ViewSonic ViewPhone 3's dual-SIM separates your private, public life

Those of you looking for ways to keep your work life distinct from your personal life without carrying two phones should take a look at this handset we saw at CES 2012, from a company mostly known for monitors.

LAS VEGAS--ViewSonic is mostly known here in the states for its monitors and tablets, but did you know that trio of finches the company uses for a logo marks cell phones as well?

Chances are it's one that's still going to swim below most people's radar. Like so many of the phones we've seen here at CES, the ViewPhone 3 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The company has added its own skin on it, which includes a rotating carousel of panels for you to easily switch among. One nice touch--each panel (for weather or the clock, say) comes with its own animation.

The ViewPhone's specs are run-of-the-mill compared with some of the superphones that have come out of the show--underpowered, even--and the build quality is a little dull. The handset is a thick, black slab of rubberized material. It definitely adds the slip-free element, but looks more sporty and professional than a typical consumer phone. The small buttons could have been better designed. The phone has a 3.5-inch display, an 800MHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with flash.

However, the more interesting feature to my mind lies below the surface--a duo of SIM card slots intended for business professionals to use to manage two separate realms of life. You'll be able to send texts, for instance, from the same composition window and choose a SIM from which to send it.

While the ViewPhone 3 will be available for sale in the U.S. this spring, the handset is intended for a Latin American market. There it will compete with other dual-SIM smartphones like Samsung's Galaxy Y Duos phones.

ViewSonic will sell the ViewPhone 3 unlocked on its Web site for $279.99.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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