Samsung unveils clamshell gaming phone

Following in Nokia's footsteps, Samsung Electronics this week released its own version of a gaming cell phone. Samsung has come up with a slightly new form factor for its phone and has chosen to modify the clamshell design it favors for many of its handsets.

On the SCH-V450, Samsung has switched the position of some of the keys on the phone: a small joystick and function keys typically sit above the number keypad on many clamshell phones, but these have been placed below the number keys on the new model. They have also been raised and the top half of the clam shell shortened so that when the phone is closed it covers only the number keypad; the joystick and function keys remain accessible.

The phone features a chip designed to support 3D (three-dimensional) graphics and gaming, said Sophia Kim, a spokeswoman for the Seoul electronics manufacturer. The phone comes with three games installed, and users can download additional games from a Samsung Web site. The company did not indicate if there is an additional charge for downloading games.

Its main display offers a resolution of 176 pixels by 220 pixels, along with a sub-display with 128 pixel by 128 pixel resolution. The phone supports CDMA2000 1x EvDO and includes a camera with 310,000 pixel resolution. Other features include an MP3 player and the ability to alter the screen image to match the mood and speed of music, Samsung Electronics said in a statement.

The mobile phone went on sale in South Korea early this week with a price tag of around US$500, Kim said.

The company has no plans to launch the SCH-V450 overseas, Kim said, but Samsung will introduce a number of game-focused phones in international markets later this year, including the SGH-P730, which will be the company's first megapixel-class GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handset, and will also have embedded 3D games. It will be launched in Europe and Asia in August, she said.

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Martyn Williams

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