updated 08:10 am EST, Wed December 27, 2006
Samsung Z720 Slider Phone
Samsung's mobile division this morning ended its year by releasing the Z720, a slider phone that it claims is the thinnest HSDPA-capable handset of its kind. Known as the Ultra Edition 13.8 for its 13.8mm (0.54 inches) thickness, the Z720 is also light at 80 grams (2.8 ounces) but can still connect to HSDPA's 3.5G wireless Internet at 1.8Mbps, far eclipsing the speeds of earlier technologies such as EDGE or UMTS. Cameras are just as important in the design, the company says: a 3-megapixel camera faces outwards for still photos and video, but a second VGA camera faces the user for video and self-portraits.
New software also marks the phone's appearance. A personalization tool named uGo can automatically adjust the background image to reflect a landmark and the time of day in the user's current location. In turn, uTrack recovery software gives remote warnings of changes to the SIM card and can locate the phone should it be lost. Samsung also notes that Google mobile search and Gmail clients have been added for the first time. The Z720 is shipping now in most of Europe. A North American launch will require an expansion to four-band GSM. Click through for a more detailed profile photo.