updated 09:00 am EST, Thu February 8, 2007
Samsung Ultra Smart F700
Samsung on Thursday unveiled what it says is one of the world's most advanced smartphones. Closely resembling the minimalist design of the iPhone, the Ultra Smart F700 is conspicuously targeted at "the recent trend" in touchscreens, according to the Korean company. A 2.8-inch, 440x240 screen is used to control calling, Internet, and music functions. It further includes VibeTonz, a vibration system introduced in the recent W559 that simulates tactile feedback to touchscreen presses. A further resemblance to its American counterpart is a singular navigation button. In contrast to Apple's device, however, the F700 also contains a slide-out physical keyboard for messaging and heavy-duty browsing.
More details and photos after the jump.
Other technical aspects are also superior based on the company's specifications. A 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus bests the iPhone's 2-megapixel unit. The new Ultra is also touted as one of the fastest Internet-capable phones anywhere: support is not only provided for HSDPA, but also for the new, 7.2Mbps download rates of the 3G wireless standard. The speed combined with the large screen lets it receive a 4MB MP3 in 4.4 seconds and makes full HTML browsing easy, the company says. Media playback is also provided for multiple AAC audio formats, Real, and variants of MPEG-4 including H.264.
The phone will make its public debut next week at 3GSM and should be available internationally later this year. A US release is currently unlikely, however, as the phone uses only a tri-band GSM radio -- effectively shutting it out from most if not all North American carriers. The Ultra Smart joins the company's previously announced Ultra Music and Ultra Video models.