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Asus unveils slimline barcode-reading phone

Can scan ad-embedded URLs

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Asus introduced its latest mobile phone last week, though it took a while for anyone to notice. It's a slimline model with a two megapixel camera that not only has an auto-focus facility and can take close-up shots, but can scan barcodes.

The V80 is a quad-band GSM/GPRS candybar phone with a 2in, 262,144-colour, 176 x 220 display. It's 10.1 x 4.4 x 1.6cm in size but squeezes in battery capacity sufficient for 2.5-5 hours' talk time, Asus claimed.

asus v80 slimline mobile phone

It has 55MB of on-board memory, but more can be added by way of the V80's MiniSD slot. It's got Bluetooth 1.2, complete with stereo audio support, which is handy for the phone's music and video player app. There's also a stereo speaker.

The camera can read barcodes based on the QR Code specification popular in Asia and which are used to encode website addresses in adverts, product packaging, magazine articles and the like. That suggests the V80 will be pitched primarily at Far Eastern markets, but Asus was tight lipped on the device's availability and pricing. However, the company did say the phone will be available in black, white and "reddish gold" versions. ®

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