Update (11/1/2007): After receiving a review unit, Adama Brown has a full review of this smartphone: Samsung i760 Review.
One of the best parts about going to CES was last week was getting a glimpse at all kinds of upcoming gadgets.
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But there’s a downside to this, too. Some companies are willing to show some of their not yet released products, but won’t give any details on them.
Far and away the best example I ran into at CES was the Samsung i760.
This looks like it will be an absolutely outstanding Windows Mobile Smartphone. It will be super-thin, but still offer a built-in QWERTY keyboard.
It will also have an integrated numberpad, which should satisfy both long-time PDA users and most of those moving up from a typical mobile phone.
Plus, did I mention that it will be about the same thickness as a Motorola RAZR?
Thin, Thin, Thin
I was able to test out prototypes of this device on several occasions, and every time I was very impressed by its design.
Its keyboard feels very comfortable to use. I have to say that it’s much better than the one on Samsung’s current best-selling WM Smartphone, the BlackJack.
And it’s also much thinner than any of the devices with similar sliding keyboard designs. If you want an idea of what the i760 is going to feel like, take the Cingular 8525 (a device with the same general form factor) and reduce the thickness by half. Yes, half.
But here’s where I run into the problem I mentioned before. Samsung wouldn’t reveal any details on this model. Screen resolution, processor speed, storage capacity, all remain a mystery. The prototype I was looking at didn’t even have a battery.
And the weirdness continues. I was told that the i760 would be a Windows Mobile Smartphone, not a Pocket PC, but the prototype I looked at had a stylus. At this point WM Smartphones don’t have touchscreens.
In addition, the current version of this operating system doesn’t support switching between portrait and landscape modes, something absolutely necessary for this device to be usable.
So, sadly, it seems like Samsung won’t be able to introduce the i760 until the next version of Windows Mobile for Smartphone comes out, which isn’t expected to happen until the second half of this year.
We’re going to have to wait and see whether this model lives up to its potential. It looks very good right now, but Samsung could hobble it with too slow a processor or not enough storage capacity. And poor battery life is often a problem with super-slim devices like this one.
I have to admit I really hope this doesn’t happen. The i760 is probably the best looking device I saw at CES, and it’s one I could see myself owning one day.