BenQ hails 'super 3G' phone first

Claims first showing of an HSDPA handset

3GSM BenQ Mobile this week took the wraps off what it claims is the first 3G handset equipped with support for the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) data transfer boosting technology. The BenQ-Siemens EF91 won't ship until the Summer, by which time there should be a number of HSDPA-enabled handsets.

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The EF91 sports a 2in, 240 x 320, 262,144-colour screen to show downloaded content at is best, 3D surround sound to enhance audio playback and is fitted with a Micro SD slot for media storage. BenQ didn't say much else about the phone's specifications, but Bluetooth is certainly in the mix.

BenQ's other newly announced 3G handset is the S81, a slimline 13mm candybar phone with a 2in, 262,144-colour display and a 1.3 megapixel main camera with a 10x digital zoom and an LED light. It too has a Micro SD slot. Pitched at more business-like users, it will come in silver and black variants.

The company also unveiled the EF51, a music-oriented phone with a Sony Ericsson P900-series style flip-down keypad, though this time there's no micro QWERTY keyboard but the regular numeric keys - the front of the flip has basic call make and break keys and music playback controls. There's a 1.3 megapixel camera on the back.

The EF51 has an FM tuner, 3D surround sound capability, a six-band equaliser and if your downloaded MP3s contain lyrics, they'll be displayed on the 1.6in colour display. Listeners will enjoy BenQ's Speech-to-Music feature, which uses voice recognition to help you select tracks without all the button pushing. Again, the handset has Bluetooth on board.

With an eye to the iPod market, the EF51 will come in black and in white colour schemes.

The EF51 is due to ship in Q2, as is the S81, BenQ said. It didn't say how much they will cost. ®

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