MWC 2013: Various brands overview

GSMArena team, 25 February 2013.

Geeksphone Peak hands-on

Firefox OS devices are one of the most intriguing here at MWC, and Geeksphone were first to officially unveil a device, running the Mozilla smartphone OS. As such, we were interested to see the Geeksphone Peak smartphone running a developer's preview of Firefox OS and get a taste of how the OS runs on a dual-core chip.

The centerpiece of the Geeksphone Peak is a 4.3" IPS display with qHD resolution. It's an okay looking display, but its nothing impressive. Obviously, it doesn't need to be anything special, since the device is primarily aimed at developers to test out their Firefox OS apps.

Still, this doesn't mean that it shouldn't be put properly together. We found the all-plastic body to be on the cheap side, and not having the greatest build quality.

The Geeksphone Peak hands-on

The Geeksphone Peak is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip with 512MB of RAM. It's not a powerful chip by any stretch of the imagination and ran Firefox OS with a considerable amount of hiccup - evidently, the new OS requires a more potent hardware or further optimizations.

Which doesn't mean that Firefox OS isn't shaping up as a nice budget proposition. It's still sluggish even in basic UI interactions. Switching between apps is glacially slow, and running apps is even more painful to watch.

We focused our attention on the web browser in Firefox OS, which is essentially, well, Firefox, and it's exactly what you'd expect - the regular user interface of the app. Unlike Android, though, it's does not run that well.

Here's a quick hands-on video of the Geeksphone Peak, running Firefox OS.

For what it's worth, the Geeksphone Peak is an all-around acceptable phone both in its aesthetics and muscle abilities. Mind you, it is visiting MWC in a still unfinished form, meaning that nothing you see is final. We hope Geeksphone put their back to it, or the Geeksphone will end up being a major disappointment instead of winning the hearts of the Firefox OS fans.

NEC Medias Tab UL N-08D hands-on

Here's our encounter with the NEC Medias Tab. It's a lightweight 7" tablet, running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, has two sets of cameras (2 MP front-facing and 8.1 MP on the back), 16 GB of storage, is powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor and 3100 mAh battery.

The device weighs only 249 grams and is 7.9 mm thick, which are two impressive measurements in their own merit. The iPad mini feels like a burden to lug around in comparison.

Now comes the most notable feature in the bunch. The 7" screen is an AMOLED unit of 1280 x 800. Despite what pixel density numbers may have you believe this is a really good screen. It's got the characteristic great contrast, deep blacks and popping saturated colors. It's a real joy, coupled with the low weight and overall manageable form factor.

Medias Tab UL N-08D

We're not too fond of the design, however. The bezels around the beautiful screen are too big, which comes close to ruining the entire viewing experience.

Medias Tab UL N-08D

Despite the capable processor on tap the Medias Tab doesn't inspire with its performance. It's not bad but it's far from the snappy buttery smooth performance we're accustomed to with Jelly Bean.

As this is a Japan-bound device for DoCoMo's network it features a SIM card slot that gives you data over the carrier. The Medias Tab is already selling in Japan with no details concerning outside availability.