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LG Debuts ‘TRAX’ HSDPA Phone, Adds Top-Line PND

New York — LG Electronics MobileComm unveiled its second W-CDMA/HSDPA phone for the U.S. market and its most music-friendly high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) phone to date during its annual midsummer event at Christie’s auction house, held here last night.

TRAX, intended for AT&T Wireless, is a clamshell model with mirror-like external LCD screen; external music controls; and the ability to download data at an average 400kbps to 700kbps, with up to 1Mbps peaks, to improve the quality of streaming audio and video services, including MobiTV live-TV service and XM Radio programming.

Music features include stereo Bluetooth, playlist creation, microSD slot for 4GB memory cards and MusicID music-recognition service. It can play back MP3, WMA and AAC-family music-file formats.

The 3.55-ounce quad-band unit operates in GSM/EDGE mode in AT&T’s 850/1,900MHz bands and in the 900/1,800MHz bands when roaming outside the United States. It operates in HSDPA mode in the 850/1,900MHz bands.

Other features include 1.3-megapixel camera, three IM clients and six Web mail clients.

According to Ehitsham Rabbani, marketing and product strategy VP, price and availability will not be revealed for another two weeks.

Also at the event, the company expanded its selection of personal navigation devices (PNDs) to four with the introduction of the top-end LN790, which is the company’s first to double as a portable media player (PMP) when used outside the car.

The LN790, due in September at $699, features a 4.3-inch widescreen touchscreen, preloaded maps of the United States and Canada and wireless real-time traffic information in 50 North American cities. The service, available free for 90 days, enables the PND to automatically reroute drivers around slow-moving traffic.

For driver safety, the device comes with steering-wheel remote control and turn-by-turn voice guidance with street name announcements. Bluetooth connectivity enables hands-free calling from compatible cellphones and the unit adds video playback to music and photos, LG said. — Additional reporting by Steve Smith