also showcases Samsung's new Super AMOLED technology, which has touch sensors on the display itself as opposed to creating a separate layer.

Super AMOLED is fantastic; my low-light photos truly don't do it any justice.

Colours burst out of the display, and animations appeared lively and smooth. Samsung also says that this design reflects less light and therefore handles better outdoors.

The Wave is powered by a 1GHz processor - the same speed as the Snapdragon processor in the Google Nexus One.

It also runs the new TouchWiz 3.0 interface, which didn't feel as muddled and confusing as previous versions.

Xperia X10 Mini Pro: compact with a keyboard

Its small size (as its name suggests) sets Sony Ericson's Xperia X10 Mini Pro apart from most other Android phones (it runs Android 1.6).

It has a 2.55in capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 240x320 pixels; a backlit qwerty keyboard slides out from beneath the display.

Other features include a 5Mp camera with an LED flash, Assisted-GPS, and an FM radio. It can access the internet via either HSPA or Wi-Fi.

NEXT PAGE: Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro: sexy and Symbian

One of the new Sony Ericsson 'fabulous five' smartphones, the Vivaz Pro has a full QWERTY keyboard, runs on Nokia's Symbian platform, and features a 3.2in display (360x640-pixel resolution) in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The slick-looking phone also has a 5.1Mp camera with autofocus and face detection, plus a flash and an image stabiliser, together with video recording capabilities.

I've snapped a few photos with the Vivaz Pro and was impressed with the quality of my images - especially as showcased on the Vivaz Pro's brilliant display.

Sony Ericsson's Vivaz Pro comes with an 8GB microSD card included, but is expandable up to 16GB.

The 3G phone is expected to arrive in the second quarter; pricing is still to be announced.

Docomo's eye-controlled earphones

Japan's Docomo never fails to deliver the most unique technology , and this year's show was no exception.

Though they look like regular earphones, Docomo's eye-controlled earphones have sensors that can track your eye movement.

NEXT PAGE: HTC Desire

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire



We've rounded up the 15 most highly anticipated mobile technologies set to appear later this year.

HTC Desire

Almost identical to the Google Nexus One, the HTC Desire boasts a 3.7in AMOLED display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and a slim, full-touchscreen design.

The hardware has a few key differences, however. Like another HTC phone, the Legend, the Desire trades the trackball for an optical trackpad.

The HTC Desire also has an FM radio, which the Nexus One lacks.

In terms of software, the Desire - like the Legend and the HD2 - will run the updated HTC Sense interface, rather than the out-of-the-box Android 2.1 interface that the Nexus One sports.

See also: 26 products to watch in 2010

  1. From smartphones to mobile operating systems, we can't wait for these products to appear in 2010
  2. HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini
  3. Garmin Nuvifone A50 and HP Compaq AirLife 100
  4. The MeeGo OS and the Motorola Quench
  5. Opera Mini on the iPhone and Samsung Bada
  6. Samsung Wave and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro
  7. Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Docomo's eye-controlled earphones
  8. HTC Desire