Touch-screen phones galore

June 19th, 2008 | by Alfred Siew

Late post here for CommAsia, as you’d expect the stories with ST have been coming thick and fast, and there’s little time to update this little blog (interesting note to newspapers trying to do both online and print).

But this year’s gizmo turnout is not bad at all, starting with Samsung showing of its recently launched Omnia i900 at a show preview on Monday. Though some of the journalists were not enamoured at first with some of the problems (you can still see Windows hidden underneath the nice surface), eventually some of us were quite impressed after playing with it.

The key was the large 3.2-inch screen, which is comparable to the much-hyped iPhone. Also, this baby has a whoping 16GB of memory for all your songs (I personaly got about 13GB). No big deal, you say? There’s also a 5MP camera (Apple’s only has 2MP).

 The touch craze extends to other phone makers as well. For example, LG’s Secret, launched here, also features a nice little touchpad of sorts below the screen. It’s well-made and pretty, like all of LG’s phones of late, and will surely sell well among the ladies.

But one of the sleeper hits at this show is surely Garmin’s nuvifone. Made by the experts of GPS or satellite navigation for the layman, this touch-phone is first a GPS device then a phone. Its screen is a nice 3.5 inches – similar to the iPhone.

Better yet, it has support for Google maps, and what may be the future killer app on phones – navigation. It’s not just finding your way around, like with the N95s now. In future, when all the mashups are put up on Google’s maps, you can even message your friend where to meet, and he or she can find it on a map and get directed there by his/her phone.

Sounds cool? This is just the beginning… am sure Google has more when it brings its Android fully out on phones later this year. That’s when we may see not just the Net and phones converging (as we’ve said with 3G in the past), but with navigation as well.

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