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Samsung's semiconductor branch tonight helped launch Barcelona's Mobile World Congress with a new mobile platform destined for smartphones and other high-end handhelds. The S3C6410 merges both a 667MHz ARM processor as well as a hardware Multi Format Codec decoder/encoder block that offloads much of the work that would normally be given to the main CPU. In addition to driving playback of video formats such as H.264, MPEG-4, and VC-1, it can also record standard-definition (640x480) video at full speed -- including while playing back video at the same time, Samsung says. The feature explicitly opens the door to two-way video calling at TV resolutions while simultaneously improving battery life versus older processors.
Sony-Ericsson has finished up its announcements in Barcelona with word of a 3G ExpressCard line and a stereo headset. The EC400 and its GPS-equipped counterpart the EC400g are Sony-Ericsson's first mobile Internet cards to provide HSPA while using the ExpressCard format; both plug into the EC/34 slot of Mac OS X and Windows PCs to provide up to 7.2Mbps downstream in peak conditions as well as up to 2Mbps for uploads. An auto-configuring process ensures a near pain-free setup process, the company explains.
Rounding out Sony-Ericsson's phone releases at Mobile World Congress are the C702 and C902, both entries in the company's Cyber-shot cameraphone lineup. The 3.2- and 5-megapixel respective phones are each designed for frequent photography, each with their own unique twists. The C702 equips assisted GPS and will geotag photos with their positions; its body is also sealed against dust and splashes and is shaped to snap photos easily with one hand.
Sony-Ericsson this afternoon claimed to have some of the best music and web phones yet with the announcement of two more devices in its Mobile World Congress lineup. The W980 clamshell is the device maker's new flagship Walkman phone and includes 8GB of built-in flash memory to hold most users' whole collections without needing an external card. Audio-enhancing functions as well as premium earbuds also provide better listening than most devices in the class, the company touts. In an unusual spin for Sony-Ericsson phones, an FM transmitter is built in along with a receiver, allowing the W980 to beam music to nearby stereos or even other phones with FM radios.
Continuing a succession of announcements for the Mobile World Congress show, Sony-Ericsson today launched two touchscreen cameraphones it says are the first truly aimed at the mainstream. The 3.2-megapixel G700 and 5-megapixel G900 [both links active soon] make the unusual choice of offering both a touchscreen and a full number pad. The 2.4-inch LCD can be used to browse music, edit photos, surf the web, and call contacts with fingers as well as to draw or write notes with a stylus; in turn, the traditional controls allow quick dialing, menu-hopping, and shortcuts to common tasks.
Sony-Ericsson opened the Mobile World Congress today by unveiling the XPERIA X1, its first true touchscreen-focused cellphone. Following a deal with Microsoft, the handset is Sony-Ericsson's first device to use Windows Mobile for its OS but also uses a custom interface of "XPERIA panels" rather than the default Microsoft front-end: users simply tap panels with their fingers to access calling, media, and other functions, according to the phone designer. Though dominated by its 3-inch, 800x480 touchscreen, the device also includes both optical and physical navigation pads at the bottom as well as a unique arc-slider QWERTY keyboard that tilts outward for more comfortable typing.