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Helio beams over 'mobile lifestyle' handsets

Hello, clouds. Hello, sky...

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Helio, the virtual network operator joint-venture between South Korea Telecom and US ISP Earthlink, has unveiled the two multimedia-oriented 3G phones it plans to bring to market this Spring in the hope of winning the hearts, minds and wallets of "young, tech-savvy consumers".

The company's two handsets, Hero and Kickflip, both sport 2.2in, 262,144-colour, 240 x 320 displays, two-megapixel cameras with digital zoom and flash facilities, and dedicated media processing chips. Hero is made by Pantech, Kickflip by VK Mobile, Helio said. Hero is a slider phone, while Kickflip has a swivel-out keypad.

The two handsets respectively ship in black and "pearlescent" white, said by Helio to represent night and day, but hard to imagine the two colours schemes were not inspired by Apple's current iPod hues.

Both phones use Helio's own UI - said by the company to be "elegant and luminescent". Actually, we shouldn't use the 'p' word - these are not mere phones but "a mobile lifestyle, not a utility", according to Helio chief Sky Dayton.

All sounds a bit Fotherington-Thomas* to us, but who's to say it won't appeal to "young, tech-savvy consumers?"

Indeed, the Helio handsets will feature support for the MySpace online community - sorry, "connected lifestyle" - where folk can log in and "create and share" at each other to their heart's content. ®

helio kickflip 3g mobile phonehelio hero 3g mobile phone

*Who skips along saying, "hello clouds, hello sky, he is a gurl chiz chiz"...

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