updated 08:30 am EST, Thu March 1, 2007
Helio Heat Announced
Virtual network operator Helio on Thursday announced the Heat, a uniquely stylized slider phone. The variant of the Samsung A303 uses touch-sensitive controls around the central keypad, minimizing the clutter at the front. As with the Drift, GPS is built-in and uses Google Maps to both pinpoint the phone's location as well as use the carrier's Buddy Beacon feature to find other users. A 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and MP3/MP4 playback are further shared with other Helio models. Software and a gallery follow after the jump.
Web-friendly software is the true novelty of the phone, Helio says. For the first time, mobile versions of Boing Boing, Digg, Metroblogging, and Wikipedia are accessible from the phone -- allowing cellphone owners to track and contribute to alternative news sources. All four sites will be available for free by the end of this month when accessed with an unlimited data plan; the Heat itself is available today in Onyx for $150 and will ship in the pictured Gold in the near future.