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Philips FasTap  

Philips was showing off three new tri-band GSM phones at 3GSM this year. All have extremely unique features not found on most other phones of their class.

First, the 855 is a stylish clamshell camera phone with dual color displays. The headline feature on this model is the TV output capability. The phone has a small jack on the side that connects to a pocket-size TV adapter.

The adapter enables the phone to display a slideshow of photos taken with the built-in VGA camera on a full-size television. Many standalone digital cameras have such a feature, but this is one of the first camera phones outside of Japan to sport this capability. In a way, it's a natural progression of the convergence between phone and camera technologies.

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The 855 is hardly a one-trick pony - an extensive feature set and impressive specs make this an extremely well-rounded, high-end (and compact) phone. For starters, 7MB of memory provides ample room for photo storage. Java 2.0, class 10 GPRS, speakerphone, voice dialing, and an email client round out the main features.

The stylish design also features a unique hinge that opens "all the way" to a bar-style shape.


The other two tri-band models on display - the 759 and 550 - are similar models that both feature a touch screen and stylus. The 759 includes a VGA camera while the 550 does not, but otherwise the models are similar.

The touch screen doesn't support handwriting recognition. Rather, the touch functionality is integrated with specific features of the phone in various ways.

The primary use is what Philips calls "Tag-It" - jotting notes or sketches for MMS - either on top of a photo, or on a blank background. The stylus can also be used to edit photos, including cutting out parts of photos and combining them.

The stylus can also be used with the "BeDJ" ringtone composer, which offers a unique "mixing board" interface. The touch functionality can also be used to navigate menus, and also in the photo-phonebook, where you can simply touch a photo to call that person.

A 65,000-color display, Java 2.0, speakerphone, and voice-dialing complete the feature sets of both phones.


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