High-tech product releases announced the week of October 7 include the first Samsung-made Android-powered phone to be released in the US, the first Windows Phone to ship with a capacitive touch display, a virtually indestructible phone, a cost-reduced phone with smartphone functions, Sony's compact gaming device, a very high-end DSLR camera from Hasselblad, a uniquely designed Hard Drive from LaCie and Philip Starck and the international version of Amazon's Kindle.
Samsung Behold II
Samsung has developed its second Android-powered device (the first to be offered in the US) - the Behold II. The Behold II is modelled on its sibling, the Behold - a touch-screen feature phone that was released in 2008. The new addition to the family, on the other hand, is a full-fledged smartphone with a 5 megapixel auto focus camera with built-in flash, a 3.2 inch AMOLED touchscreen display, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, multimedia capabilities and the ability to add up to 16GB of external memory to the device. The Behold II is rumored to arrive in time for the Christmas holiday shopping period but as yet no prices have been provided.
HTC's HD2 is the first Windows Phone to ship with a capacitive touch display (a screen that uses a charge-storing coating to register finger touch events). The ultra-thin phone has a 4.3 inch, high-resolution touch display that supports multi-touch gestures such as pinching and scrolling as well as onscreen-typing. The HD2 is equipped with a 1Ghz Snapdragon mobile processor for enhanced performance, a 5 megapixel camera and 3G tethering for on-the-go web browsing on your mobile or laptop. The phone ships with the latest version of Microsoft's OS, Windows Mobile 6.5. The phone will be available in Europe at the end of October before rolling out to other countries in the following months.
The Motorola Barrage is a tough-looking phone that is almost indestructible - constructed for users who need to rough it in harsh environments. The Motorola Barrage is a rugged, submersible device designed for heavy-duty use. The handset is constructed from a combination of materials such as chrome, glass, mesh and rubber that protect it from shocks, low or high temperatures, dust, dirt, salt, altitude, solar radiation, humidity, and drops. The device can even be submerged for up to 30 minutes underwater at a depth of one meter. The phone comes with Verizon's "Push to Talk" features, a heavy-duty battery, a 2.0 megapixel camera capable of recording video and dual speakers for clear sound in noisy environments. The Motorola Barrage is available in the US on October 1 within business sales channels or on November 16 in Verizon stores. The phone will cost $129.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) on a two-year contract with Verizon Wireless.
The LG GD510, more commonly known as "Pop," is a cost-efficient phone that combines the functionality of a high-end touchscreen phone in an easy-to-use, reduced-size device - the most compact 3-inch touchscreen handset ever released. The phone is tailored to the mobile phone mid-market where users want to have a taste of the latest technology but don't want high-end features they don't know how to use. LG hopes the Pop will entice consumers on a tight budget. The phone sports 8GB of internal memory, plays music and movies, and can access the internet via a built-in browser. There is also a 3.0 megapixel camera that captures both photos and videos. The LG Pop will be available in Europe in mid-October before being released in other markets. As yet, no prices have been specified for individual markets.
On October 1 Sony launched the PlayStation Portable "go". The compact entertainment device is tailored to mobile gaming and measures in at about half the size of Sony's PSP. The handheld video game console can also store and play movies, music and photos - making it a direct challenger to Nintendo's recently released DSi. The PSP go sports a sliding screen, 16GB of built-in memory and Bluetooth. Sony is also offering a free download of the popular racing game Gran Turismo for consumers that buy the PSPgo (the offer is valid until October 10). The PSPgo retails for €249.99 in Europe.
Hasselblad H4D H4D-60 high-end DSLR with True Focus
The Hasselblad H4D-60 is a high-end professional digital SLR medium format camera built for serious photographers. The H4D-60 has a 60 megapixel medium format sensor for amazingly detailed photos. The camera uses Hasselblad's True Focus technology so objects outside of the center of the frame can be focused on and the photographer can capture a crisp, in-focus image without having to focus on the subject and then re-compose their shot. The camera comes bundled with its own high-end imaging software, called Phocus 2.0. The camera will be available in January 2010 for €28,995.
LaCie Desktop Hard Drive designed by Philip Starck
The striking design of the new LaCie Desktop Hard Drive has been produced as a joint project between French designer Philippe Starck and electronics manufacture LaCie. Announced on October 6, the drive combines the visually pleasing forms of melting magma with the functionality of a one or two terabyte Hard drive. The drive responds to physical touch, with users even able to customize the touch-sensitive surface to open a file or to play a media file with just the touch of a finger. The device comes coated in an aluminium casing which protects the drive from knocks, bumps, shocks and overheating. Starck's signature cross appears in the form of an orange or green LED that shows the status of the hard drive. The Desktop Hard drive is priced from $129.99 and can be purchased on the LaCie online store.
LaCie Mobile Hard drive designed by Philip Starck
The portable version of the LaCie Desktop Hard drive designed by Philip Starck comes in either a 320GB or 500GB version. The device has a built-in USB 2.0 cable for easy access when you are on the move. All Hard Drives are equipped with LaCie's Backup Assistant and Desktop Manager software for easy managing of your files and comprehensive back-up assistance. The Mobile hard drive is priced from $99 and can be purchased on the LaCie online store.
Amazon launched the international version of its popular portable reading device on October 7. The Kindle with U.S. and International Wireless will enable people in over 100 countries to purchase, download and read English books on the Amazon Kindle eReader when they are in the US and overseas. Along with the introduction of the international version, Amazon reduced the price of its bestselling Kindle to $259. The International device can be pre-ordered from the Amazon website for $279. The Kindel eReader will start shipping on October 19.