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The touchpanel cellphone bandwagon

The touchpanel cellphone bandwagon

Telephones with touchscreen displays that occupy most of their front face are starting to looking like the next big thing in the cellphone market.

On Thursday Samsung Electronics became the third company in almost as many weeks to show a handset with such a design. In unveiling the F700, Samsung joins Apple, which started the ball rolling with its iPhone in early January, and LG Electronics, which announced its K850 "Prada" handset in the second half of the same month.

Among the three handsets the F700 is the first that is compatible with 3G WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) in addition to conventional GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). It also works with the companion HSDPA and EDGE data transmission systems so, on 3G networks, it can receive data at up to 7.2M bps.

It also scores points over the other two handsets by having a higher quality camera -- five megapixel versus two megapixel on the iPhone and K850 phones -- and support for a wider variety of multimedia file formats. On the video side it can play MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and Real Video. For audio, it supports MP3, AACplus, eAACplus and Real audio formats, Samsung says in a statement.

Other features include a QWERTY keyboard on the lower-half of the phone that slides out from behind the display when needed.

The F700, which will be on show at next week's 3GSM expo in Spain, will be the fourth member of Samsung's "Ultra" family of phones. Samsung hasn't decided when or where the phone will be launched nor at what price, says Wong.

Technical Specification Comparison between LG-K850, Apple iPhone and Samsung F700

LG-K850Apple iPhoneSamsung F700
Screen size3 inches3.5 inches2.8 inches
Screen resolution240 pixels by 400 pixels320 pixels by 480 pixels240 pixels by 440 pixels
Camera resolution2 megapixel, LED flash2 megapixels5 megapixels
Music playbackMP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, RAMP3, AAC, Protected AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAVMP3, AACplus, eAACplus and Real
Video playbackMPEG4, H.263, H.264MPEG4, H.264MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and Real
GSMGSM 900/1800/1900GSM 850/900/1800/1900GSM 900/1800/1900 and WCDMA 2100
Data communicationsGSM EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, GSM EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0GSM EDGE, WCDMA HSDPA, Bluetooth
Internal memory8M bytes4G bytes or 8G bytes120M bytes user memory, 2G bytes total
Memory cardMicro SDnonemicro SD
Document viewerppt, doc, xls, pdf, txtTBAppt, doc, xls, pdf
Battery lifeup to 3 hours talk, 300 hours standbyup to 5 hours talk, video, browsing; 16 hours audioTBA
Size98.8 mm by 54 by 12 mm115 mm by 61 mm by 11.6 mm104 mm by 50 mm by 16.4 mm
Weight85 grams135 grams120 grams
Price€600 (US$775)US$499 for 4GB model, $599 for 8GB model with 2-year Cingular service contractTBA
AvailabilityFebruary in Europe, March in AsiaMid-year in U.S., Late 2007 in Europe, 2008 in AsiaTBA
Source: The companies

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