3GSM: The End Is Nigh

As 3GSM draws to a close today we take a look at those handsets that nearly slipped through the net and wonder: What will the future bring?

3GSM, it’s been fun. I’m starting to see mobile phones in my dreams and I’m struck by the need to scream every time I hear one of the blasted things ring in public, which isn’t a particularly helpful social trait. Despite that, we are still here to bring you the news, so let’s get underway because the sooner we finish, the faster I can check out and seek some professional therapy.

With this new motivation in mind, I come enthusiastically to Samsung, who has gone nuts since we covered its D720 smartphone on day two. Lined up are no less than eight more models along three product ranges: firstly the Z130, Z300, Z500, then the E340, E350, E720, E880 and finally the X640.

Beginning with the Z130 (pictured below), we have a 3G, one megapixel camera phone with multimedia player that supports Real, MPEG, H.263, MP3, AAC and ACC+ formats. It comes with 48MB of internal memory (and we presume some kind of expandable card slot given its media potential), 176 x 220 pixel, 262k colour screen built in speakerphone and Bluetooth.


It is also impossible not to notice the rotating screen on the Z130. Samsung says this makes it easier to use the phone’s video functions and to take landscape photos. Cool at it undoubtedly is, I can’t help but think tilting your phone on its side has much the same effect.

A little more generic is the Z300. It is a music based phone with 3D stereo sound through dual speakers. It also features a one megapixel camera, Bluetooth and TransFlash memory slot. Shrinking things down is the clamshell designed Z500 (below), which at 90 x 44 x 25mm could well be the smallest 3G handset at 3GSM. Despite it’s diminutive size the Z500 also packs in the same multimedia capabilities as the Z130, 50MB internal memory, 176 x 200 pixel, 18 bit screen, Bluetooth and TransFlash slot.


Next up are the E340, E350, E720 (below) and E880, all GSM tri-band phones with audio support for MP3 and ACC/ACC+. They also share Bluetooth, an MP3 player and digital cameras (which move from VGA on the E340 to 1.3 megapixel on the E800) as common features and slowly increase in weight as you go up the range, from 75g to 90g.


Ending Samsung’s prolificacy at 3GSM is the X640, a low end clamshell GSM phone with VGA camera which understandably doesn’t conjure up any new innovations or really provide talking points, so I’ll stop talking about it.


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