Wi-Fi, MP3, HSDPA In Samsung Lineup

By Joseph Palenchar On Apr 10 2006 - 6:00am

Slider designs, quadband capability, Bluetooth and MP3 players turned up in many new Samsung handsets.

The company's first U.S. phone to hand off voice calls from the wireless network to a home Wi-Fi network is the t709, an 850/1,800/1,900MHz GSM/EDGE phone with slider design; built-in Wi-Fi; MP3 player; 1.3-megapixel camera; and instant messaging from AOL, Yahoo and ICQ. It was expected to be available by now.

Three of four other new GSM phones are also quadband models, including the slider d807. This quadband phone features MP3 player, 1.3-megapixel camera, microSD (Trans Flash) slot for memory cards up to 512MB and Bluetooth. The 3.2-ounce t609, a quadband GSM/EDGE clamshell, features dual LCDs, Bluetooth, MP3 player, video player, 1.3-megapixel camera, 32MB embedded memory, microSD slot and FOTA over-the-air software upgrades. The d347 quadband GSM clamshell features push-to-talk capability, Bluetooth, FOTA over-air software upgrades, VGA camera, 30MB of internal memory and voice recognition.

The triband GSM/EDGE t719, a 3.5-ounce folding model with QWERTY-like SureType keyboard, is the company's first phone with RIM Blackberry e-mail support and the industry's first clamshell model with Blackberry Connect e-mail. Other features include 1.3-megapixel camera; Bluetooth; MP3 player; voice recognition; main 2.2-inch 262K color TFT screen; and AOL, Yahoo and ICQ instant messaging. It is 3.7 inches by 2 inches by 0.72 inches with standard battery.

Other new phones include four trimode CDMA 1X models, including the a580 trimode clamshell designed for first-time users. It features WAP 2.0 browser, dual LCD screens, and speakerphone. The basic a250 trimode 1X clamshell features dual color screens and picture caller ID. The a350 trimode 1X clamshell adds VGA camera, digital zoom and Bluetooth. The a550 trimode CDMA 1x clamshell adds AAC and AAC+ music playback, ringtones assignable to different phone numbers, and text-to-speech conversion.

Four CDMA 1X EV-DO phones reappearing here after an International CES debut are the a930, a870, a780, and a640, all with MP3 player and Bluetooth. The a930 and a870 also support music-on-demand over-the-air music downloading. All but the a640 feature microSD slot. All come with camera, with the a780 and a930 featuring 1.3 megapixels and the a870 featuring 2 megapixels.

W-CDMA phones that debuted at CES include what the company expects to be the first HSDPA high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) model available to U.S. consumers. It's due in June for Cingular, which already offers a Samsung W-CDMA handset without HSDPA.

When an HSDPA network is fully evolved, it offers maximum theoretical downloads at data rates up to 14.4MBps compared to a W-CDMA network's 1Mbps. Uplink speeds are also accelerated. As of early 2006, however, Cingular's HSDPA network delivered theoretical 3.6Mbps maximum downlinks with average throughputs per user of 400-700kbps with 1MB bursts, but the carrier's existing handsets were limited to 1.8Mbps theoretical maximum downloads, the carrier said. Average uplink speeds per user were 60-80kbps.

Samsung's HSDPA phone is the quadband clamshell ZX20. It's due in June with 1.3-megapixel camera; flash; MP3/AAC player; MPEG-4 video recording; microSD [Trans Flash] slot; music- and video-on-demand streaming and download capabilities; 262K color screen; and IM client for AOL, ICQ, Yahoo and MSN. It operates in W-CDMA/HSDPA mode in the 850 and 1,900MHz bands and in GSM/GPRS/EDGE mode in those bands and in the foreign 900 and 1,800MHz bands.

Samsung's first U.S. W-CDMA phone is the 3.7-ounce zx10, a quadband launched in March by Cingular at $99 after $50 rebate. It lacks HSDPA.

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