When most people think of mobile phone manufacturers, companies best known for making sports shoes aren’t the first names that come to mind. But Puma is going to give it a go anyway in tandem with Sagem: the company has begun offering its new Puma Phone, a video chat-capable mobile phone with GPS, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps connectivity, and a solar panel in the back that can be used to recharge the device by just leaving it out in the sun. The downside, at least for some, is that selected portions of Germany, Africa, and the Middle East are getting first crack at the device.
The Puma phone was originally revealed at the Mobile World Conference back in February: the device is essentially an advanced feature phone with a 2.8-inch QVGA display, a 3.2 megapixel camera, microSD removable storage, HSDPA+ 7.2 Mbps connectivity, an integrated assisted GPS receiver, and a second front-facing video camera for video calling capability. The phone also comes pre-loaded with applications that enable users to tap into social networking services, news, sports information (this is Puma, after all), and comes pre-loaded with a hundred Puma icons so users can Puma-cize their SMS messages. The Puma phone comes with maps of Europe with pedestrian navigation, and—in a novel move—sports a 3D yachting compass because…well, if you have a yacht you don’t need to ask. The phone is also loaded with email and full Web browsing capabilities, a scratch-turntable-simulating MP3 player, a “sarcastic” calculator, and Puma phone-to-Puma phone picture sharing technology.
The Puma phone is priced at €399 without a SIM, although reports have some carriers considering offering the phone on contract.