Samsung's new phone can read your handwriting

If you have ever had the need to write something down during a phone call but were caught without a pen and paper, then Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. might have just the cellular telephone for you.

The company's latest handset for the South Korean domestic market, the SCH-X730, features a touch sensitive screen and comes with a small stylus that enables you to jot down short text messages or draw simple diagrams, according to Jun Yim, a spokesman for the Seoul company.

A handwriting recognition feature in the phone allows users to send handwritten messages as conventional text messages and the phone can also recognize and dial phone numbers written on the screen. The system recognizes both Korean and English characters. The conventional keyboard and an on-screen keyboard that is operated with the stylus serve as alternative input methods.

The touch screen makes the handset look similar in some ways to smart phones and PDA (personal digital assistant) phones but the screen is much smaller and there are no additional personal organizer or special features beyond those found in most modern handsets.

The telephone supports the CDMA2000 1x standard and features include the rapidly-becoming-popular rotatable flip-cover. It also supports WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and Java, has 40 polyphonic ringtones and an STN (super twisted nematic) LCD (liquid crystal display) with 128 pixel by 160 pixel resolution and support for 65,000 colors.

The phone measures 89.5 millimeters by 45.0 millimeters by 21.3 millimeters and weighs 99 grams. The battery supports 90 minutes of talk time or 130 hours on standby.

The handset will be available in South Korea through SK Telecom Co. Ltd., the country's leading cellular carrier. The phone is already being advertised on the company's Web site although no pricing information is currently available. No details about the phone's release in Australia have been provided thus far.

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Martyn Williams

PC World
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