Phone Scoop

printed April 24, 2014
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CTIA Wireless 2003

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The NEC 515. This highly-anticipated phone was introduced at last year's show, and still hasn't been released. It's an ambitious phone, though - and NEC's first phone for the U.S. since the analog days - so the delay is somewhat understandable. It is now planned for release in the second quarter, and the NEC reps seemed confident about that timeframe. Since it was first unveiled, one of the things that has changed is the color - this darker shade is the final shipping color, as opposed to the orginal silver.

The NEC 515 next to a Samsung SPH-A500. The 515 has a huge, brilliant 65,000-color TFT display. It's one of the reasons NEC calls this a "High Definition Mobile" phone, and I would say it's justified. (The term "high definition" here has nothing to do with HDTV, by the way.)

Another comparison with the A500. The 515 has all the features you'd expect in a high-end GSM/GPRS phone, plus a few firsts. One of them is quad-band roaming. The 515 should be one of - if not the - first quad-band phone on the market. The second major first is dual processors - the 515 has a main processor as well as a dedicated processor just for Java. Combined with its great display, this makes the 515 pretty much the ultimate Java phone - both for games and business applications. To that end, NEC has already announced partnerships with Dwango Wireless and Vuico, for Java games and Java enterprise applications, respectively, for the 515.

The 515 is not the smallest phone out there, but it's not bad at all for a phone with an internal antenna and such a large display.

The Frog Design / Motorola wearables concept was the grand finale for the "Fashion in Motion" Wireless Fashion Show. I published a detailed report on the concept when it was first announced last week. Shown here are the goggles, which feature a heads-up display, and an integrated video camera & earphones.

Models showing the WDA smartphone and the "wristable", which packs all the functionality of the WDA into a watch form factor. For reasons that are probably obvious, I felt compelled to come back the next day for another show... so look for more pics from the fashion show in my Day 3 report.

Danger made the semi-official announcement at the show that they will be coming out with a color Hiptop, and T-Mobile will be carrying it this summer. They tested a number of different types of displays, but said they have settled on the 65,000-color TFT LCD shown here. This particular shot is with the backlight off, so it appears to be a very good transflective display.

Here is the color Hiptop with the display closed and the backlight on. As you can see, the display looks great.

Here is another shot of the screen, displaying part of the Phone Scoop front page. The browser re-formats full web pages for the small screen, breaking up tables so that no horizontal scrolling is required. This is one of the hot new trends - all of the major players are touting this feature now - and the Danger browser does a decent job of it.

When it is first released, the color Hiptop will have nearly identical features to the current model (other than the display, obviously). But a major software upgrade is slated to be available soon after, which will add several new features the platform, according to Danger.

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