Samsung, LG Introduce Slim, Social Smartphones
Samsung launched the Monte on the same day LG Electronics introduced the Mini, which it says is now the thinnest full touch-screen phone on the market. LG's stated goals include toppling either Samsung or Nokia by 2012.
Both Samsung and LG Electronics released news of new smartphones Feb. 9.
The LG Mini - while being called the slimmest and smallest on the market today - may be the beefier of two when it comes to specs. The Mini features a 3.2-inch edge-to-edge touch screen with a 16:9 aspect radio, a 5-megapixel camera with face detection, HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, a media player and FM radio and A-GPS - which with LG's Social Network Connect, lets pals keep tabs on your whereabouts.
Then there's that slim, textured-metal physique, measuring just 4.02 by 1.88 by 0.43 inches and weighing 3.49 ounces. (The Google Nexus One, which also boasts its size as a selling point, measures 0.45 inches thin and weighs 4.6 ounces.)
"We developed the LG Mini in response to specific requests from actual consumers who were unhappy with current full touch-screen phones that are too bulky, too clunky and too expensive," Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics, said in a statement. "The easily pocketable LG Mini delivers great looks at a reasonable price, along with the trendy features that people want."
Said trendy features include full Web browsing, built-in Facebook and Twitter applications and a Social Network Feed that puts friends' updates beside their contact information.
What that not-too-expensive price will be is still unclear, with LG saying that pricing will vary country to country. LG also did not say which operating system the Mini runs. LG did offer, however, that the Mini - or the LG GD8880, if you're feeling formal - will debut in Europe in March, before traveling elsewhere.
With the Samsung Monte (or S5620) consumers again get social networking features paired with a "sleek, organic design," per Samsung.
The Monte features a 3-inch WQVGA LCD screen with 16:9 landscape viewing, a 3.2-megapixel camera with face detection and other perks, and Samsung's intuitive TouchWiz 2.0 Plus user interface - which, you may remember from the Android-running Samsung Behold II, offers one-touch access to favorite features and applications, plus the ability to customize the phone with widgets.
Samsung, like LG, left operating system details out of its announcement, though it detailed that the Monte offers full Internet browsing, HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, Exchange ActiveSync for accessing Outlook e-mail accounts, multi-IM capabilities and advanced Twitter and Bebo widgets.
Google Sync is also on board, along with Google Latitude-supported GPS, for geo-tagging and other location-based applications.
"Samsung Monte is designed for those who appreciate beautiful design and outstanding performance at an affordable price," JK Shin, president of Samsung's mobile communications business, said in a statement on the Monte's "launch." Samsung offered no details about where the phone will ship to, or for how much.
LG Electronics and Samsung each shipped record volumes in the third and fourth quarters of 2009, helping to lead the global handset market away from recession-depressed numbers. In January, LG announced plans to be among the top-two global handset providers by 2012, which would mean overtaking either Samsung or Nokia.