Usually when some-one calls a new Windows Mobile device an iClone it take umbrage, but in the case of the Samsung i900 I think Apple would be forgiven a phone call to their lawyers. The device, both in specs and appearance, bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone. Of course, if you plan to kill the iPhone you need to go one better. The specs of the Samsung i900 certainly deliver on that, except in one particular aspect.
The Windows Mobile 6.1 device has the following specs:
3.5inch 240×400 screen
624MHz Marvell PXA312 processor
128MB RAM, 256MB ROM, 16GB internal memory
5-megapixel camera with autofocus
112 x 56.9 x 12.5mm
It also features haptics and an optical direction pad, like the Samsung i780, which similarly can be used as a mouse pointer or D-pad.
Like most Windows Mobile companies these days, the user interface is not left to dubious hands of Microsoft. While CNet was not able to see the whole interface, they comment on the transition effect when rotating the screen, whereby the display shrinks and expands back to fill the screen in a different orientation. Of course this is driven by the included accelerometer, which no high-end device these days can lack. CNet also notes that Samsung is so confident the UI is finger-friendly that they have not included a stylus slot (though one is included with the packaging). I’m sure a 3.5 inch screen does help much to make this possible. Note the specially developed finger-friendly keyboard.
This brings us to the screen. While I feel this is the great area which cause the Samsung i900 to ultimately fail, CNet notes that at least the 240×400 screen has an aspect ratio at 1.66 much closer to the traditional widescreen 16:9, and to take advantage of this includes a native Divx player.
The device will retail at a pricy S$1,098 (about $800) but this measures up well to the HTC Touch Diamond at about the same price. Expect the device on the store shelves soon.
See more pictures at CNet Asia