We had the chance to sit down with a company called Elektrobit this week at CTIA. They showed us a prototype hybrid cellular-satellite phone that will be launched in the U.S. by the end of 2009.
Satellite phones are nothing new, but what sets the Elektrobit phone apart from the crowd is that it is the size of a BlackBerry and has no external antennas. Sat-phones are known for their ginormous antennas. Having the footprint of a regular smartphone and having the ability to make calls — whether via the satellite network or a cellular network — across all of North America means the Elektrobit is one heck of a communications tool.
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The hardware itself is in alpha status and has been built by hand. They said they are going to continue to refine it over the coming months. That said, I don't think they have all that much to refine. It felt solid to me, with pretty good build quality.
The Elektrobit will run Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional when it becomes available. The control and function keys included the home button you see on any WinMo phone. The control cluster worked well, though the D-pad was a little bit small in my opinion.
It has a full QWERTY keyboard, which felt pretty good. The buttons have very distinct nubs making them stand out. I found typing felt comfortable, though the space key had minimal travel and feedback.
It will come with quad-band GSM/EDGE radios, WCDMA 850/1900 and satellite cover in the 2GHz band. Don't forget to add in GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The Elektrobit phone isn't available yet, but should be by the end of 2009.
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Live from Vegas. In depth hands-on with the Palm Pre, plus hands-on with watch phones, wireless charging, and new phones from LG, PCD, BlackBerry, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and more.
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Mar 19, 2018
Google today said its Google Pay app can now serve as a transit ticket on the Las Vegas monorail system. People visiting Las Vegas will be able to use Google Pay to purchase their monorail ticket online and add it to the app.
3.2" display 240 x 400 pixels
1,000 mAh battery
Memory Card Slot, Headphone Jack (3.5mm)
3.1" display 320 x 480 pixels
TI OMAP 3430 processor
1,150 mAh battery
Hardware Text Keyboard, Headphone Jack (3.5mm)