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The latest cellular handsets are getting lights, cameras and messaging.
Multimedia messaging, cameras and an LED camera spotlight were among the features of multiple handsets introduced to the U.S. market.
Six phones recently unveiled by Siemens, Motorola and Samsung are compatible with carriers' multimedia messaging services (MMS). Two Siemens models sport cameras. Two Samsung models feature cameras and AOL Instant Messenger (IM) service. Two Motorola models include the first iDEN-network phone with MMS, camera and LED camera light.
In another announcement, T-Mobile said it began offering what it believes is the first wireless LAN/WAN card in the U.S. market.
Here's what suppliers and carriers launched:
Motorola: Two new phones are the camera-equipped iDEN-network i860 and the MPx220, a GSM/GPRS phone incorporating the Windows Mobile Smartphone edition OS.
The clamshell MPx220 is available through Best Buy and is due in Cingular-branded stores in November. The quadband GSM/GPRS device features 1.2-megapixel camera/camcorder with zoom and flash, Bluetooth, MP3 player, Java, 64MB flash ROM, removable SD card, external color display and MMS.
The i860 iDEN phone is available through all Nextel channels at $299 with two-year contract for new subscribers. The 4.77-ounce clamshell phone is the industry's first from a national carrier with the ability to send contact information, including names and e-mail addresses, to another handset via the PTT button, Nextel claimed. Information can be transferred, for now, only between i860 models.
The i860 also features Nextel's largest internal screen at 2.2 inches, external color display and pushbutton flip-open mechanism, which Nextel is offering for the first time. Other features include short-range LED spotlight, 0.3-megapixel camera/camcorder with 4x digital zoom and 10-second video capture, MP3 ringtones, OpenWave browser to connect to xHTML Web sites, audio and picture caller ID, voice recorder, Java and GPS. A free application lets users transfer photos and videos from the phone via USB cable to a PC.
Samsung: Two new 850/1,900MHz GSM/GPRS phones, available through all Cingular retail channels, are clamshells equipped with AOL IM, personal organizer functions, MMS and Java download capability. At the higher end, the 3-ounce $149 SGH-e317 adds VGA camera, dual 65K color TFT displays, MMS, e-mail access and 4x digital zoom. The 2.8-ounce $29 SGH-X427n is a clamshell with single LCD display at 65K. It lacks camera. Prices are after $50 mail-in rebate.
Siemens:The company unveiled a pair of camera phones, one for the youth market and one for fashion-conscious sophisticates.
The S66 is the company's first megapixel camera phone for the U.S. market. It features built-in 1.3-megapixel camera; 15 fps camcorder; 65K color screen; five-step digital zoom; Bluetooth; MMC Card slot; and synchronization with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes via Bluetooth, IR and USB. The 850/1,800/1,900MHz GSM/GPRS phone weighs 3.5 ounces and delivers up to five hours of talk time or 10.4 days of standby.
The youth-oriented GSM/GPRS CT66, also an 850/1,800/1,900MHz phone, features CIF camera, 65K color screen, IM, IT, data synchronization with a PC, speakerphone and downloadable Java applications. It weighs 3 ounces and delivers the same talk and standby times as the S66. Prices weren't disclosed.
T-Mobile also said it began offering what it believes is the first wireless LAN/WAN card in the U.S. market. The $199 Sony Ericsson GC79 combines wide-area GPRS and local-area IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi technology for use in T-Mobile's cellular-data network or in one of T-Mobile's Wi-Fi hot spots. The GPRS triband card also operates in overseas GPRS networks. Although it doesn't support handoffs from GPRS to Wi-Fi, another T-Mobile device does. It's the HP H6315 PDA phone, which the carrier believes became the first wireless LAN/WAN phone available in the United States when it shipped in late August.
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