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The newgen smart phones
Soumik Sen |
April 24, 2004
Are you a harassed executive who's tired of lugging a 2.5kg laptop around the country for meetings and presentations? The Day of Deliverance may be at hand (but not if you are a personal computer manufacturer).
The mobile phone industry is on the warpath once again. This time their smart phones are geared to take on laptops, PDAs and all the other gizmos designed for people on the move.
The cellphone industry has learnt from its past mistakes. Remember the Nokia Communicator which sent e-mails but which lost out because it was bulky?
This time round the cellphone companies have figured out what the customer on the move really needs and they've tailored their phones to meet these demands.
So you will, on one hand, have enough computing power to send and receive emails and to access the Net. But you wouldn't, for instance, be able to download a three-hour movie on your new cellphone.
From the market leader Nokia there's the 9210i, (which should perhaps be called Son of Communicator), priced at Rs 33,919. Nokia has upgraded the 9210i and it's Windows compatible so that users can use Word documents, spreadsheets and even Powerpoint presentations while on the move.
Users can even take their 9210i, and plug it in to make presentations. You can use both Lotus Notes and Outlook. The dual band hands-free phone (which works everywhere but the US) also has a RealOne player, that enables real time video and audio streaming.
Or how about the Sony Ericsson's P900 smartphone, based on the Symbian operating system, which offers video recording and messaging capability, 65K colour touch screen, and increased memory. The P900, like all smart phones, provides full PDA/organiser functions and Internet browsing using Opera software.
Also, it offers 3D gaming experiences with games like the V-Rally 1, which incorporate polyphonic sound on stereo headphones and 3D landscape details.
All that comes for Rs 40,000. What's more, online phone updates from www.sonyericsson.com allow users to download the latest software directly to the phone and get the requisite edge at the next board room presentation.
At a slightly cheaper price there's Motorola's A760 which is all yours for Rs 20,495. The A760 combines a PC, PDA, camera, MP3 player and speakerphone with advanced messaging, instant Internet access and Bluetooth wireless technology in a single device.
The Motorola A760's open operating system and extensive PDA supporting software allows users to sync back with office computers via secure Over the Air Bluetooth wireless technology, infrared or USB connections.
Also, from the same company, there's the soon-to-be-launched MPx200, equipped with even more advanced software like the Exchange 2003 apart from the usual features of a smart phone.
The MPx200 enables users to view streaming video using Packet Video (where video files come compressed in packets of data for easy storage and transfer), listen to WMA (WindowsMedia file) and MP3 music files with the popular Windows Media Player application and the phone's rich polyphonic speaker.
What's more -- the camera supports a video/photo album and photo caller ID functionality (which brings up the callers photo) with a slide show option, which can put names on the faces that you clicked on.
Other new players are also getting into the act. Take the Eten P300 which claims to be one of the world's smallest pocket PC cum mobile phones.
It is distributed in India by Capitel Wireless, which is in the telecom infrastructure business. The Eten P300 has 320x240 pixel resolution, with touch screen features and it can be used like most other smart phones with a stylus or fingertip to talk on any GSM/GPRS network in the world and also to take photos and clips with its webcam.
Powered by a 200 MHz processor, the device comes with a 64 MB RAM and 32 MB of flash ROM to store the operating system (OS) and other applications.
The P300 runs on the Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC OS and has built in applications like pocket PC versions of the calendar, contacts, Inbox, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Media player and even applications like Image Maker, Multimedia Manager, Photo Capture and a SIM manager.
The P300 with a warranty of one year is priced at Rs 35,999, and could easily replace the laptop and the vanilla phone because of its versatility and good looks.
Another new entrant in India is the Austrian-made Tel.Me's T919i, priced at Rs 18,999. This phone has all the standard offerings including a digital camera, Windows XP compatibility and a touch-sensitive interactive screen.
Moreover, the optional multimedia card allows users to store MP3 files and then use them as ringtones.