One of the biggest questions on peoples’ minds before CeBIT Hannover of each year is “what handsets are we gonna see this year?”
I am certainly one of those people. But 2003 seemed to be somewhat different from those past years, where product announcements and launches were things that would amaze and impress many consumers. The number of new mobile phone handsets from the big three manufacturers (Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson) seemed to have decreased - most probably due to the advent of 3G networks in the near future.
However, there were those other manufacturers that did have some surprising product premieres. One of these pretty much stunned everyone that past their stand at the show, which I will get to very shortly in this latest excerpt…
(Note: more specific information on the models mentioned in this excerpt will be made available in “Future Phone” articles to come)
Most of what’s new from Motorola were shown off at Shanghai, China earlier this year (you would have seen these in our “Future Phones” section). But how can you not have new products at a place like CeBIT?
From what I can tell at the Motorola stand, there were two new models shown off - the C230 and E365. The former seems to be a market-entry model, with basic features including 16-tone polyphonics, EMS support and GPRS Class 8 support - while the E365 comes with a colour screen and some improvements on top of the current E360 model.
The question here would be “what were you expecting from Nokia this year?” Usually, they are pretty good with announcing new products at such a big show like CeBIT - but this year, you could say I was slightly disappointed.
Three new GSM phone products were announced - the 3300 music player phone, 6220 tri-band EDGE handset, and the 810 car phone. There’s really no freshest out of the three - because they pretty much move along their respective evolutionary curves.
For example, the 3300 comes in an N-Gage-like look, but is actually a replacement for the 5510 MP3 phone which came with a QWERTY-like keypad design. Apart from the horizontal footprint of this phone, it also brings current features to the 3300, including a colour screen and MMS capabilities.
The business-orientated 6220 moves users closer to 3G technology, where its ability to uphold data sessions at a downlink speed of up to 118.4 kbps beats any traditional landline modems. The EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) standard for data transmissions will bring new possibilities to mobile users. Also on the 6220 is WAP 2.0 and xHTML compatibility, an integrated digital camera and video player (for MMS Video messages).
“And is that a new car phone I hear?” Yes, most definitely! Actually, I was surprised myself that Nokia decided on appointing a successor to the old 6090 model. But the new Nokia 810 brings many of the improvements found on other current Nokia models - including multiple user profiles (up to 2), voice functionality, a new Navi-wheel control device, and a separate large LCD and handset interface for easier reference (especially when used in the car!) For those who rather have a car phone than a car kit, this is definitely the one for you!
In the area of accessories, Nokia introduced several new “mobile enhancements” for the 3650/6650/7650 Bluetooth-enabled phones, including:
- the new Nokia Digital Pen Bluetooth device, which turns written words and scribbles into digital format;
- an image viewer device for your TV that is Bluetooth compatible (in other words, you will be able to transfer pictures taken with a 3650/7650 to this device); and
- an add-on lens for the 3650, which allows close-up pictures to be taken without the off-focus experience.