3GSM: “More, More, More…

...how do you like it? How do you like it?" Philips, NEC, LG, LBTEL show what they've got and there's more news from Sony Ericsson.

Ok, here we go again! It is day three of 3GSM and the rush of new handsets and technologies shows no sign of abating. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Perhaps the main news on a day that is high in announcements but lower on innovation comes, perhaps predictably, from Sony Ericsson. The mobile phone monolith did not show off yet another handset but instead got everyone hot under the collar with the announcement that it will soon release a series of “Walkman” branded mobile phones.

Released in the second half of this year, Sony Ericsson claims they will present the first truly user friendly music system to be integrated into mobile phones (does this mean it is being disparaging about its current line up?). Anyway, what this translates as is larger memory (unspecified), good quality headphones and a software system designed to easily import tracks from a personal computer, amongst other devices. Let’s hope it comes up with something more user friendly than it managed with its attempts at a dedicated player.

Next up is Philips, who has no less than five phones debuting at 3GSM so it was surprising that none really caught the eye. Perhaps this is because not a single model supports 3G, which is almost a crime at this year’s event. We’ll not spend too long with these, but for those of you who like a manufacturer who can build everything from electric shavers to defibrillators the details are as follows: the 162 (pictured above) is a new entry level product with 101 x 80 pixel colour and polyphonic ring tones that will obviously appeal to the monthly contract fearing among us. The 568 is a compact (100mm high, 2mm deep, width not provided), light (87g), VGA camera phone with 128 x 160 65k screen and 8MB of built in memory.

Things get a little more interesting with the 655 (at least styling wise, pictured above) but its main feature, a “mirror display” (or quite frankly, a mirror) has been seen as far back as the Sharp GX10. It can at least store 300 SMS messages for those of you who like to archive their communications and at 85g it won’t take up much space in your hip pocket.

Next is the 760, a swivel hinged camera phone with 1.3 megapixel camera and 65k screen but really, we’ve seen it all before… last year. A small nod in terms of practicality, however, does go to the peculiarly named Xenium 9@98 pictured below (don’t get me ranting about product branding again).

Despite its plain faced exterior the 9@98 has an incredible battery life of seven hours talk time or four weeks on standby. That could even be enough for some girlfriends’ I’ve had in the past.


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