3GSM 2006: SE & Nokia

The big boys storm into the ring.

With Samsung kicking some serious technological behind with its quintet of releases yesterday it seemed on a matter of time before mobile monoliths Sony Ericsson and Nokia got in on the act.

Spearheading the former’s attempts to shock and awe is the W950i Walkman, a sexy Symbian based smart phone with a lovely, large 2.6in 262k touchscreen and incredible 4GB of integrated flash-based memory. This is a great idea because it keeps the weight down to just 112g and keeps svelte 106 x 54 x 15mm measurements. Naturally, given the Walkman branding, the W950i features the same extensive integrated multimedia capabilities as the other models sporting this famous moniker and includes the ability to play video at 30fps. You’ll get 10 hours of audio listening time on a single charge.

A UMTS/GSM handset, it also features an FM radio, Opera 8.0 browser, RSS feed reader, Bluetooth, USB and GPRS. It’ll be arriving in Q3 with prices announced much further down the line.

Some of you reading our coverage last year may remember the K600i, well this is its successor the K610i. Being 17mm thick and weighing 92g it is one of the smallest 3G phones yet and still manages to pack a two megapixel camera and VGA one for video calls, 220 x 176 262K display, Bluetooth and Memory Stick Micro card slot. The K610i will be a Q2-er, launching in both Europe and Asia.

Away from the handsets, SE also claims to be the first to develop an antivirus programme for its mobile phones. This is nice, though its really just jiggeried and pokeried with Trend’s micro mobile security software. It’ll be available either as a standalone product, a package data solution or hosted service.

Over at Nokia, the theme was on Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) which allows users to roam uninterrupted between WiFi singles and GSM networks for both calls and data. The impressive handset to take advantage of this: the 6136.

Due in Q2, Nokia boasts it will be the first UMA mobile on the market though it might have a battle with Samsung’s SGH-T709 for that title. Besides its wireless support, the 6136 also features a 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio with Visual Radio support, Nokia Xpress audio messaging, microSD card slot, a 262k colour display and Bluetooth. Battery life is an interesting one with five hours of talk time quoted in GSM but 5.5 for UMA.

Nokia also showed off the 6131 (above) and 6070, but both these mid range phones showed us nothing we haven’t seen before apart from the QVGA screen on the 6131 which the Finns tell us will bring this feature to a new price low.

Also uniting these two companies at 3GSM is news that Sony Ericsson and Nokia are going to play nice with DVB-H, promising to work together to achieve interoperable devices. It means both will use the Open Air Interface implementation guidelines supporting multi-vendor mobile TV services and making us all very happy bunnies.

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