3GSM may have ended yesterday but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped our coverage. Here we take a look at what remaining devices and technological innovations tried to slip through our net.
From Asus, maker of nearly everything, we have the P305 a Windows Mobile 5.0 powered 3G smartphone that supports Push technology, synchronises with Exchange Server 2003 and plays audio and video files via Media Player. There is built in IrDA (which is increasingly rare now), Bluetooth 1.2 and a miniSD card slot to bulk up system memory. Sadly, Asus chose to keep the most interesting details – size, weight, camera quality, price, availability – to itself so for the meantime we’re moderately impressed but need to know a lot more in order to work up a sweat.
First day king Samsung was back again with the SGH-Z600, the compay’s first 3G capable Symbian based smartphone. It runs S60 UI and though size and weight details were missing, Samsung boasts it will be one of the smallest Symbian smartphones on the market. There are plenty of goodies too including a two megapixel camera, large 262k colour display, colour OLED external screen, 70MB of internal memory and a flash memory expansion slot.
Bluetooth is also provided and while it may not be quite as flash as some of models Samsung rolled out on Monday, it is a lot more readily available hitting stores around Europe in Q2.
To be filed under the ‘Totally Cool Accessory’ heading is this stereo Bluetooth headset from Sony Ericsson. Called the HBH-DS970, it implements Bluetooth 2.0 to connect to handsets and stream music. SE claims battery life will be around the six hour mark when in use with standby lasting up to 300 hours.
Of course, the HBH-DS970 isn’t totally wireless (which is always the paradox with ‘wireless devices’) since it has a cable connecting its remote. That said, you’ll be glad that it does since its integrated LCD supports caller ID and, despite being a Sony product, it should work with any device supporting the AVRCP standard. Naturally Sony declined to mention this in its press release...
In sum, unlike 3GSM 2005 (which was almost entirely about the hardware innovations inside each handset), 3GSM 2006 has excited most when discussing the changes to voice and content delivery. From the Samsung’s decision to throw the SGH-Z560 completely behind HSDPA, to Nokia’s hearty backing of UMA and Hutchison’s brave move to embrace VoIP, manufactures and telcos are talking less about fluff (megapixels and file formats) and more about how to put cash back into your pocket.
Sure, there have been some awesome handsets out there too – notably the Samsung SGH-i320 (which wins my award for phone of the show), the Z710, the SE W950i, HTC/T-Mobile/Orange horizontally sliding smartphone and more – but they seem superficial compared to the deep seated changes now going on with networks globally.
For while 3GSM 2005 gave us brighter and shinier devices to use on a flawed and highly expensive infrastructure, 2006 saw the first moves to knock that infrastructure down. The tide turns here my friends, you mark my words…