Hola todos! We’re fresh back from revelling at 3GSM, this week’s huge Barcelona carnival of all things mobile phone. Here’s the Stuff lowdown.
Trends coming your way
The main talking points for the show were mobile TV and HSDPA – or, as we prefer, super 3G. Everyone's working on mobile telly at the moment but, rather unhelpfully, different countries are all using different formats. It’s arriving in Italy shortly and - touch wood – most of Europe will be covered by June.
As for super 3G, Samsung predicts download speeds of 7.2Mbps by the end of the year, doubling the 3.6Mbps in current tests. Like mobile TV, HSDPA debuts across Europe in June, just in time for the World Cup – and the release of BenQ-Siemens’ EF91. Samsung reckons that super 3G - which has about the same battery consumption as 3G - will be mostly used for music downloads rather than streaming episodes of Hollyoaks.
Doing the rounds, we also hear that Wi-Max – the city-wide version of Wi-Fi – will here by next year, followed by 4G and whopping 10Mbps downloads in 2009.
2006’s phone stars
Nokia announced the 6136, a BT Fusion rival [story here].
From Korea, Samsung brought ‘The Card’ P300 (above centre), which claims the prize for the slimmest camera phone in the world. It’s pretty cool, looking like a retro calculator and coming with a wallet with a built-in backup battery – we’ve written more about it over here.
Fellow Korean outfitter LG weighed in with the clamshell U890, a blatant Moto RAZR rip-off if ever we saw one, justifying its existence with 3G and music player buttons on the outside.
On Motorola’s books is the 3G Moto Q (pictured above left), a 3G version of its super thin, RAZR-wannabe emailer announced last year [story here]. It’s essentially the same as the 2.5G but should make short work of downloading attachments, web pages and the like – we’ll have to wait ‘til the end of 2006 to get a UK version.
Elsewhere, the mobile minnow Alcatel unveiled the OT-E801, a handsome but basic music mob that we’ll be tracking down when it arrives in the UK later this year.
And, finally… a robot
NEC used the show to parade its PaPeRo personal robot (pictured above). This colourful ‘bot has touch sensors, recognises voices and faces, rolls around on wheels and generally makes annoying noises. It also has a built-in mobile so you can call it at whim with instructions and menial task lists. NEC wasn’t sure when it’ll be landing on these shores.
That’s it for this year’s 3GSM – we’ll have more mobile goodness for you once we’ve recovered from yesterday’s ill-advised sangria.
Researched by Simon Osborne-Walker.