updated 09:30 am EDT, Mon October 1, 2007
B&O and Samsung Serenata
Danish home theater designer Bang & Olufsen and its partner Samsung today made the promised release of the Serenata. The new version greatly expands on the almost exclusively calling-oriented Serene with a much stronger emphasis on music: a dedicated music key brings up a music player and an iPod-like, touch-sensitive scroll wheel is used to pick tracks as well as place calls. The phone stores a relatively large 4GB of music through built-in flash and plays AAC, MP3, and the rare WMA Lossless format.
Even headphones or speakers are largely unnecessary, Samsung says; a Bang & Olufsen-made loudspeaker not only produces distortion-free sound but creates a psychoacoustic effect that adds to the perceived bass level without the need for a subwoofer. When private listening is necessary, a pair of EarSet 3 earbuds from the Danish firm also provide better-than-usual audio quality.
The Serenata is also bundled with a rare dock that charges the phone, provides line-out audio for speakers, and a USB connection that syncs files and music with both Macs and Windows PCs; extra software will transfer music from iTunes, claims Bang & Olufsen. Although limited to a 900/1800/1900MHz GSM radio with 3G Internet access available only on the 2100MHz band that goes unused in North America, the handset should ship worldwide in the near future. Pricing has not been made available.