, NOVEMBER 22, 2006
  (STAR) TXT IN D CITY By Patrick R. Garcia, BIDSHOT WIRELESS SERVICES  -  Itís that time of the year again that most consumers ponder how they will reward themselves when they get their 13th month pay and/or bonuses. Hey, you slaved hard all year so you deserve to think of number one, yourself. Without my having to conduct a survey I can safely assume that a new mobile phone would be right up the list of desired items. Based on the new mobile phones I have seen released in the last half of the year, it points to further refinements of features such as higher resolution of camera and display, mobile music player and bigger internal memory. Now being added to even mid-priced phones are options like expandable memory via an SD card to 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity.

We are 200 heads in the company and I have the benefit of being able to test-drive all the new mobile phones being issued to my crew. I have listed some new model phones below that you may consider as a gift to yourself. I, too, have included some specifications and my personal comments on them, whether first-hand or otherwise. Happy shopping!

1. Nokia 6233: A medium-size candybar phone with lots of great features but without the complexities of a smartphone. PRO: It has a two-megapixel camera capable of capturing video in VGA resolution, great stereo speakers, microSD card slot and even 3G and EDGE support. A great reasonably priced handset. CON: No LED flash and video call camera. Retail price: P15,000.

2. Nokia N73: A feature-packed handset which I believe is the best from Nokia today. PRO: It features a 3.2-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Symbian OS, and USB Mass Storage and works with office documents. All I have spoken to give this unit an A+ rating. CON: No Wi-Fi connectivity and no memory card included in the box. Retail price: P24,000.

3. Nokia N95: This unit is currently not available locally but has already impressed most mobile techies. From what I have read recently, it was awarded by Popular Science magazine its "Best of Whatís New" Award. This smartphone is said to present the best mobile multimedia experience in a unique dual-slider design, including integrated GPS with a map of 100 countries, a five-megapixel camera, digital music player, full PIM functionality, and support for Wi-Fi, HSDPA and any wireless network. I canít wait to get my hands on this baby! Retail price: $700.

4. Sony Ericsson K800: This highly advertised Cyber-shot camera is actually a great mobile phone. PRO: It carries a superb 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera with an integrated real xenon flash, GPRS and UMTS support, memory card slot, a good MP3 player, and stereo Bluetooth support. CON: A bit oversized, no EDGE or Wi-Fi connectivity, records video in the ancient 176 x 144 pixel resolution only and uses the expensive new Memory Stick Micro. Retail price: P22,000.

5. Sony Ericsson W850: This is the new model of the ever-popular Walkman phone. PRO: It comes in a slider form which shows a large display with QVGA resolution, full 3G capabilities with video calls, a two-megapixel camera and the latest Walkman 2.0 music player. CON: A very pricey unit which has no Wi-Fi or EDGE connectivity and records video in the ancient 176 x 144 pixel resolution only. Retail price: P22,000.

6. Sony Ericsson P990: This flagship multimedia handset of the Sony Ericsson product line is equipped with practically every possible feature. PRO: A smartphone with an autofocus two-megapixel camera, a second camera for video calls, a conventional keypad and a QWERTY keyboard, Memory Stick slot, Wi-Fi and all possible connectivity support, the latest Symbian 9.1 OS, and last but not least, a large 2.76" TFT touchscreen with a QVGA (240 x 320 pixel) resolution. CON: The user interface is not too friendly and its 9.1 Symbian OS does not run older applications. Retail price: P36,000.

7. Motorola KRZR K1: Motorola has just released a new slimmer leader to replace the RAZR. PRO: The sexy KRZR K1 clam handset is made of a high-quality glossy material that features a two-megapixel camera, slot for a microSD memory card and two music players. Rates a definite A+ in looks. CON: Poor photo quality, low resolution of display in the sunlight, and lacks standard features of its class like 3G and LED flash. Retail price: P24,000.

8. Samsung X820: This must be the slimmest handset in the world ever; think of half the size of the first Motorola RAZR. I was so amazed at how it felt in my hand and how solid its thin body could be. PRO: It comes in chic black and features a two-megapixel camera with video capture, a high-quality display, Bluetooth and USB and 85MB of internal memory capable of 1,000 address book entries. CON: No memory card slot, no IR, no 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. Retail price: P13,000.

9. Samsung SGH-D900: Another ultra-slim elegantly designed handset, the SGH-D900 is the slider of the family with multimedia functionality, including one of the best cameras in a mobile phone. PRO: It brandishes a three-megapixel camera with autofocus, a brilliant display, microSD card slot, applications for viewing Office documents, GPRS and EDGE connectivity and an MP3 player. CON: No Wi-Fi and 3G, images cannot be saved straight to the memory card, and no ringing profiles. Retail price: P16,000.

10: LG KE800 Chocolate Platinum: This is an upgrade to LGís famous Chocolate phone line-up. PRO: A sexy mobile phone with a red-glowing navigation touchpad, 128MB of internal memory, 1.3-megapixel camera, MP3 player, tri-band GSM and GPRS support Ė all that incorporated into a slim slider shell. CON: No memory card slot, slow camera and no MP3 playlist. Retail price: P14,000.

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Patrick R. Garcia is the managing director of Bidshot Wireless Services. For comments or suggestions, e-mail txtcity@yahoo.com.


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