Cell phones that aren't quite what they seem

One company at CES wasn't shy about imitating the popular cell phones from other manufacturers. CNET checks out a series of handsets that look familiar, but are anything but.

An iPhone with a keyboard? Kent German/CNET

LAS VEGAS--With so many press conferences, meetings, and product demonstrations, there's never enough time to really see CES. Indeed, it wasn't until the second day of this year's show that I was able to roam the Las Vegas Convention Center and check out the cell phone action .

Naturally, I was first drawn to the booths of the big players first, but half the fun of a gadget trade show is tracking down the smaller mobile players that bring the more unusual products to Las Vegas. So while racing between the immense booths of RIM and Verizon Wireless, I stumbled upon a company called Eyo Asia Electronic.

Lining the tables in Eyo's small booth was a broad range of cell phones in almost every design imaginable. And though I'd never seen the handsets before, much less even heard of the company, all of Eyo's products were strikingly familiar.

Clearly Eyo thinks that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because all of the company's devices looked like something else. There were iPhone clones--one of which looked like the Duet W002 that we reviewed last year--BlackBerry doppelgangers, and almost identical twins for handsets like the T-Mobile G1, the Samsung Flight, the Sony Ericsson Satio, and the W995.

Though somewhat fascinating, it was also rather creepy. It's one thing to jump on to a design trend, but quite another to have no ideas of your own. Perhaps you'd disagree, so I invite you to check out the lookalikes for yourself.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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