New camera phones from Samsung

Giving competitors a view of its technological rear bumper, Samsung has now unveiled two new camera phone models: the SGH-E700 and SGH-P400. Both fitted with integrated digital cameras, the SGH-E700 innovatively lets users use its external OLED display as a viewfinder to snap vanity shots, while the SGH-P400 offers the first swivel display to be found on a GSM handset.

Flip, twist and twirl with Samsung’s new SGH-P400
As with many Samsung phones, the centerpiece – or, more accurately, centerpieces – of the dual-band GSM 900/1800 MHz SGH-E700 are its displays. The internal one is of the 16-bit TFT variety, capable of displaying up to 65,635 colours at a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels, while the external is of the rare OLED kind where the components of the screen itself emit light, contributing to increasing battery life in comparison with current technologies. Specifically, the SGH-E700’s OLED display is capable of displaying 256 colours at a resolution of 96 x 24 pixels.

A handset for which Samsung said it has high hopes, the VGA (0,3 megapixel) camera of the clamshell SGH-E700 is placed on the front and can snap pictures in two configurations: either using the internal display as a viewfinder, or the external. In the case of the latter, the camera lens points towards the user to allow for vanity shots. Other picture-taking features include a special night mode and 5x digital zoom.

Other features of the SGH-E700 include broad messaging support with SMS, EMS and MMS, as well as a WAP 2.0 browser, 40-tone polyphonic ringtones and support for J2ME MIDP 1.0. GPRS Class 10 is also included, along with an infrared port that enables use of the SGH-E700 as a wireless modem for laptop and handheld owners. Additionally, the SGH-E700 is equipped with 9 MB of memory, of which 600 KB is reserved for J2ME applications.

Measuring in at 90 x 45 x 23 mm when closed, the SGH-E700 will be one of Samsung’s smallest phones, and also among the lightest with its 86 g. According to Samsung, the handset will be capable of offering talk and standby times of up to 3 hours and 230 hours, respectively.

In comparison to the SGH-E700, the other camera phone model introduced, the SGH-P400, is somewhat less feature rich yet offers some twists of its own. A tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz phone rather than dual band as the SGH-E700, the SGH-P400 offers only an internal display – but in return, this sits on a swivel lens. As with the SGH-E700, TFT technology has been deployed to offer 16-bit colour depth at a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels.

Also slightly less than the SGH-E700, the camera of the SGH-P400 offers CIF resolution (0,1 megapixel) at 352 x 288 pixels. This, however, offers 180 degree rotation, but only 2x digital zoom and 1.2 MB of picture storage. Messaging support is equally comprehensive, however, with SMS, EMS and MMS on the list – while browsing again falls somewhat short of the SGH-E700 with a WAP 1.2 browser and Class 8 GPRS. Still, the SGH-P400 offers an infrared port and integrated modem functionality.

Other features of the SGH-P400 include 40-tone polyphonic ringtones and support for J2ME, and in the case of the latter the most recent version of the standard with MIDP 2.0. 512 KB of memory is available for storing applications and games, and the handset comes with 4 Java games pre-installed.

A bit bulkier than the SGH-E700, the SGH-P400 weighs in at 108 g and measures 91 x 48 x 23 mm – but could still not be said to be large in any sense of the word. According to Samsung, this model offers up to 5 hours of talk time and 120 hours of talk time.

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