Next Generation Cell Phones Unveiled
The mobile phone is a phone no more — or rather it’s a phone and more. The new models unveiled at the CeBIT technology show this week let users do more than just call a friend to catch up. How about sending a brief film clip of you by the fountain in Rome? Or perhaps a picture snapped of the Eiffel Tower with an image quality so fine it could be blown up and put in a 10×14-inch (25×35-centimeter) frame.
The new crop of phones debuting at the world’s largest technology trade fair included a model by Samsung that sports a seven-megapixel camera and others that can download and stream music like an MP3 player. “This is the first time that 3G phones are getting close to being sexy and attractive,” said Leif-Olof Wallin, who follows mobile phone development and marketing for the Meta Group from Sweden. Samsung Corp. didn’t disclose a price on the new SCH-V770, whose seven-megapixel camera delivers quality on par, or better, than the digital cameras available to consumers that offer four to six megapixels in quality.
The handset is expected to go on sale by June, at least in Asia, but its availability in the United States and Europe isn’t certain.
I’m really not all that impressed. Frankly, the thing I’d like to see the cell phone industry concentrate its energy on is improving the ability to do voice communications. Until they solve the problem of dropped calls, intermittent signal quality, and so forth, the addition of geegaws is of little interest to me. Furthermore, I’m just not sure how often I’d want to take pictures, let alone motion pictures, with my phone. The MP3 playing ability would be useful, however, if the reproduction quality is sufficient.
Now, if they could make the phones beam me from home to office instantaneously, bypassing the commute, I’d be excited. For that matter, I’d be happy to be able to say things like, “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” and have the phone produce that thing for me free of charge.