Part Two: More Mobile Phones Jostle for Attention

Nokia, Motorola and others ramp up smartphone efforts and pour on the Bluetooth devices at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Atlanta.

ATLANTA—In our first installment, we explored trends and new handsets from the "S" vendors—Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Siemens. In Part Two, we analyze the newest phones from middle-of-the-alphabet vendors and look at a few other interesting devices being shown this week at the CTIA Wireless trade show here.

Its not the sexiest phone in the world, but Nokia was still inordinately proud of its new flip phone. The 6255 supports CDMA2000 1X and includes a built-in MP3/AAC player and FM radio. This tri-mode phone supports CDMA 800, 1900 and AMPS. It also includes a VGA camera and captures video as well. The phone includes integrated Bluetooth and will work as a data modem over the CDMA2000 network. The 6255 will be available in the fourth quarter of 2004.

But I was more impressed with Nokias latest attempt to crack the smartphone market. Earlier communicators were big, bulky and poorly designed. The latest refresh, the 9500, fixes many of those problems. Nokia shaved a few ounces off the unit, and it feels smaller and sleeker.

The 9500 also surfs the Web quite well. The 640x200 screen, which makes reading Web pages almost pleasant, is much better than that of any other smartphone on the market.

The 9500 runs the Symbian operating system, so its likely to be less integrated with Outlook and other Windows applications than Microsoft Corp.s smartphones. But if youre looking for a single device to replace your PC or to do e-mail and browsing on the road, this is the device for you.

When folded up, the 9500 looks like a real phone, albeit a large one. Its not for your pocket, but it is an attractive computer replacement. Itll be out by the end of the year at about $1,000.

This funky, stylish phone from Nokia includes the companys first megapixel camera. In addition to the camera, the 7610 includes Bluetooth and the ability to create as many as 10 minutes of video, but only at QCIF (176x144) and below. It includes 72 megabytes of RAM, an Internet browser and MP3/AAC playback capability. It also will operate as a GPRS modem for data connectivity and will sync up to Outlook and other applications on your PC. The tri-band GSM phone will be available worldwide in the second quarter of 2004.

Hands-free car kits abounded at CTIA, but Nokia put the most oomph behind its new offering, putting a bright-orange VW Beetle convertible on the show floor.

The Advanced Car Kit CK-7W supports more than just Nokia phones. The company claims that the kit supports more than 100 phones, with more on the way. The unit features both a standard cradle and wire and a Bluetooth receiver. It sits between a cars stereo and speakers and plays phone audio over the cars stereo.

That round button in the center of the dash is the remote control for the device, which gives easy access to answering and hanging up a call. The unit will be available in the third quarter of this year for about $200. The company recommends professional installation.

Next Page: Motorola delivers smartphones with a twist.