MWC 2008: Various brands overview
Hands-on with the Readius mobile phone
We think it's time we pay due respect to smaller brands. They quite deserve it for offering some exciting devices, which are sometimes capable enough to stand up to the big fish in the pond. First off, it's the Readius fold-away e-book, the iRiver GSM phone, the Garmin Nuvifone, Toshiba and their Widows devices, a Texas Instruments Android prototype, and others to follow really soon.
Polymer Vision announced the Readius mobile phone a few weeks back. The Raedius has a display as large as two business cards. In other words, the Dutch company has managed to squeeze a screen with twice the surface area of Apple iPhone in a device not much larger than most mobiles around.
The Readius secret is that it has a rollable display. You roll it out, read your email, and then roll it back again. Screen legibility is awesome and bright daylight won't hurt it either.
The display uses the electric ink technology and thus brings amazing power saving capabilities. Once a certain screen is displayed no more energy is needed to display it until the image changes. The other most obvious effect is that the fold-away form factor makes a color screen implausible. Instead, the 5" QVGA display is a 16-grayscale unit.
Once you roll the screen up, it becomes a pretty compact device that can amazingly fit into any pocket.
By the sound of it, Polymer Vision will be challenging the Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, since the grayscale display will not do for watching videos or browsing photos.
The Readius mobile phone comes with UMTS/HSDPA connectivity for downloading all the content you might want to read - including your emails and messages.
The other connectivity options of the Readius include USB v2.0 and Bluetooth v2.0. There is also a built-in microSD slot with support for high capacity memory cards.
The Readius mobile phone is powered by a 400MHz ARM processor and has only 8 hardware keys that are used for all its features.
Unfortunately, the phone dialling funtion of the Readius is rather limited. You are confined to using your Outlook-synced contacts - dialling a phone in numeric mode is not posible as there is no keypad of any sort.
The Readius is expected to set foot in stores worldwide in mid-2008 with the company currently set to conclude some high-profile contracts. Price is not yet known, but should be in the vicinity of high-end mobile phones.
Reviews > MWC 2008: Various brands overview