The best of 3GSM, Barcelona

Last week in Barcelona was the world showcase for new mobile phones. Here is a collection of handsets that interested us the most (warning – not all will be available in Australia).

  • Motorola's Z6w Enables Seamless GSM to Wi-Fi Transitions
    The MOTO Z6w, a Linux-Java handset with both GSM/EDGE and Wi-Fi, incorporates UMA technology that will allow VoIP calls and Web browsing to be handed off between networks (although your carrier may have something to say about how you'll be able to use this technology). You get a 2-megapixel camera, too.
  • The G700 – Another Touching Experience from Sony Ericsson
    The G700, another eye-catching touch screen phone announced by Sony Ericsson, sports an unusual sticky-notes application. Tap the note icon in the upper left, and a new blank note fills the screen. You choose the note's colour and screen position, and use the phone's stylus to scribble or draw memos.
  • Nokia's 6210 Navigator: Good for Walkers and Drivers
    Nokia's 6210 Navigator will come bundled with Nokia Maps 2.0, the latest version (now in beta) of the company's mapping service, which has a few neat features you don't see in most GPS handsets. The new Walk component creates turn-by-turn directions for pedestrians on the 2.4in screen (in addition to the usual driving directions) and works with the phone's integrated compass and an accelerometer to help keep you on course (systems designed for cars generally don't pick up changes in walking quickly enough to realise you've made a wrong turn, for example). Multimedia city guides are available as an extra-cost download. This HSDPA phone also has a 3.2-megapixel camera and FM stereo receiver.
  • Xperia X1 Slides Open to Reveal a Landscape-Mode Keyboard
    Xperia X1's large (3in) touch screen (see previous slide) exemplifies another handset trend. But it also lets you navigate via an optical joystick underneath the display. When closed, this Sony Ericsson's metal-finish rear case shows nothing but the lens of its 3.2-megapixel camera (above, left). However, the X1 does have an unusual design feature: it slides open sideways in a gentle arc (above, right) to reveal a roomy portrait-mode keyboard. As with other sideways sliders, the display adjusts automatically.
  • Samsung's SGH-400: Speakers at One End, Keypad at the Other
    The SGH-400 music phone features a dual-slider design. Slide the back up (left) to see some serious-looking features; slide it down for the usual keypad. It too has Bang & Olufsen ICEpower audio technology and a 3-megapixel camera.
  • Walkman W980 – A Clamshell You Don't Have to Flip Open
    Sony Ericsson's newest Walkman phone is designed to appeal to clamshell fans who might not want to see a keypad just to play music: the entire Walkman player interface appears on the exterior. The handset has 8GB of internal memory and an FM transmitter to beam music to your car or home stereo receiver. It's due in the third quarter of 2008.
  • LG's Flagship KF700 Gets Very Touchy
    LG's new handsets are all about touch. The KF700 combines three input modes: a 3in touch screen display, a hardware shortcut wheel (on the back) that lets you scroll through icons on a virtual dial (above, left) to access user-defined features, and a slide-down alphanumeric keypad (above, right). Functionality can change depending on application: If you're browsing the Web, the shortcut dial lets you zoom in and out of pages.
  • Nokia's Value-Priced, Versatile N78
    The N78 is the next-generation version of the N73. It brings HSDPA, Wi-Fi and AGPS (with support for geo-tagging of photos) to the table, along with a 3.2-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a MicroSD card slot that will support up to 8GB of user-added storage, and an FM transmitter for music playback over an available stereo receiver frequency. The 2.4in display sits atop a handsome navigation pad and keypad (no sliding required).
  • LG's KF-510 Super Skinny Slider
    Most of the phones at Mobile World Congress are between half and three-quarters of an inch thick. But LG's KF-510 is a slider that checks in at 0.43 of an inch – and yet still manages to bundle a 3-megapixel camera, MP3 player, and an FM radio.
  • Samsung Adds Soul to Its Line-up
    You can't go anywhere at the Mobile World Congress without seeing huge banners touting Samsung's Soul, the undisputed star of the company's line-up. Checking in at an eyelash over half an inch thick, this super-slim metallic HSDPA (the fast 7.2-megabit-per-second variant) slider phone has a 2.2-inch display with simple icons showing its applications – controls on the a haptics-enhanced OLED navigation touchpad below the display change depending on application. The Soul also packs a 5-megapixel camera with face detection and image stabilisation technology, as well as Bang & Olufsen ICEpower amplification for music playback. Australians will have to wait for this one (along with the others we particularly liked): it debuts in Europe in spring.
  • Samsung's G810: A HSDPA-GPS-Wi-Fi Camera Phone
    At seven-tenths of an inch thick, it may look positively chubby next to the Soul, but the Symbian-based G810 does offer a few things the Soul doesn't – most notably Wi-Fi (for when its 3.6Mbps HSDPA isn't fast enough and you're near a hotspot) and assisted GPS with geo-tagging support. Other goodies in this Symbian handset include a 5-megapixel camera, a 2.6in screen, and TV-out port.
  • . Sony Ericsson's Two Cyber-shot Phones Step Up
    The higher-end of two new Cyber-shot phones announced at the Barcelona gathering, the C902 (shown above) boasts a five-megapixel camera accessed via a new slide-apart design that's touted as able to capture images "within an instant". Other advanced technology includes auto-focus, face detection, flash, and image and video stabilisation. The C702 (not shown) has a 3.5-megapixel camera and geo-tagging features using assisted GPS, a.k.a. AGPS.

  • Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1 Takes the Windows Mobile Plunge
    Due in the second half of this year, the Xperia X1 goes where Sony Ericsson has never gone before – into the realm of Windows Mobile. But thanks to a custom interface featuring nine square panels – each of which launches a different application – you might not realise that you're looking at an HSDPA handset based on the Microsoft platform for mobile devices. The X1 is the first entry in Sony Ericsson's new "premium" Xperia line; future models may be based on other operating systems. But observers say the company chose to stray from its Symbian/UIQ roots to reach out to corporate customers.
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