The Korean company's urge to be top of the class in absolutely everything looks well on track.
Samsung has become the smarty pants of just about every industry sector it has entered: televisions, laptops, (arguably) printers and most certainly mobile phones. At CeBIT its offerings were impressive to say the least with a 10MP handset, 4GB smartphone and 13mm thick 3.2MP slider. It has clearly kept lashing its overworked design team too because here we go again with a new trio of beauties.
The t719 (yes it’s lowercase, I have no idea why) is perhaps the most innovative of the bunch since it brings a hybrid qwerty keyboard to what appears to be a traditional clamshell. It uses a similar system to the Sony Ericsson M600i which we saw in February by creating rocker keys so that each number doubles up as two letters. Furthermore this new found typing ability will come in handy since the handset uses Blackberry Connect for full email functionality.
Away from this the specs are more modest with a 1MP camera the unspectacular highlight. T-Mobile has already picked up the t719, however, and users can start clocking up the word counts from Q3.
The t509 (yes, clearly some marketing bod has decided lowercase is ”in”) takes a very different approach. At a mere 9.8mm thick it will be the thinnest handset on these shores when it arrives in May (the 7.9mm KTFT EV-K100 looks likely to be some while later).
As you would expect for a mobile this bulimic it is not tiger in the specs department with a so 2003 VGA camera, though it does sport a 262k colour screen. Again T-Mobile has proclaimed itself a fan of this model and we wait to see which other network providers fall for its skeletal charms.
Finally we come to handset styled within an inch of its life. The a960 is a reasonably specified clamshell (1.3MP camera, 262K 220 x 176 display, microSD slot and multimedia player) but the highlight is undoubtedly the strangely appealing design, typified by the exterior off-centre circular OLED. Quite understandably the default view is that of a traditional clock but it can be swapped if you want to be perverse and put digital time in a round frame.
Another funky feature is speech-to-text dictation but I have some doubts about this since speech-to-text dictation on a PC is ropey enough with a high quality mic, hours of programme ‘training’ and a silent room; so it remains to be seen how successful the software in the a960 is when bouncing along inside the London tube. Talking to your mobile phone also has the rather unfortunate consequence of making you look completely mad so approach this with some caution.
We’ll see the a960 in Q2. Audi TT owners, Samsung is expecting your pre-order.