Smartphone competition heats up

It might seem like all the fuss is about tablets these days. But smartphones still matter, and in fact they're selling better than ever as the air of geek around them dissipates. So while unveiling foxy new tablets this week at Mobile World Congress, LG and Samsung also showed off some powerful new Android phones.

Samsung unveiled the long-awaited successor to its millions-selling Galaxy S, imaginatively called the Galaxy S II (we suppose 'Galaxy T' would have been a bit weird). It's an evolution rather than a revolution, with the same 800x480 resolution on a slightly larger 4.27-in screen than the original. The main difference is in the processor - it's packing a proprietary Samsung chip called Exynos, which could mean very nice speed and battery life - and its slenderness - it's just 8.5mm thick, making it the thinnest smartphone available (by a few nanometers).

LG have gone the 4.3-inch route too, and at first glance their new handset might just look like another high-end Android phone. The clue that there's more to it lies in the name - Optimus 3D. Yes, this is the world's first 3D phone. No specs required either - like the Nintendo 3DS, this baby has 'autostereoscopic' (that's geek-speak for 'glasses-free') 3D. You might think this sounds a bit gimmicky. You'd be right. But it could be fun, and Engadget has video.

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