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T-Mobile to battle iPod with music smart phone

Nice handset, shame about the storage capacity

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T-Mobile is pitching its against the likes of Apple and Creative with a new smart phone specifically (nominally) designed for digital music playback. The handset will ship initially in Germany, in November, the mobile phone network said this week.

T-Mobile SDA Music handsetThe SDA Music handset is based on Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphones, and features the usual 176 x 220, 65,000-colour display, VGA digicam, tri-band GSM/GPRS radio you'd expect from a consumer-oriented handset. It provides USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

The phone ships with 64MB of ROM and 32MB of RAM - hardly an iPod-beating amount. There's a Mini SD card slot in there, so presumably T-Mobile hopes users will store their songs there.

It's all pretty standard smart phone stuff so far. So too is the range of formats the handset supports: MP3, WMA, WAV, AMR-NB, Midi and SP-Midi playback software. What sets the SDA Music apart are the dedicated Play/Pause and Track Skip buttons on the front of the phone.

Measuring 10.8 x 4.7 x 2cm, the SDA Music weighs 100g. The 1050mAh battery provides charge sufficient for 240 minutes call time and 200 hours on stand-by. T-Mobile didn't say how long the battery will support continuous music playback.

It did say it will be charging €100 (£68/$123) for the handset with a 24-month contract, or €370 (£253/$454) without a contract. As yet there's no word on availability outside Germany. ®

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