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Samsung spells out alphabet touch-phones

Swipe A to open messaging or B to start the camera

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it - so goes the old saying. But Samsung clearly thought something’s up with existing methods for unlocking phone screens, because it’s launched two handsets with 26 different unlocking combinations.

Samsung_S5600

Samsung's S5600: unlocks and opens apps using gestures

The S5600 and S5230 both sport Gesture Lock – a feature that enables you to unlock the screen and simultaneously launch an application by drawing a letter of the alphabet on the screen with your finger.

Which application each letter swipe opens is entirely up to you, but we think you’ll have a job remembering the functions of all 26.

The S5600 is the more advanced of the two phones because it sports 7.2Mb/s HSDPA 3G connectivity, but the S5230 isn’t far behind with quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge, also supported by the S5600.

Samsung’s equipped the S5230 with a 240 x 400, 3in display and given the S5600 a slightly lower specification 240 x 320, 2.8in screen. But both phones include a 3Mp camera with smile recognition and the ability to shoot video at 15f/s.

Samsung_S5230

The S5230: like the S5600, but without 3G

The TouchWiz UI, which also features on Samsung’s Tocco and Omnia smartphones, has been slapped onto the S5600 and S5230. Mobile widgets also let you drag and drop application icons onto the home screen for easy access.

Elsewhere, both handsets have slots for Micro SDHC cards of up to 8GB, Bluetooth 2.1 support and a USB port. In terms of size, the S5600 measures about 103 x 55 x 13mm and the S5230 is roughly 104 x 53 12mm.

Samsung said that S5230 will be available in Europe next month, but you’ll have to wait until May to get your mitts on the S5600. Prices haven’t been disclosed. ®

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