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CES 2005

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Jan 3, 2005, 7:00 PM   by Rich Brome

Live reports from the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hot new phones from LG, Samsung, Motorola, Audiovox, and more!

Intro 

CES - the Consumer Electronics Show - is one of the largest technology trade shows in the world. Every year in early January, the world's consumer electronics industry takes over Las Vegas, transforming it from Sin City to Gadget City.

Well... almost. Like last year, the Adult Entertainment Expo is being held at the same time, just down the street at the Sands Expo Center. But CES is growing so fast that next year CES will take over that space as well. Yes, really. One (very large) convention center is no longer enough to contain this massive tech extravaganza.

Cell phones have historically been a small part of CES. It used to be you could count on just a few new phones from Audiovox and Samsung, but now more companies seem to be getting in on the action. LG and Motorola are both expected to make a splash this year, as well as a few smaller companies. In an even bigger shift, carriers now seem to be stepping up to the plate, with Verizon expected to make a big announcement here before the week is done.

Throughout the week, Phone Scoop reported from all the major events, as well as the show floor, to bring you the most in-depth coverage anywhere of new cell phones and mobile phone technology at CES.

Samsung

P777 / P207 

From all appearances, Samsung is really pulling out the big guns this year in the U.S. Their lineup for just the first half of the year includes a large array of "firsts" that, if they can deliver, could give them a fairly commanding technology lead in this part of the world.

First up is the SGH-P777, Samsung's first EDGE phone for the U.S.. This tri-band GSM slider sports a megapixel camera, video capture, and a whopping 100 MB of memory, allowing it capture and store up to 60 minutes of video.

 

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The P777 also includes an MP3 player, with a pretty slick interface. It's also a great size and weight. The numeric keypad is slightly cramped. The ridge along the bottom of each key makes them easy enough to feel out, but those with large fingers still might want to give it a test run first.

Samsung's second EDGE phone will be the SGH-P207, a surprisingly small and light clamshell model with unique ebony-and-chrome styling. It's full-featured enough, with a VGA camera and dual TFT color displays, but this phone's claim to fame is its world-first speech dictation feature.

Using technology from VoiceSignal, the P207 lets you "write" text messages by simply speaking the words into the microphone. The phone performs real-time full speech recognition to convert your speech into text, something that previously required more processing power than was available in most phones.

Samsung has an arrangement with VoiceSignal that gives them an exclusive worldwide license to this technology until the end of 2005.

 

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I tried the speech feature briefly. I didn't have much luck with it, but it was a noisy room and a prototype version of the phone, so it's too early to judge how well it really works.

A890 / i730 

The Samsung SCH-A890 is the company's first EV-DO phone. With a megapixel camera, dual color displays, and advanced voice control, this phone was headline news just a few days ago.

 

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This week, Verizon announced that the A890 is one of three phones Verizon will release on February 1st to coincide with the launch of VCast, Verizon's new EV-DO-based streaming video service for consumers.

The Samsung i730 - possibly the ultimate CDMA convergence device - was first revealed a few weeks ago at an event in New York. But for whatever reason, they asked people not to take photos of the sliding QWERTY keyboard. Fortunately, that is no longer the case:

 

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The i730 includes EV-DO high-speed data, as well as Bluetooth, an SDIO slot, speakerphone, and stereo speakers. On the PDA side, it runs Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PC 2nd Edition, supports landscape mode, and packs in 64 MB of RAM memory.

As we first reported a couple of weeks ago, the i730 will also include Wi-Fi. Although Samsung is still not mentioning this major feature in press materials and marketing for the i730, I was able to verify that the prototype on display here at CES certainly has functioning Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi, however, like the integrated megapixel camera, will be a carrier-optional feature with the i730. So we could see something like Sprint offering the i730 with a camera but no Wi-Fi, while Verizon offered it with Wi-Fi but no camera (in theory - I don't have any specific info either way).

What's possibly most exciting is that Samsung currently expects the i730 to launch in Q1, which means in less than three months. If there are no major delays, that will be sooner than some people had expected.

A800 

Another exciting CDMA phone planned for this quarter is the A800, a cutting-edge phone on many levels. The headline feature is the two-megapixel CCD camera, expected to be a first for the U.S. The A800 also has video capture and a TransFlash memory card slot for storing those large photo and video files.

 

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As shown above, the back of the A800 is designed for holding the phone in landscape orientation when taking photos, which makes the experience more like a traditional camera. The round self-portrait mirror does double-duty as a sliding lens cover.

I briefly tested the A800's camera, but the lens had some smudges I couldn't completely clean away, and it is a prototype. It's not fair to judge camera quality of a pre-release device, but some people might appreciate the first-glimpse anyway, so here are some sample shots I snagged and saved to my TransFlash card:

 

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Again, if you think these aren't so hot, please reserve judgement. The A800 is 2-megapixel, (well, 1.92 megapixel, technically, but close enough,) plus it uses CCD technology, and it has a true auto-focus lens (yes, it really moves). All of those put together should equal very high quality in the final version.

The A800 features a trendy sliding-keypad design and internal antenna, but it's a good deal larger than Samsung's other sliders, like the P777. Given the huge screen and the specs in general, I guess that's to be expected.

 

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That QVGA display, by the way, is gorgeous:

 

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One really slick and clever feature of the A800 is the business card scanner. While it sounds gimmicky, it's actually a relatively sophisticated OCR (optical character recognition) system. The process is illustrated below:

 

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First, you select the card scanner feature and snap a photo of the card. Then the phone automatically analyzes the image to find individual snippets of text.

Then you simply scroll right to a contact field (like "name"), then scroll down to the matching snippet (in my case "Rich Brome", which the phone has automatically extracted from the image.) Then press okay and move on to the next field.

When you've selected all the snippets you want to import, just hit "Next" and the phone uses OCR to "read" the snippets, and pumps the data right into a new contact entry in your phone book.

The accuracy wasn't perfect when I tried it, but it was a prototype, and that's the kind of thing I'd expect to improve prior to release.

Although Samsung had tape over the carrier logo of the one I tried, the A800 appeared on samsung.com this week bearing a Sprint logo.

Samsung also announced that they are planning a 5-megapixel phone with 3x optical zoom for the U.S. for release later this year.

More GSM 

One feature sorely missing from Samsung's lineup to date has been Bluetooth.

Once you jump on board the Bluetooth train, it's hard to get off. Not only is it convenient, but with the high cost of some Bluetooth accessories, many people end up making a considerable investment in the technology. That makes Bluetooth an absolute must-have for many people shopping for replacement phones.

Fortunately, Samsung finally seems to be cluing in the Bluetooth phenomenon. The SGH-D500 for Europe was one of Samsung's first Bluetooth phones. While the D500 itself is not expected to make it to the U.S., several similar phones are headed this way, including the well-equipped SGH-E865:

 

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This tri-band GSM phone sports a swivel megapixel camera with LED flash and video capture, a nice high-resolution (176 x 220 pixel) display, MP3/AAC music player, voice command, SyncML, ...and Bluetooth.

It's pretty small, too. It's about the same size as the P777, (perhaps smaller considering the internal antenna,) and certainly much smaller than the brick that was the SGH-D415.

Next up are two somewhat similar clamshell GSM phones. Both have very rounded designs and internal antennas. Neither has GSM 850, so it's safe to assume these won't be coming to Cingular.

The SGH-X475 is pretty basic. Java 2.0 and instant messaging (Wireless Village standard) are the best features. The main display is a plain 65,000-color type. The outer display is a small black-and-white number.

 

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The X475 is dual-band 900/1900, which almost certainly means it's aimed at T-Mobile USA. Few (if any) other carriers use that combination of bands.

The SGH-E335 adds a few more features, such as tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900), a VGA camera, and infrared. The outer display is also larger.

 

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More CDMA 

Samsung also has several new lower-end CDMA phones coming out. These will replace the current SCH-A650 and SPH-A660 models. The main new features are external displays and text-to-speech.

The text-to-speech feature is pretty neat. It's basically the opposite of the dictation technology in the P207. When it's activated, a synthesized voice speaks the name of each menu item as you scroll through them. Special sound effects also make navigating the menus easier.

So far, that makes it a lot like some recent LG phones with "driving mode" feature. But Samsung's text-to-speech system takes it a bit further, by also speaking any text that appears on the screen, including phone book names and text messages.

A full voice-command feature is also present on both phones.

These should both be useful features for driving, so you can keep your eyes on the road, and also for the visually-impaired.

The A860 is aimed at Sprint:

 

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The A720 is essentially the same, but with different styling, and for Verizon:

 

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Another new phone is the SCH-A795. This isn't so much a whole new phone as simply an SCH-A790 sans camera. (The A790 is the new CDMA+GSM phone offered by Verizon - and soon Sprint.)

 

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We've covered the Samsung i645 here before. It's a Windows Mobile Smartphone with EV-DO high-speed data and a megapixel camera. Nothing major has changed since it was first revealed, but it was on display at CES in a new color. The keypad has now been changed from black-and-silver to all silver:

 

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Conspicuously absent from Samsung's display was the SPH-i550 Palm OS PDA-phone for Sprint. According to a Samsung rep, (one who is definitely in a position to know such things,) Sprint is currently reconsidering carrying the i550, which could mean this promising device may never see the light of day. These look like dark times for the Palm OS faithful...

LG

A7110 / F9100 

LG is showing off several new phones this week.

(At the first event, they didn't have anything handy to cover the carrier logos, which they are contractually prohibited from showing on camera. So please excuse my strategically-placed fingers - it's the only way I was allowed to take photos.)

First is the A7110, a new slider for the GSM side of things. It's LG's first model with EDGE high-speed data.

 

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It's similar to the Samsung P777 in many ways, but most of the features are just a step down compared to the P777, like the VGA camera instead of megapixel, 30 minutes of video capture instead of 60, and no MP3 player. Of course, that also means the A7110 should be more affordable, and with streaming video playback and a swiveling camera, it still looks like a good mid-range model.

Next is the recently-revealed F9100 messaging phone:

 

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The F9100 is pretty much the size and weight I expected, which is slightly larger than a typical bar-style phone, but not too much, in my opinion. The keyboard is okay to type on. It's a bit wide compared to many other thumb-boards, but I imagine you'd get used to the key spacing pretty quickly. And besides, too large is much better than too small when it comes to keypads and keyboards.

MM-535 / VX-4700 

And in the CDMA camp, first up is the MM-535, a feature-packed CDMA slider with a megapixel camera, speakerphone, MP3 player, memory card slot, and streaming video playback.

 

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The 535 is expected to be a significant step in LG's renewed relationship with Sprint.

And finally, the VX-4700 is LG's first PTT (walkie-talkie) model for CDMA networks. This otherwise average clamshell phone has an external display, speakerphone, and speaker-independent voice dialing.

 

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A very similar model known as the AX-4750 will also be available for carriers using different PTT technology.

Motorola

E815 / V635 

Motorola officially announced several new phones here at CES.

The E815 is Motorola's first phone with EV-DO, which provides broadband data speeds on CDMA networks. The E815 based heavily on the V710, with a few upgrades. In addition to EV-DO, the E815 ups the internal memory to a generous 40 MB and adds video-on demand. The styling has also been updated, and the keypad and camera improved.

The photos below show the V710 on the left and E815 on the right:

 

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The E815 also features a slightly larger battery (1030 mAh), and a new "skinnable" UI, which means you can change the look of the menus (and not just the colors) by choosing different themes.

The V635 is the long-rumored update the popular V600 and V620. The specs are pretty much what you'd expect for a V600 successor, including a megapixel camera, color outer display, EDGE, and a TransFlash memory card slot.

 

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The TransFlash slot is cleverly hidden under the removable metal outer bezel. The build quality of the V635 seems excellent. The new keypad is especially pleasant to use.

I was pretty impressed with the V635 camera quality. Those worried that the V635 would offer the same "quality" as the V710 should rest easy - the V635 is much better, IMO. Here are some sample shots I took and saved to my TransFlash card:

 

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The V635 also features some software tweaks over the V600, including a great new camera interface that makes it super-easy to change the various capture options, such as resolution, white balance, etc. A new search feature has also been added to the phone book.

The V635 isn't perfect, though. Its EDGE implementation is only class 4, which isn't very fast. It also only has 5 MB of internal memory, although that can certainly be rectified by adding a TransFlash card, and some carriers may include a card with the phone.

More GSM 

The V186 is simply a V180 with EDGE. It doesn't have any special features to take advantage of the speed, though. It's mostly designed to be used with a laptop via a USB cable.

 

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The V171 (on the right above) is a new entry-level GSM phone. "Entry-level" might be generous, though, because the V180 was entry-level, and this is one step below that. It seems that carriers wanted something even cheaper, so they could continue to offer freebie phones without cutting so deep into profits. Thus the V171 was born.

So the V171 has a very small main display (although it is color) and no external display.

The E375 is a stylish new bar-style phone. It's intended only for Asia, but it is tri-band GSM. It sports a large 176 x 200 display and a VGA camera with LED flash. Otherwise it's pretty basic.

 

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The C698p is a PTT (push-to-talk) version of the E398. It's designed to be a mid-tier phone, though, so it doesn't have all the features of the E398. Features like Bluetooth, haptics, and MP3 player are not present, to lower cost. It's currently targeted at Latin America.

 

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The C381p is a more basic entry-level PTT phone. It's basically the C380, but to accommodate PTT, there's an extra speaker on the back, and a dedicated PTT button above the talk button.

iDEN 

In the iDEN department, Motorola is now publicly showing the i605 and i930.

The i605 is Motorola's first iDEN phone with Bluetooth. It has a huge display, but it otherwise similar to other bar-style iDEN phones. The i605 is expected in the second quarter.

 

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The i930 is Motorola's new ultra-high-end iDEN phone. It's a really ambitious model, with dual color displays, a camera, Windows Mobile, GSM, infrared, and an SD card slot. It might be a bit too ambitious, though... It's been in the rumor mill for about a year and a half now, and according to Moto, it still won't be out until the second half of 2005.

 

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One slight disappointment is that the i930 doesn't have Bluetooth. But then again, as delayed as it is already, if the i930 had Bluetooth it probably wouldn't be out until 2006...

Making the i930 even more ambitious for Motorola is the fact that the i930 is planned to be the first phone with the new WiDEN high-speed data technology, which provides data rates four times faster than current iDEN technology.

But that may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak. All of these cutting-edge features have a multiplier effect that makes the phone exponentially more complicated to engineer and difficult to test, hence the delays.

But with all of these delays, some features of the phone - like the mere VGA camera and lack of Bluetooth - are making the phone look outdated by now. Which is why a Motorola representative admitted it's likely that the i930 will simply be scrapped in favor of a new model that has a megapixel camera and Bluetooth. Unfortunately, that would mean an even longer wait for an iDEN smartphone...

 

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The i930 is a bit chunky. Not the smallest phone, for sure. It has the same push-to-open flip mechanism as the i860, which some will like and others might not.

Both i605 and i930 have status lights, something that other recent iDEN phones have not had. The i930's status light is a ring that surrounds the flip-open button.

The i930 currently has tri-band GSM - 900/1800/1900 MHz - although engineers I talked to said it was likely the final version would only be dual-band, due to some kind of iDEN antenna issue.

Moto+Burton 

If you were anywhere near CES this year, one thing you probably noticed - or rather, couldn't miss - was MotoMountain - the huge mountain that Motorola erected right in front of the convention center. Yes... mountain. Motorola and Burton (the trendy sports-gear company) actually built a gigantic artifical slope in the main plaza, covered it with snow, and had pro snowboarders doing jumps and tricks on the first night of the show.

 

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I'm not sure if this brash defiance of nature (and flexing of marketing muscle) pleased the gods or pissed them off, but they definitely noticed, because it actually snowed (for real) the next morning. (That's not supposed to happen in Vegas, even in January.) But the snow was followed by rain, which unfortunately put an end to the snowboarding.

So why did Motorola and Burton pull such an insane stunt? Why, to promote Bluetooth snowboarding gear, of course! The two companies are rolling out a complete line of gear that seamlessly brings together jackets, headwear, stereo headsets, phones, Bluetooth, and music players such as iPods.

 

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It's a pretty slick system. You get stereo music from your iPod or other music player, then when you get a call, the music pauses and you can take a call mid-mountain. On the jacket, everything is controlled from an arm-mounted control pad with oversize buttons so you don't have to take off your gloves. A special padded pocket holds your iPod. All of the wired parts pop out so you can safely wash the jacket.

The whole lineup, including jacket, helmet, and beanie, is expected to be available in time for next winter.

BenQ

P50 

The big news from BenQ was the P50, the company's first branded device running Windows Mobile. This impressive device has nearly every feature you could want, including a QWERTY keyboard, a megapixel camera, and an SD card slot. It's also super-connected, with triple radios: quad-band GSM, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

 

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The P50 was first shown nearly nine months ago, but it was only an early prototype then. The version I tried was fully functional, including the camera and wi-fi:

 

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The press release this week claimed the P50 would be out next month, but a BenQ rep I spoke with admitted that was probably optimistic, and the P50 would most likely hit shelves around March or April. A U.S. release is planned for May, but it will realistically be more like June or July.

In by brief time with the P50, I found it thin and light, and very responsive. The keyboard is a bit cramped, though, and the joystick absolutely terrible. Hopefully that will be tweaked before final release.

Z2 / U700 / P31 

BenQ is one of several smaller Asian companies that always has something nifty to show off at CES, and is always trying break into the US market, but never seems to get much traction in this part of the world. Amoi is another company like this, but we'll get to them later.

BenQ's phone lineup covers a very wide range, from super-cheap to the ultimate high-end (like the P50 we covered earlier). Peppered in there are some really unique models that caught my attention this year:

First up is the Z2. This eye-catching tri-band GSM phone has an emphasis on music, with an MP3 player and 60 MB of built-in memory, expandable via a miniSD memory card slot. The unique square design is accented by changeable front and back covers.

 

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In the feature department, things look good at first glance, with a 1.3 megapixel camera and a 262,000-color TFT display. But upon closer inspection, it turns out the camera cannot capture video, and the display is decidedly low-resolution at only 128 x 128 pixels. Still, I have to give BenQ props for the creative design.

Next up is the U700, a high-end, tri-band GSM phone of the increasingly-popular slider variety. The specs are certainly all there, including a 176 x 220 pixel TFT display, MP3 player, class 10 GPRS, and a miniSD memory card slot.

 

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But things don't get really interesting until you flip it over to check out the back. Not only does the 1.3 megapixel camera employ high-quality CCD technology and sport a macro lens switch, but it's aided by xenon-tube flash, otherwise known as a real flash, like on a standalone digital camera. Most "flashes" on other camera phones use LED technology, which only provides a small fraction of the light output compared to xenon. The camera also records high-quality, smooth 30 fps video, with clip length limited only by available memory on the miniSD card.

Finally, BenQ was also showing off the P31, an update to their P30 smartphone running the Symbian-based UIQ platform.

 

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The P31 is very similar to the P30, except the antenna is now internal and the camera has been bumped up from VGA to 1.3 megapixel. The battery has also been beefed up, which increases thickness a bit, but (impressively) doesn't add a single gram to the weight.

More

UTStarcom 

The UTStarcom CDM-180 is the new wide-screen CDMA phone from the company formerly known as Audiovox. While it looks like the photos are distorted, they're not - the CDM-180 definitely looks like a phone that someone left in a back pocket and compressed by an inch.

The "wide" landscape-oriented screen is designed to match the shape of typical photos and videos. This allows you to take a normal photo, and use the full screen to frame and view the shot, without holding the phone sideways.

 

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The CDM-180 also features dual TFT displays, at an impressive 262,000 colors each. A VGA camera with video capture, speakerphone, and voice dialing round out the feature set.

The CDM-8940 is one of the three new VCast EV-DO phones that Verizon will be launching in three weeks. This feature-packed model sports dual TFT displays, a 1.3 megapixel camera with video capture and LED flash, MP3 player, a miniSD memory card slot, and speakerphone.

 

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The camera has a strange design. A sliding lens cover protects the lens when not in use. To use the camera, you need to slide the cover open with your fingernail, and then slide the switch on the side, which pushes the camera out to the correct angle to match the plane of the display. That two-step process is a bit cumbersome, and the mechanism doesn't feel particularly sturdy.

The 9200 is an interesting model. It has a standard mid-range feature set, except for a really huge amount of memory - 128 MB. The camera is only VGA resolution, but the idea is that you can simply keep all your phootos on your phone and not have to upload them to the network. It's also really small.

 

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Verizon 

At a press conference earlier today, Verizon launched VCast, a new suite of services for consumers designed to take advantage of the company's new ultra-fast EV-DO 3G network.

 

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In the opening remarks, President and CEO Denny Strigl highlighted the company's continued focus on network quality and rigorous testing in 2005.

Mr. Strigl was followed by Executive Vice-President and Chief Technical Officer Dick Lynch. Mr. Lynch talked about the continued expansion of the EV-DO network. Twelve new cities are being brought on-line this month, bringing the total to over 30. Lynch also promised to expand EV-DO coverage to 150 million POPs by the end of 2005, meaning the network will cover that many people (not all Verizon customers, of course).

Then John Stratton, Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, took the stage to make the big VCast announcement.

VCast includes a suite of new "3G" services, but the main attraction is undoubtedly streaming video. The fast data rates of EV-DO allow very high-quality streaming video. I had a chance to watch several clips, and the video quality is extremely impressive. It's smooth and fast - a huge difference compared to previous streaming video offerings from other companies. Verizon is using Microsoft Windows Media technology for the video encoding and compression.

The first three VCast phones will be the VX-8000 from LG, the Audiovox/UTStarcom CDM-8940, and the Samsung A890. The VX-8000 is the one they had on hand for demos (and shown in the photos below). All three are slated to be available on February 1st with the launch of VCast. Mr. Stratton mentioned that all Verizon's phone suppliers are working on EV-DO phones for the company, and they expect around 50% of their phone lineup to be VCast-capable by the end of 2005.

Verizon has partnered with a large number of big-name companies for video content, including MTV, NBC, CNN, FOX, and many more. Over 300 new video clips will be available each day. And these aren't dinky little 30-second clips, either - most clips are at least 2-5 minutes.

 

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One major disappointment, though, is that there is no live content yet. So you can't watch live CNN, for example, only video-on-demand (pre-recorded clips that are updated several times during the day). According to Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, live content will be made available in the future through separate BREW applications.

The pricing for VCast is a flat $15/month, which includes unlimited Mobile Web and streaming video (excluding music videos, which cost extra due to royalties). That's way cheaper than Sprint, who sells their much slower 1xRTT Vision service for the same price, and charges several dollars per month extra for each channel of video.

The EV-DO speed is also available for regular BREW games and applications. To highlight this, Verizon is making a big push on new 3D games in conjunction with VCast:

 

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Amoi 

Like BenQ, Amoi is a smaller Asian company that has been trying to break into the U.S. market for a couple of years now, with little success so far. But also like BenQ, they were showing off more aggressive designs this year, that may be just the ticket they need.

The most interesting models I saw were unfortunately all mock-ups. Amoi does not seem to have working prototypes yet, which does not lend much credibility to their claims of releasing these phones before mid-year. All the same, there were three that seemed worth noting.

The most ambitious is probably the G6301, a tri-band GSM Windows Mobile Pocket PC PDA-phone with a clamshell design similar to the Motorola A630. This feature-packed device, if it actually ships before the end of the year, could provide competition for the Motorola MPx.

 

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Features of the G6301 include a 300 MHz Intel Bulverde processor, a QVGA touchscreen plus OLED outer display, EDGE high-speed data, Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and a TransFlash memory card slot.

It also sports USB OTG (on-the-go), which enables the phone to be connected directly to devices like digital cameras and printers via USB.

Another very interesting and very ambitious model is the CMA8301. This is the first phone I've seen that includes CDMA 800/1800 for U.S. networks, GSM 900/1800 for overseas roaming, Bluetooth, and EV-DO high-speed data. So it's kind of like a Motorola E815 and A840 combined into one phone. And, like the Motorolas, it also sports a megapixel camera and TransFlash card slot.

 

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Of course, with a phone this ambitious, from such a small company, I would be shocked to see it anytime before 2006. And frankly, I doubt Verizon or Sprint would take a gamble on a relative unknown like Amoi with a phone this sophisticated... But hey - nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong and see this phone actually come to market this year.

And finally, we have the Amoi DV6, a phone that some people might recognize as a blatant rip-off of the Panasonic X300 design:

 

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It does have much better specs than the X300, though, including a 1.3 megapixel camera, larger TFT display, MP3 player, EDGE, and a TransFlash card slot.

Haier 

Haier isn't a very well-known brand in this part of the world, but the one thing they are somewhat famous for is their series of "pen phones".

At CES, they were showing off the P7, the latest incarnation, and the first model Haier is specifically trying to sell to the U.S. market.

 

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The P7 has a color display and a VGA camera. The design and interface is interesting - it's designed to be operated while held sideways, very much like the similarly-shaped Nokia 7280.

Some nice features of the P7 include class 12 GPRS, a 65,000-color display, speakerphone, and voice dialing. The P7 is also one of the few non-Motorola phones to include Motorola's iTAP predictive text-entry technology.

Haier was also showing off the G88 PalmOS PDA phone:

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

...which sports a sliding design and camera. By the 3rd quarter, though, the G88 is ecpected to be replaced by the G28, which will step up to Palm OS 6, while adding a memory card slot, and GSM 850. The G28 will also feature smoother lines with an internal anetenna.

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Subject Author Date
Any recommedations for Bluetooths for Samsung A930? Carol F Aug 8, 2006, 4:51 PM
COST OF THE P777 AND V635?? tkdjrod1323 Jan 7, 2005, 6:04 PM
Audiovox 9200 allbulls Jan 26, 2005, 9:40 PM
Pic of Haier's P7 Pen phone? cj122 Jan 8, 2005, 1:15 PM
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Thumb covering service provider logos on all LG pics!? Sam K Jan 5, 2005, 11:35 PM
Does the Samsung p207 play mp3s? napfro87 Jan 17, 2005, 9:55 PM
SGH-E865 MISTER04 Jan 17, 2005, 11:44 AM
iDEN PHONES??RICH tkdjrod1323 Jan 15, 2005, 3:22 PM
Is Samsung going to come out with any Bluetooth phones? MISTER04 Jan 6, 2005, 12:11 PM
Why no new verizon world phones? tensplyr51 Jan 15, 2005, 3:58 PM
More info jebuz Jan 14, 2005, 5:28 PM
The A800 MainFrameX Jan 9, 2005, 2:34 AM
Amoi looks interesting mbk1487 Jan 14, 2005, 10:43 AM
Any new plans for ... MISTER04 Jan 13, 2005, 7:14 PM
LG A7710: Questions MISTER04 Jan 12, 2005, 6:33 PM
Photos MISTER04 Jan 12, 2005, 6:50 PM
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HPON - has anyone used a GSM Model? treyfoxx Jan 13, 2005, 10:07 AM
No Nokias? rcadden Jan 8, 2005, 8:59 PM
 
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