updated 11:30 am EST, Tue January 6, 2009
Pharos Traveler 137
Pharos is headlining its CES lineup today with a new Traveler handset. The 137 is the company's first to be ruled almost exclusively by its 3.5-inch touchscreen and embraces the company's focus on GPS navigation. Out of the box, the device includes turn-by-turn navigation with voiced directions and also tries to strike a balance between free but limited apps and subscription services: owners must pay for full use of Pharos' in-house mapping software but can access it by the day, week, month or year instead of having to maintain a flat rate.
The Windows Mobile handset is similarly advanced elsewhere with an 800x480 resolution, 7.2Mbps HSPA with 2Mbps uploads, a 3-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi. Storage is handled mostly by microSDHC cards. Pharos expects the Traveler 137 to ship before the spring and will sell its device as an unlocked handset in the US for $600; notably, it includes 1,700MHz 3G support native to parts of T-Mobile's US network.
Beyond the new model, the company has also started shipping the Traveler 117, a 2.8-inch touchscreen phone selling for $530; the 127, a hybrid touch/QWERTY device with 7.2Mbps 3G at the same price; and the 619, a basic non-touch GPS smartphone that costs $200 even without a contract.