There’s big buzz surrounding the expected unveiling of a Toshiba smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Web has been flooded with video and photo reviews, like this from Engadget, of Toshiba’s TG01 smartphone, which uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon architecture.

Analysts are saying the phone could be a serious competitor for the iPhone and HTC Touch.

The Toshiba TG01 is the mobile industry's first Qualcomm Snapdragon device. The handset is only 9.9 mm thick, but boasts a 4.1-inch WVGA touchscreen, GPS, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, a microSD slot, and an overlay on the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system that gives it a unique-looking user interface. Preliminary reviews have been positive.

Nearly every smartphone device is measured against the reigning iPhone 3G. While the TG01 boasts faster processing speeds and a thinner shell than the iPhone, Apple’s seamless UI seems to be the feature to beat.

Smartphones are one of the few sectors of the wireless market that have enjoyed relatively strong sales amid a deteriorating macroeconomic environment. AT&T recently reported 1.9 million iPhone 3G activations in the fourth quarter.

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