2009 Consumer Electronics Show – Smartphones and Cell Phones

While some reviewers don’t seem to think smartphones are ever the center of attention at the yearly Consumer Electronics Show, it isn’t that 2009 isn’t serving up its share where it comes to smartphone selections.
One product garnering attention is the new Blackberry curve 8900 which is the lightest Blackberry to date. It has fully integrated Bluetooth and GPS and built in Wi-Fi, and is supported by T-Mobile’s Unlimited Hot-spot Calling Service.

However, if an unlocked phone is more suited to your fancy, look to the HTC S743. Very compact, this smartphone lacks a touch screen and instead runs Windows Mobile 6.1. The new HTC boasts not only Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a GPS, but also a 3.2 mega pixel camera and a microSD expansion slot.

While Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS were the norm among smartphones shown at the CES, one phone has something the others don’t have (and maybe don’t want): a projector. The Logic Bolt, by Logic Wireless, can project a two hour long movie on a 36-60 inch screen using a liquid crystal on silicon projector with an LED backlight. The current version of this phone is apparently only a prototype just to get the press interested or, perhaps, to see whether there is any consumer interest beyond ridicule.

Speaking of ridicule, Neutrano is receiving plenty of that although somewhat undeservedly for its Wristfone, a Dick Tracy style watch phone. This item, like the Logic Bolt, isn’t ready to be released. Furthermore, it isn’t the only watch phone at the show. LG is also showing their LG-GD910, a product similar to the Wristfone, but sleeker and with more bells and whistles. However, Neutrano is committed to bringing their Wristfone to U.S. markets while LG seems satisfied with European markets.

Another smartphone committed to coming to the US is the INQ1, from INQ Mobile, a company in the United Kingdom. INQ1 seems to be tailor made for lazy Americans as it is a regular phone that has many social networking and other programs built in. Facebook, Skype, Google, Yahoo, Ebay, and Windows Messenger are built in, and the product also supports Java and Brew so you can add other applications like My Space. That is, you can add them if you’re not too lazy.

Of course, smartphones aren’t the only phones at the Consumer Electronics Show. Cell phones are also making a showing. The LGVX8360 is being praised as a good middle of the road choice for Verizon customers with large, easy to press controls and an easy to see display. The 8360 costs only $50 with a two year service agreement. However, it just seems odd that anyone would bother with a “dumb” phone like the 8360 when they could have a smartphone.

As for me, I’m hoping that Neutrano has their Wristfone released in the US by Christmas. I’ve always wanted to play Dick Tracy.

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