Mittwoch, März 15, 2006

CeBIT 2006: Three is a charm

Autor: Marc Kersten - Datum: 15.03.2006
Kategorien: Handy / Windows CE / WM5 / Gigabyte

As a relative newcomer to the market of converged devices, Gigabyte has garnered a lot of interest with their recently announced Pocket PC phones which integrate FM radio and (analogue) TV reception on top of Microsofts latest Windows Mobile 5 operating system. These entertainment machines are powered by a 416 MHz Intel processor and show their virtues on a 262K 2.4" QVGA screen. The rather limited internal memory of 64 MB ROM can be extended via MiniSD cards for more MP3 or WMA fun. While the "g-Smart" comes as a typical slider, the "g-Smart i" is even smaller and relies on touch screen input only. During CeBIT, a Gigabyte software engineer confirmed to, that a third device is already in the works and should have its coming out in the second half of the year, with four times the memory and 3G for much faster porn downloads. Well, that's not what it is "intended" for...

So, three is a charm, just not when you wanna input text on your mobile phone in midst of an important meeting or at a busy bar. Then, T9 becomes your best friend and reduces the time you have to look at your phone instead of the chicks at the bar. Well, someone should have told Gigabyte about that, because as of yet, they haven't implemented any form of word completion on the g-Smart. Just imagine the hotline calls to emanate from that omission. They have promised to update the device if users will ask for that "extra functionality", but are currently deterred by the licensing fee T9 requires.

While you Americans will have to wait a couple of hundred of days before you see any Gigabyte PPC phone at your Best Buy, if you´ll ever see them at all, Gigabyte made it quite clear that they want to penetrate the German market as early as April. They won't rely on the carriers, even though there are negotiations going on right now. You could still call a g-Smart your own for a paltry 800 bucks, plus shipping, plus customs fee. Which makes a summer trip to Berlin that much more attractive...

If you are rightly concerned about battery life of this tiny yet fully packed device with its TV, radio, WiFi and Bluetooth polluting the airwaves around you, then put aside some more money for the optional "extended package" which includes a 1300 mAh battery. It doesn't make the device look "like a pregnant whale", like some people have speculated, says Larry Tsai, software engineer at Gigabyte. It just allegedly adds just 2-3mm of thickness and obviously some weight too. But you will be rewarded with up to 12 hours of MP3 playback and you could watch eight episodes of Battlestar Galactica in a row. Quite impressive stats that we will try to verify as soon as we get hold of a review unit. You hear us Gigabyte?

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