The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona opened its doors to the public today, but many manufacturers had already unveiled their high-end models for 2013 prior to the event. Sony, HTC and LG have been showing off their flagship models to the media in recent weeks. We've gotten sneakpeeks of the Sony Xperia Z, HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro so far, and Sony’s Xperia Z is even available already. Samsung has been holding off so far, but on March 14 the Galaxy S IV will be officially introduced at an event in New York.
This year's crop of high-end smartphones have a couple things in common. They all feature Full HD or 1920x1080 displays, and all of them appear to use Qualcomm hardware. Sony, LG and HTC are definitely using quad-core processors from this manufacturer, and if we're to believe the latest rumors, Samsung is planning to use a Snapdragon 600 SoC instead of one of its own Exynos 5 SoCs.
The HTC One
The hardware in the different flagship models isn't identical, however. In the Xperia Z, Sony is putting a Snapdragon S4 quad-core SoC which runs at 1.5 GHz. We've seen this chip already in the LG Nexus 4, and it's a quick one. Especially the integrated Adreno 320 GPU is very powerful. LG, HTC, and possibly Samsung have chosen the newer Snapdragon 600 SoC. That chip contains slightly improved Krait 300 cores, and should be slightly faster at the same clock speeds compared to the Snapdragon S4. In LG’s Optimus G Pro and HTC’s One the new chip runs at 1.7 GHz, giving these phones a bit more power than the Sony Xperia Z. Rumor has it that the Samsung Galaxy S IV runs even faster at 1.9 GHz.