CeBIT 2006: Hands-on with the Samsung M8000 WiMAX PDA (pics)

by Reads (10,987)

At the end of last year Samsung announced its M8000 Pocket PC Phone as the first PDA to include integrated WiBro (Wireless Broadband; the Korean equivalent of WiMAX/802.16 wireless).  The Windows Mobile based phone is rather large, but very well equipped.

The known specs on this M8000 phone are as follows:

  • 2.8″ QVGA screen
  • Windows Mobile 2003 SE
  • S-DMB TV reception integrated (Satellite based mobile TV)
  • WiBRO (802.16e / WiMAX) integrated
  • BlueTooth
  • 1.3MP camera + VGA dual camera

No indication from Samsung on the processor and the reps there at CeBIT didn’t even know (odd).

Several pictures of the M8000 are included below, apologies ahead of time for blurriness, it’s a real challenge to take decent pictures at these show events when the lighting is bad and a device is security tethered to a table.

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The wireless technology integrated into the M8000 named WiBro – short for wireless broadband – is designed to deliver high-speed Internet connections to mobile phones, promising to allow people to watch high-definition television programs via handsets in a moving vehicle or on a street.  The device is to be offered by KT wireless in Korea, a leading wireless company in that country that is aggressively pushing the WiBro standard and blanketing the South Korea with WiBro coverage.  Korean officials indicate that WiBro is designed to provide high-speed access of a maximum 1Mbps to receiver devices moving at speeds of 60 to 70 kilometers per hour. Korea sees Wi-Bro as a stepping stone toward fourth-generation mobile communications. The objective of 4G is to deliver data rates of up to 100Mbps in mobile situations, and up to 1Gbps in situations where users are stationary.

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So will this phone ever make it to the U.S. or Europe?  No.  KT engineers have indicated that speeds are not as fast as expected in moving situations, indeed not much faster than EV-DO already offers, so given the fact the U.S. and Europe are being much slower in testing WiMAX and EV-DO is just now becoming more popular in the U.S. (South Korea is heavily invested in CDMA and EV-DO and it has been popular there for some time) there would be no market for a phone such as this.

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