The world of wireless came together in San Francisco last week for CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2007 show. The three-day conference witnessed a slew of launches and announcements from global cell phone manufacturers.
Even as iPhone's international rollout draws close, companies like LG, Motorola and Samsung are drawing up strategies to protect their turf. CTIA showcased several of these flashy new phones. The good thing, however, is that not all of these phones are mere iPhone clones, but smarter phones in their own right, if one were to look at features, functionalities and applications.
This one's hottest from LG's Q4 line-up. LG Voyager has a large external touch-screen and opens laterally to reveal a full QWERTY keypad.
The clamshell cell phone supports high-speed EV-DO 3G network. Voyager includes an HTML Web browser, V CAST music and video and V CAST Mobile TV. V CAST is a mobile phone-based systems on which advanced games, including those with 3D graphics can be played. The phone can play .MP3, .WMA, and unprotected .AAC music files.
LG Voyager packs a 2.0 megapixel camera with video capture, there is a removable microSD memory slot that can hold up to 8GB of flash memory.
LG Voyager will hit the stores by the end of November 2007.
The Nokia N81, with a price around $479, has built-in maps and satellite navigation for getting directions, a high-resolution camera, instant messaging, and a 10 GB memory card that store up to 7,500 songs in compressed format.
The N810 resembles Apple's recently introduced iPod Touch Internet multimedia device, which also goes without phone features and costs $299. Nokia's new device was unveiled at a news conference ahead of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
Among the key differences, users can choose a touch screen, writing stylus or pop-up keyboard that hides behind its screen that is more than four inches across -- larger than Apple devices.
The upgraded version of Samsung i730, Samsung i760, comes with both a traditional phone keypad and full QWERTY keyboard.
The dual keypad phone runs on Windows Mobile Professional version 6 and comes pre-loaded with Office apps like Internet Explorer Mobile and Windows Media Player 10 to play MP3 music and watch videos. The i760 can make calls and play music over both 2.5mm and wired Bluetooth headsets.
i760 is 0.8 inch in thickness with a 2.8-inch, 320 by 240 color screen.
The phone has a built-in 1.3 megapixel camera with 1280 x 960 resolution. SCH-i760 also supports wi-fi network, this means users can make free VOIP calls from any WiFi hotspot.
i-mate Ultimate 9502
The flagship handset in i-mate's line-up of Windows Mobile devices, i-mate Ultimate 9502 is pitched directly against high-end smartphones such as the Nokia E90.
Ultimate 9502 has a large 2.8" 640 x 480 pixel (VGA resolution) touchscreen. Underneath, this is a quad-band GSM device with GPRS and EDGE, tri-band UMTS (3G) with HSDPA high-speed data plus WiFi.
Also packed is a 3 megapixel digital camera with autofocus and flash, and i-mate Ultimate 9502 also has microSD expandable memory and Bluetooth.
A new feature with Ultimate 9502 is the inclusion of GPS (global positioning system). The Pocket PC offers navigation and several location-based services. Weighing 200 grams, iMate Ultimate 9502 support AAC, AAC+, MP3, Midi, AMR, ASF and WMA audio formats as well as H.263, H.264, MPEG4 and WMV video formats.
Mobile versions of PowerPoint, Word and Excel are included, plus Windows Media Player.
Samsung BlackJack II
Successor to Samsung's popular BlackJack, BlackJack II is a thin and lightweight QWERTY smartphone with 2.4-inch screen with a 320 x 240 pixel screen.
The phone includes features like a 2.4-inch 320 by 240 pixel screen, a 2 megapixel camera, tri-band 3G UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS wireless connectivity, and built-in GPS.
The Windows Mobile 6-based phone is also holds Microsoft's System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, introduced last week by Microsoft. The Device Manager provides companies with a means for managing and securing Windows Mobile devices, and for using devices over a Mobile Virtual Private Network.
The phone comes in two colours: red wine and piano black.
Motorola Moto U9
Motorola launched its new music phone, called the Moto U9. Featuring a built-in speaker, dedicated music key with integrated Bluetooth wireless technology, the phone is an ideal device for music lovers.
Moto U9 comes with optional 8GB microSD memory card, and has the capacity to store 1000 songs. It also features an MP3 music player with dedicated touch sensor buttons, Windows Media Player6 for easy to download and sync the user's music.
The Moto U9 also sports 1.4" x 128 x 160 pixel touch-sensitive OLED display, 1.3 megapixel camera with digital zoom, CrystalTalk technology that enables crystal clear voice quality in noisy environments, 25 MB internal memory and USB 2.07 to help deliver faster downloads from PC to phones.
Housed in a metallic gloss finish, the phone is designed in small, curvaceous and seamless form. The Motorola U9 delivers maximum talktime of seven hours, with up to 14 days standby time.
LG Rumour The phone's display is a 2.0" 262k color TFT, 176x220 pixel resolution screen with 3D graphics support for gaming. Measuring 4.3 x 2 x 0.7 inches and weighing 116 gm the phone comes with a built-in hidden QWERTY keyboard for easy messaging.
In addition to its QWERTY keyboard, the LG Rumor sports a 1.3-megapixel camera/camcorder with a 2x digital zoom, Bluetooth and an MP3 player. LG Rumor also provides full-feature GPS navigation including voice and on screen turn-by-turn driving directions and more than 10 million business listings. A microSD memory slot with support for 4GB cards has also been incorporated.
LG Rumor provides access to instant messaging services including AIM, MSN and Yahoo! as well as several popular social networking communities, including Facebook and Xanga.
Motorola RIZR Z6tv
Motorola's two-year run of success from the trend-setting Razr phone started crumbling about a year ago when sales eased off. Analysts expect the company to also benefit from other new phones such as the Rokr Z6m and Z6tv and the Moto U9.
Motorola RIZR Z6tv is a slider phone equipped with VCAST Mobile TV, VCAST Music and Video. The RIZR Z6tv provides entertainment lovers 24-hour access to broadcast-quality full-length TV shows through VCAST Mobile TV.
RIZR Z6tv is also equipped with Bluetooth stereo headset support for music, creating a wireless mobile music experience.
Additional features include a memory card slot, stereo Bluetooth, physical key lock switch, a QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera with video capture and playback, and EVDO data.