It's time for our next Market Update edition. We have been missing it for a few weeks as there were virtually no interesting handsets to hit the shelves recently. But this week a whole bunch of potential best-sellers appeared and so we are back on track with our Market Update - Week 50.
The Sony Ericsson W960 is probably the most interesting among the titles. It is the next Walkman in line but this time it's powered by the Symbian OS with the UIQ user interface. When it comes to size the new W960 is only by few millimeters larger than the original W950 while offering a number of hardware enhancements such as an integrated camera, double the internal memory and 3G support with video calls.
The 2.6" touchscreen 262K color TFT display with QVGA resolution plus the regular alphanumeric keypad and a Jog Dial allows for navigation that is flexible enough. The Sony Ericsson W960 boasts a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera much like the Sony Ericsson P1 smartphone but packs in 8GB of memory to store all your media files.
The handset has UMTS 2100MHz and tri-band GSM/GPRS network support - no EDGE support is present. Other features of the Sony Ericsson W960 that are worth mentioning include Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, FM radio and USB support.
The Sony Ericsson W960 can currently be found online for about EUR 470 (USD 680).
The new offering that will probably see more love in the fans of fashion phones is the Samsung Armani mobile. Besides the looks, courtesy of one of the world's leading fashion and lifestyle design companies, the new device has got a whole bunch of features to be excited about too. The display stands at the splendid 2.6 inches and features 262K colors, QVGA resolution and touchscreen. Haptic feedback is also enabled with light vibrations marking every touch of the icons on the display.
The camera on the Samsung Armani mobile can shoot in a 3 megapixel resolution but regrettably sports no auto focus. Other features of the tri-band GPRS/EDGE enabled phone include Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0 high-speed and microSD card slot for memory expansion. All of these niceties are packed in a surprisingly small body at 87.5 x 54.5 x 10.5 mm, weighting the modest 85 grams.
The Samsung Armani can be found online for EUR 520 (USD 750).
The HTC S730 is the successor of the HTC S710 - a smartphone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard itself, as well as the design of the device, has certainly got a nice facelift. The HTC S730 sports a 400 MHz processor, 64MB RAM, 256MB ROM, 2.4" TFT display and uses the same user-friendly Home screen application as seen in HTC Touch. The device has quad-band GSM/EDGE, but most importantly HSDPA, as well as stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) and Wi-Fi support.
The HTC S730 online purchase is valued at about EUR 370 (USD 540).
The Samsung F700 has a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus, HSDPA support, a 3.2" 256K colors TFT touchscreen display with the unusual resolution of 440x220 pixels, and a full sliding hardware QWERTY keyboard. Measuring 104 x 50 x 16.4mm, the F700 also has haptics for easier touchscreen operation. Other interesting features of the device are a microSD memory card slot to extend the 100 MB of built-in memory, Bluetooth v2.0 (with A2DP profile support) and a secondary VGA videocall camera.
Currently Samsung F700 can be found online for about EUR 415 (USD 610).
The final handset that started shipping this week is the Samsung D880 Duos - the first Samsung handset that features two SIM card slots. However you'd be mistaken if you think that other functionality has been sacrificed for that purpose. The D880 features a 3 megapixel camera with auto focus and video recording capabilities. The screen is 2.3-inch, capable of showing up to 256K colors in QVGA resolution. Other features include Bluetooth v2.0 and USB v2.0 as well as a microSD card slot for expanding the memory capacity.
The Samsung D880 Duos currently retails online for about EUR 300 (USD 430).
Bear in mind that we are not able to comment on local availability in stores near you, as well as on carrier-subsidized prices.