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CTIA 2005

Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Wrap-Ups Comments  55  

Samsung A970 Samsung A880 Samsung E217 Nokia  

The other major, all-new phone from Samsung for the U.S. is the SPH-A880, a sleek-looking clamshell phone with a 1.3 megapixel camera, internal antenna, and dual color displays. While there's no official word on which carrier will get it, let's just say we expect it to be marketed as the MM-A880.


We spent a little hands-on time with the A880. Both displays are excellent quality, although the main display is a little on the small side. Most of the phone has an excellent feel to it - really great size, weight, and ergonomics. The one glaring exception is the numeric part of the keypad, which - in the current prototype - is so badly designed that it's basically unusable, but we trust Samsung will tweak this before launch.

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One very cool feature of the A880 is full speech dictation input technology from Voice Signal. That means you can actually "write" text messages just by speaking into the phone, and it will recognize whatever you say. Samsung first launched this feature in the SGH-P207 GSM phone they announced at CES.

The A880 also has video mail, video screen savers, streaming video, (like the MM-A700, but with a dedicated button under the display,) and a 3D interface. Unfortunately, the prototype on the show floor couldn't power up completely, so we can't show you any of these features in action (same story for the A970 featured on the previous page). And finally, the A880 also has PictBridge, for printing photos directly to your home printer. The A880 is currently expected to be available early in the third quarter (May or June).

Also on display was the SCH-A570, which is actually the same phone as the SCH-A720 Samsung showed off at CES. It has been renamed the A570 to better reflect its place in the Samsung lineup (pretty much entry-level).

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