MWC 2009: Various brands overview
Gigabyte had a really nice booth this year at the MWC and they also has some interesting devices to show.
First off, the MWC 2009 met the official announcement of the Giga-byte g-Smart S1200 - a brand new Windows Mobile 6.1 device that's only 11.4mm thick but doesn't skimp on specifications.
We also saw a well forgotten PocketPC called MS820 that was announced at last year's Computex, back when it was probably the first PocketPC to have a 5 megapixel camera and definitely the first to offer face detection.
Besides those two, Gigabyte also showcased two of their future devices that seemed quite bold and high-tech given the current market situation. The g-Smart S1204 is an 8 megapixel PocketPC with a waist of only 12mm. Based on Windows Mobile 6.5, it has a 3.1-inch touchscreen display plus GPS and Wi-Fi - and it looks the part indeed! The g-Smart S1224 is a 3 megapixel PocketPC, which sports DVB-H and DVB-T dupport along with GPS and Wi-Fi.
Besides a Qualcomm 528Mhz CPU, 128MB RAM, GPS and Wi-Fi, the g-Smart S1200 has full HSPA support, a 3.1-inch touchscreen display and a 1010 mAh battery - and we are talking HTC Diamond big (or rather, small).
Gigabyte g-Smart S1200
The Gigabyte announcements at MWC 2009 featured the g-Smart S1200 in their focus as the major product of the company.
Currently the g-Smart S1200 runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 but Gigabyte are promising an upgrade will be offered once Windows Mobile 6.5 is officially out.
The S1200 is based on the well-known Qialcomm MSM7200A platform that gives it aa 528MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, a GPS receiver and Wi-Fi connectivity. Quite sufficient we would add. The 3 megapixel camera on board the device may not sound attractive, but you've got to remember that the g-Smart S1200 has a thickness of only 11.4mm, which is quite impressive for a WinMo PocketPC.
On the 3.1-inch WVGA display you will find another surprise by Gigabyte - their latest thumbable user interface SmartZone, which is fully based on Flash and covers the underlying OS pretty completely. Even the Start menu has gone missing.
Here's a video showing what the new SmartZone interface looks like in reality:
Gigabyte g-Smart MS820
The Gigabyte g-Smart MS820 definitely looks like an older generation device, which it is, as it was first showcased in June 2008 at last year's Computex 2008.
The MS820 is exactly what the WinMo PocketPC looked like before the HTC Touch Diamond changed the game - big and bulky. While it's relevantly secured on the specifications front, its looks definitively don't do it any good.
The main features of the MS820 include a 2.8-inch VGA screen, a 520Mhz Marvel CPU, 128MB RAM, GPS, Wi-Fi and an accelerometer. The most impressive part of the spec sheet is the 5 megapixel AF camera with face detection, which was the world's first back in June 2008 when the device was first showcased.
From what we saw at Gigabyte booth this year, the MS820 runs on an older version of the home UI and if we were you looking at an MS820 as a prospective buy, well, we'd look elsewhere. The g-Smart S1200 looks and feels way better.
Gigabyte g-Smart S1204 and S1224
Fortunately, Gigabyte had something else in store for us - the Gigabyte S1204 and the S1224 which were rather impressive gadgets, though at a quite an early stage of development.
The Gigabyte g-Smart S1204 has a 3.1-inch touchscreen display with the impressive WVGA resolution, but the goodies are far from over. The 8 megapixel AF camera is currently a world's first.
The S1204 also has an accelerometer, TV-out and a 1250mAh battery, which is impressive given the tight girth. The S1204 is only 12.1mm thick and runs on a Qualcomm MSM7200A 528MHz CPU.
Windows Mobile 6.5 is in charge on board the S1204, but there's the clever new Flash-based g-Smart UI on top of it to improve usability. At the time we saw it however, it was behind glass displaying the home screen of an early beta of Windows Mobile 6.5.
The Gigabyte g-Smart S1224 is the last of the Gigabyte phones we checked out at the MWC 2009. With a stylish brushed metal finish, the S1224 is again 12.1mm slim, but offers DVB-H as well as DVB-T mobile TV support along with GPS, Wi-Fi, and a 3 megapixel camera.
As you'll notice we spent more time with the S1224 and it certainly deserved it, although it was a non-functioning device.