Part Two: More Mobile Phones Jostle for Attention - Page 2

My favorite device from a design perspective has to be Motorolas new MPX smartphone. Built around Microsofts phone operating system, its a hybrid with twist.

Use it in normal phone mode and its your basic, albeit overlarge, clamshell phone.

But when you close it and press a button on the side of the unit, the phone does a Dr. Jekyll switch and turns into a clamshell PDA, complete with keyboard.

Alas, I was very unimpressed with the prototype keyboard.

The keys are not raised enough for easy thumb typing, which means a slow and arduous hunt and peck process. Motorola says its working on making the keyboard more usable, so well just have to wait and see how it ends up when the product ships later this year.

But its undoubtedly cool, and it captured the enthusiasm and excitement of show-goers. It even glows in the dark!

Motorolas new a845 phone, the companys first 3G/UMTS handset, will support two-way video conferencing, which is pretty cool. Its big, though—too big for most users, in my opinion. It also includes support for assisted GPS, a feature that combines cell-net location information with GPS satellite data to help users find stores, restaurants and addresses. It will launch in the second half of 2004, when AT&T Wireless rolls out its UMTS/WCDMA network.

Motorola also introduced a phone with a megapixel digital camera. The V710 includes a 1.2 megapixel CCD, with a built-in flash and MPEG4 video support as well. It will sync with PC desktop applications and works as a data modem, too.

Although I didnt see it at CTIA, the Motorola a760 offers an interesting take on the smartphone—but its only available in China now. I like it, small and lightweight with a good-looking screen. Maybe itll come to the United States soon.

I was also fascinated by the range of Bluetooth devices at the show. Motorola plans to release a Bluetooth speakerphone, which if it works is actually a pretty good idea.

Next Page: LG offerings dont match sexed-up ad campaign.