updated 05:05 pm EDT, Wed October 4, 2006
Haier Black Pearl Phone
Designer cellphones tend to originate from a few key companies: with the exception of Canada's BlackBerry Pearl, the best-known style phones originate from the US, Scandinavian countries, or Korea. This makes the Chinese-made Haier Black Pearl a truly unique entry. Sharing the BlackBerry's affinity for glossy black, the Haier model could be an attention-getting handset without the accompanying high price. Its FM tuner, MP3 music playback, and Bluetooth are increasingly commonplace, but it does have an OLED display -- an unusual but useful component that can save power versus the more typical LCD. Haier has yet to formally announce a price or a launch date, although it says that the phone will soon be sold unlocked (and thus independently from carriers) in the US.