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-K850||Apple iPhone||Samsung F700|
|Screen size||3 inches||3.5 inches||2.8 inches|
|Screen resolution||240 pixels by 400 pixels||320 pixels by 480 pixels||240 pixels by 440 pixels|
|Camera resolution||2 megapixel, LED flash||2 megapixels||5 megapixels|
|Music playback||MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, RA||MP3, AAC, Protected AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV||MP3, AACplus, eAACplus and Real|
|Video playback||MPEG4, H.263, H.264||MPEG4, H.264||MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and Real|
|GSM||GSM 900/1800/1900||GSM 850/900/1800/1900||GSM 900/1800/1900 and WCDMA 2100|
|Data communications||GSM EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, GSM EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0||GSM EDGE, WCDMA HSDPA, Bluetooth|
|Internal memory||8M bytes||4G bytes or 8G bytes||120M bytes user memory, 2G bytes total|
|Memory card||Micro SD||none||micro SD|
|Document viewer||ppt, doc, xls, pdf, txt||TBA||ppt, doc, xls, pdf|
|Battery life||up to 3 hours talk, 300 hours standby||up to 5 hours talk, video, browsing; 16 hours audio||TBA|
|Size||98.8 mm by 54 by 12 mm||115 mm by 61 mm by 11.6 mm||104 mm by 50 mm by 16.4 mm|
|Weight||85 grams||135 grams||120 grams|
|Price||€600 (US$775)||US$499 for 4GB model, $599 for 8GB model with 2-year Cingular service contract||TBA|
|Availability||February in Europe, March in Asia||Mid-year in U.S., Late 2007 in Europe, 2008 in Asia||TBA|