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ITU Asia 2002. Live report. Part 1

In the beginning of December 2002 one more exhibition devoted to mobile phones was held in Hong Kong. Mainly phones from Korea and Japan were demonstrated there.
Thanks to our colleague Chan (http://xumdeo.blogspot.com) we have an opportunity to publish a live report from this exhibition.

Korean phones

Korean phones are generally more square-like, metallic, fatter and dumber than the Japanese phones. You might think that theyll be significantly heavier in the pictures, but for real, theyre not. The cameras are not so advanced (CMOS comparing to the standard Japanese 310thousand CCD with flash). Comparing to the ITU Asia 2000, Korean phones have improved a lot. And in some cases, they have actually surpassed the Japanese phone technology. Clearly the EV-DO support phones, which are not available in Japan, can be found, with video conferencing clearer and more realistic than FOMAs TV phone service. The menus are generally a lot more creative than the Japaneses. Im very impressed by the refresh rate of Koreans screens, its even better than the Japanese NTT DoCoMo 504iS series. The screen tone and resolution, however, is not as good as the Japanese. But I think they are going to catch up real fast.

This model is very impressive. KOREAN SK teletech IM-5400 - a Korean CDMA 2000 1x phone. It is a really small slide-open handset. Siemen's SL55 has about the same design. Though it does not have any camera or memory expansion slot, it's one of the most impressive Korean phones I have ever seen. Phone dimensions are 88x48x22mm. It has 65000 color STN display with the resolution of 128x128 pixels and 3D menu (the same for most Korean phones). The phone supports 40-tones polyphony and equipped with IrDA.

G218 is not appealing to me at all. There is nothing special, a regular Korean CDMA 2000 1x (144kps) phone. It has 65000 color STN display, supports 40 polyphonic melodies, IrDA, voice recording and an external mobile camera.

What about the Samsung booth? Samsung has showed a great variety of models. Let's take a look at them one by one.

Apart from a noticeably brighter screen, I dont really notice anything special about Samsung SCH-V200, comparing to other Samsung phones. This is believed to be a Korean CDMA 2000 1x phone (not confirmer), which measures 90.8 x 47 x 23mm and has 65k colour TFD-LCD display (128 x 160 pixels). Besides it supports 40-tones polyphony and has a CCD camera (NOT CMOS!!!).

Samsung SCH-V300 is a Korean CDMA 2000 1x EV-DO VOD phone. It measures 95x50x21.5mm and weighs 110 grams. The phone has a 260 000 color TFT screen and an integrated CMOS camera. I used this phone for EV-DO and video-conferencing demo. I think the quality of the video is even higher than Japan NTT FOMAs video-conferencing service. The sound is clearer, and the delay is less. Again, you can see your face at the lower right corner, and the person youre talking to - on the main screen.

Samsung X9000 has an OLED panel display. Its very bright, but its just fancy. It reminds me of car hi-fi screens. The small size of the phone (84.6x43.4x22.8 mm; 80g.) makes it more appealing.

Samsung SPH X-7500 - the first Korean phone I have noticed with dual color screens. It is equipped with 65K UFB LCD internal display and 256 colour STN LCD external display. A GSM version with similar design, namely the SGH-S300/308 will be released later.

Samsung SGH-T208 - Hong Kong Chinese version, with auto-folder function. Unfortunately, 16 polyphonic ringtone is letting down.

Samsung SCH-X780 is the most amazing Samsung phone ever!! Flip over screen, reminds me of Sonys Clie NR series.

Samsung SGH-P400/P408 is the tri-band (GSM 900/1900/1800) version of SCH-X7500. It may be released in Hong Kong. A Chinese version was displayed on the exhibition. The phone dimensions are 90.8 x 47.5 x 23mm; the weight is 105 grams. It has a TFD-LCD (128 x 160 pixels) screen. The phone supports 40-tones polyphony, EMS, MMS (sending and receiving), GPRS class 8 connection and WAP 1.2 browser. Also the phone has an integrated CCD camera.

NEC N8 is the first Japanese phone released in non-Japan area with dual color screen. An internal display is TFD LCD 65536 colours (162 x 216 pixels) and an external display is STN LCD 4096 colours ( 80 x 108 pixels). The STN screen is reasonably bright, and in the pictures it looks a bit dark. The phone has an integrated 110 thousand pixel CMOS camera, which allows taking pictures up to 288x352 pixels (CIF size). The panel display acts as a view finder, when youre trying to take picture of yourself. Besides the phone supports 40-tones polyphony, GPRS class 8 (4+1) speed and WAP 1.2.1 browser. This phone is to be released in Asia January 2003, at a price slightly lower than Panasonics GD 87/88.

NEC e606 is to be released via Orange UK in 2003. It has such functions as schedule, to-do list, large phonebook memory (up to 500 phone numbers) and 20 voice Memo (20 sec each). The phone supports IrDA and USB connection to PC. According to the manufacturers it has 100 hours of standby time and 200 minutes of talk time.

At last, some words about models from LG presented on the exhibition.

LG G8000 is the most sophisticated phone from Korean LG. A fat and heavy phone. It has a newly designed menu. The main peculiarity of the phone is that it supports MPEG4 videos.

LG G7020 is reviewed at mobile-review.com. Hong Kong version to be released before Christmas.

LG KP5000 is a CDMA 2000 1x phone, even more flexible than Samsungs phone. Its already released in Korea, but, unfortunately, not much info is given.

I always thought that all Korean companies did was to copy, copy and copy. But I was wrong. Take a look at the LG SD 1250. Have you ever seen anything like this before? The drawback is that the phone uses a STN screen, which is not as bright as TFTs.

Part 2

Chan (xumdeo@hotmail.com)
Published — 7 January 2003

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