Samsung may have got in first and announced its super 3G SGH-ZX20 phone last month, but it looks like BenQ-Siemens will be first into our pockets with the EF91.
This little number has a formidable 3.2 megapixel camera, 240 x 320 screen, integral MP3 player, Bluetooth and a microSD card slot. And the cherry on top is the HSDPA – ‘super 3G’, in our book - that will let you download videos, watch telly and surf the net at more than 1Mbps, making current 3G mobs look pathetically sluggish.
BenQ-Siemens is hoping its phone will be the first super 3G phone in our shops - while rivals are planning an August arrival, the EF91 should be on the prowl around June or July.
There is one catch. In the race to be the first HSDPA phone to hit the shops, the handset runs the risk of arriving without a network to support it. BenQ-Siemens is still in talks with network providers - T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile are likely - and, as the mobile maker said today, ‘it’s a bit chicken and egg’.
Over on the Isle of Man, O2 is currently putting HSDPA through its paces. O2’s trial – the first of its kind in Europe – will decide whether or not the broadband-rivalling tech gets the green light or not. And if O2 isn’t taking any chances, we doubt the other networks would take the risk.
So, will the race to get the first HSDPA phone out in the UK result in super 3G with nowhere to go? We’re already biting our nails, but rest assured we’ll keep you posted.