CeBIT 2006: Mobile Phones – Part Two

Samsung typically goes World Record crazy again and BenQ Siemens displays some plesantly surprising handsets while T-Mobile attempts mind control.

Showing off its debut range under the newly created BenQ Siemens moniker was BenQ. Bought off Siemens last year, the company has the right to use the joint title for the immediate future though since Siemens doesn’t have the greatest handset rep in the world it’s hard to see why it bothered.


The new line up, however, is looking far better than anyone had the right to expect. Above you have shots of the 3.2MP EF91 (right) unveiled at 3GSM and sporting HSDPA and the previously unseen P51 (left), a BlackBerry-esque smartphone running Windows Mobile 5.0.

Both models were of a high quality, though the EF91 disappointingly doesn’t use the whole screen to take or display its fantastic photography and the P51 is GPRS only which always seems pointless for a smartphone. Still in prototype, the latter may yet get a boost to the full 3G but the EF91 is rather more tightly nailed down. They still make for ambitious debuts however…


Another 3GSM debutant on show was the quirky EF51 music phone, this compact (89 x 50 x 18mm) and light (95g) handset has a dedicated music player, Bluetooth and a 1.3MP digital camera. It’s certainly no Walkman killer but as a budget targeted device it could win a few hearts.


Slightly more upmarket is the slim profile (13mm) S81, a 3G mobile that packs a number of tricks such as H.264 video support and Outlook synchronisation. 1.3MP and 0.3MP cameras are fitted and there’s 30MB of memory with a microSD expansion slot. Look for it around the middle of Q2.


A final head turner on the stand was the EL71 a 16mm thick slider with 1.3MP camera, metal casing and QVGA display that cuts quite a presence. The MP3 and AAC compatible music player can be plugged into any HiFi via the company’s IHM-100 music cable accessory (to be available separately) and it should be out next month.


A quick word on T-Mobile and Vodafone which each who had massive presences at the show. Neither was demonstrating any remotely cutting edge handsets or progressive tariffs but the former did have a massive minimalistic Barbarella inspired tube guarded front and back by shifty looking Thunderbirds rejects. T-Mobile claims it was a 3D virtual reality chamber, but don’t you believe a word of it, there’s 1984 style brain reprogramming going on there, mark my words…

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