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Pantech at CeBIT'2005 - moderate approach
As compared to the previous year Korean manufacturers restrained their ardour and ambitions in 2005. Innostream products were not represented at all, Maxon planned to take part and even was included into the catalogue, but Sagem's poster showed off instead of its. The refusal from placement might have come at the last moment. Traditionally Samsung has the maximum stand size and number of new devices. Though Pantech's exposition was really noticeable. The company took over the experience of Japanese colleagues and represented models positioned as design and engineer finds. These phones won't coma into repetition work but attract visitors' attention well. We'll start with such a device as a 3DCP - 3 Dimensional Media Player. The 3 dimensions mean a possibility to open two flips and access 1.9" screen. Loudspeakers providing stereo sound are placed on the flips. The model resembles a small stereo system with small size comparable to modern phones (95x45x18 mm). Naturally, besides multimedia functions thee device includes a usual phone.
The next solution called Echo belongs to sliders. The picture shows that slices placed on the edges of the device are rotational, and something alike may be seen in digital cameras. Personal actions may be assigned to various rotations.
Combining a mobile phone and a musical player sometimes gives interesting results. Pantech sees its GIZMO as an alloy of modern technologies and retro style. That's impossible to recognize a phone, and the absence of a keypad plays not the last role. JogDial made of metal and horizontally oriented helps in control. The same rotational mechanism is placed on a remote controller, of course, a wire connects the device with the controller and then earphones are plugged into. That's an interesting concept but unlikely to live for long since first people are interested in the phone and then after in other functions.
The P1 happened to be the closest to the phones from all the represented concepts. Unordinary horizontal composition of control elements and a screen in landscape mode. There are no peculiarities besides this disposition. The manufacturer claims a 2 MP CCD camera with autofocus. And such matrixes will appear in Pantech products in the end of the autumn or beginning of winter. The company orients on miniSD memory cards and thus the device is equipped with such a slot. There is a Text to Speech function, the device reads short messages and text notes aloud. The weight is about 100 grams though some more could be expected. Such devices show what the company has in stock for the next day, for instance, we have already mentioned the camera. Unfortunately, the polyphony remained 64-tones and the screen is still 262K. Thus, in the course of 2005 these parameters will remain invariable in Pantech phones, only memory card support and mp3 reproduction will appear.
The appearance of 2MP cameras just obliges representing at least one digital "soap-box". The PG-6100 is designed as a clamshell with a folding part resembling a digital camera. The model was shown no the best way since it has a screen working as a viewfinder and showing information at a call. Indeed, the device looks much alike a "soap-box" in this mode and no differences appear before opening the phone. This filling permitted having a thin device - its width is 25 mm. In principle, height and length are typical for a phone forming 83x47 mm. That's curios the model uses RS-MMC memory cards. The variety of the products indicates, the company uses various hardware platforms.
The company gained IF Design Award 2005 for the design of its PH-S4000 with mp3 support for the domestic market. I can't judge what its attraction and singularity are. Even Motorola v80 similar in form-factor looks much stronger and interesting.
Also Pantech showed its version of a DMB-model but non-profit-making sample.
The company plans to manufacture the PH-S5000V for the home market, this clamshell comes equipped with a 3MP integrated CMOS camera and a TV-tuner. All the other features are typical for today phones; the only disadvantage is a size of 100.7x48.5x25.5 mm.
Commercial models and those ones that will appear in the nearest future are not as different from European phones. For instance, the PH-S3000V is almost a complete copy of the GI100, different in the TV-output, integrated mp3 player and control keys for it.
Experiments with forms have been kept on, and for some reason everybody longs for square forms. Every manufacturer considers it his duty to represent such a model following Nokia 7600's example. The PH-K2500V doesn't stand out of the Pantech line in its characteristics. But a program for symbol recognition that theoretically allows converting texts into electronic form is preinstalled. It is not quite understandable how clear the photos by the 1.3 MP camera are, since good mechanism for taking photos of texts worsens the quality of usual photos automatically. Here a compromise if always looked for or a special macromode with a special shooting mode called Text is realized, though the specification of the phone tells nothing about it.
First smartphone manufacturing experience resulted in the launch of the PH-S8000T run by Windows Mobile 2003 Se. The polyphony is 64-tones, 1.3 CMOS camera. That's curious the two screens are claimed of showing 262K colours, though the platform supports a palette of only 65K. That is significant for the company to little attention to "insignificant" details in chase of high-flown announcements.
But let's pass to GSM models that will soon appear in Russia, since the company orients on the Russian market first (they say, anyway, but the quality of localization shows the opposite). The company has changed the indexes of its models, they are formed of four numbers, and it's unclear what is the basement for the innovation. However, previous numbers were also unclear to users. The first model that may appear in the summer is the PG3200. It is a complete analog of the clamshells already known to the customer different in the design of a front panel (it really looks interesting), mp3 files as a call signal support (naturally, no installed player). Both screens are 262K TFT, also there is a VGA-camera, Java 2.0, 64-tones polyphony. The dimensions form 69x43x18.5 mm, while the weight is 71 grams.
The PG1100 acts in the low-end segment being a new case for the GB100, actually replacing it. There are no evident differences, everything is plain for a modern device, and the price is high as compared to the rivals, as usual.
The sales of the GF500 being a complete copy of the GI100 and different only in the mp3 as a call melody support and another design start in May. Considering its only 8.4 MB of memory at the absence of memory cards, the model is quite on the decline and not meeting the requirements (though, many need Java that is actually present here). And why should I have a megapixal camera if saving only 20 photos? And these problems with transferring the photos to a PC? Considering, you can't copy all of them at once, only one by one and moreover - via a Com-port (a photo per a minute - only for patient ones). In general, the device is for those who like the design and has money to spare. Considering the price of 400 USD that is also the same for the GI100, you can better buy a Nokia clamshell. The products of these manufacturers are incomparable in possibilities. And for those who love Korean clamshells there is Samsung E720 equipped with 90 MB of memory and a complete set for synchronization via Bluetooth.
The company launches The PG3000 (actually, the GF500 in a slider form-factor) varying its model line. There are no differences besides the form, the same little memory capacity. The visitors were scared with the unreal phone characteristics at the exhibition. For instance, the claimed 65K screen (naturally, STN) having no relation to the reality. The weight is 100 grams and the dimensions are 87x42x21.9 mm. Its integrated IrDA is partly functional and allow exchanging only VCard, Vcalendar. The model is also expected in May with the price of 360-380 USD. Actually, that is a device for only calling for those who liked the design.
The PG3100 basing on the GF200 will appear in the summer. It is equipped with an RS-MMC slot that allowed integrating an mp3/AAC player. There are player control buttons on the upper panel. The model would be interesting with an adequate price policy and the absence of any rivals. But actually, these both are lacking as well as a possibility of uploading new melodies to the phone, the cable speed leaves much to be desired. A way out is plugging the card out and writing information directly via an external drive, it should be bought first. In general, the model is typical for Pantech and looses even to LG's phones, that is significant.
Like any self-respecting company, Pantech couldn't but representing its UMTS solutions, there were two of them. The first one was a slider PN-7000. Even a megapixel camera was not integrated in it, only two VGA ones. The main thing is the presence of a USB-output, noting special in all the rest.
The GU-1000 is being developed now. There is an expansion slot for memory cards, a megapixel camera. Considering its launch time (if it will be launched at all) falls on the autumn, and then we can surely say, the model is outdated even today, especially, against a background of Samsung's solutions.
A short conclusion on the Pantech's stand is the following. There was what to see, especially, if not peering at the specs of the models and comparing them. If you do it, you'll find the similarity of the models different only in design. Unfortunately, the company showed only morally outdated phones, and they look faded against a background of the loud announcements of other manufacturers.
Published 21 March 2005
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