BARCELONA, Spain–We’ve seen lots of interesting hardware at Mobile World Congress, and yesterday when the team met to talk about what product should get our best of show award, there were plenty of gadgets in the mix. Asus’ Padfone Infinity was in the running, along with its FonePad, the Nokia Lumia 720, and Sony’s Xperia Z tablet.
But the nine-strong judging team from our San Francisco, New York, and London offices quickly discounted those products. We were much more interested in the product category that has arguably generated more buzz at MWC and is potentially much more disruptive: new mobile operating systems.
The two we zeroed in on, Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch, were hotly debated. Lots was said about the impressive number of carriers and manufacturers Firefox OS has lined up behind it. But once put to a vote, Ubuntu Touch was the clear winner, with Firefox OS the runner-up.
The team thought that Ubuntu Touch, the tablet version of which we got our hands-on for the first time at MWC, feels more like the complete package at this point. We liked its slick, elegant interface that makes use of every side of the screen and puts your content and contacts front and center, minimizing the time spent hopping back to a home screen.