Continuing the tragic saga of cool smart phones that we can't get yet in the United States, we have the Nokia N95. The N95 has a 5-megapixel camera, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), HSPDA, 150MB of internal memory, and a Micro SD slot. The design allows you to switch between different modes; you can slide the dial pad down to make calls or slide the dedicated media keys out in the opposite direction, automatically converting the 2.6-inch QVGA screen to landscape mode.
Samsung's Ultra Video looks like the Ultra Music, but it features a unique and sexy swivel design that allows you to balance the phone on a table for easy viewing. Also called the F500, the GSM Ultra Video made its first debut last month at an electronics show in Hong Kong. But don't get too excited: It's not even out in Asia yet, so a U.S. arrival should take a few eons.
You may not have heard much about Eton, the sole licensee of Grundig for all of North America, but you might have seen some of its portable radio products in a Sharper Image catalog. The company had a well-priced and decent performing iPod speaker last year, the Eton Sound 50, and at CES it was showing the Apple Hi-Fi-like Sound 200, which will come out in March for $250. Along with an iPod dock on top of the speaker, there's also a USB port for playing back tunes from a USB thumbdrive and an SD-card slot for playing tunes directly from a memory card.
Samsung has updated its credit-card-sized phone so that it no longer resembles a pocket calculator. The design's a bit more attractive, with a black color scheme and a redesigned keypad and the circular navigation toggle. Features improved as well, with a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0, and a MicroSD card slot. Other offerings include a speakerphone, a music player, a document viewer, triband world phone support with EDGE, and a bright, 262,000-color display. The U.S. market it lagging in widespread availability, of course, but you can get it for around $300.
Griffin's Evolve is a $349 whole-house solution operating in the 900MHz spectrum. For the money, you get a base that charges and broadcasts your music and video through two included speakers. Essentially, the twin 4-inch-square speakers charge on the transmitter base, then can be moved to any part of a room but no more than 150 feet from the charger/transmitter base. Each new speaker knows which is the right speaker and which is the left speaker. But the real magic is that an unlimited number of speakers can be added to the system, either in pairs or one per room.
JVC Mobile has integrated an 3.5-inch color LCD screen into the faceplate of a in-car stereo head unit to provide drivers with movies, music, and directions in one after-market device. The KD-NX5000's 16GB hard drive-based navigation system contains 13 million points of interest and comes with a built-in RDS-TMC traffic tuner to give drivers real-time traffic information. The system provides turn-by-turn voice guidance, with maps displayed in either 2D or 3D. Media options include DVD video and MP3-, WMA- and WAV-format digital audio. Audiophiles can rip CDs to the hard drive using JVC's Lossless Encoder, which maintains original CD quality, while those wanting to cram in as many songs as possible can store files in compressed format: JVC estimates that the KD-NX5000 can store 6,000 songs.
The Sherwood Newcastle R-972 AV receiver will deliver HDMI 1.3 connectivity, six HDMI inputs, lossless audio decoding (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio), and a graphic onscreen user interface when it's released in August for $1,500. The product becomes the first officially announced receiver we've seen that incorporates all of those bleeding-edge features.
Samsung grabs a piece of the donut, so to speak, with its sponsorship of the Simpsons movie that's set to debut later this year. The company has taken three of its phones and styled them in Simpsons yellow, adding the movie's logo to the front flap. The Samsung Sync (SGH-a707), the SPH-m500, and the SPH-m610 were chosen as Simpsons special edition phones, and we can only hope that "D'oh!" is available as a ring tone.
Cowon sure does know how to make a quality MP3 player. The D2 is a solid device dominated by a 2.5-inch screen, and it has such a nice feel. The sleek, black body is wrapped in a brushed-metal border, where you can find some tactile controls: a power/hold slider, volume buttons, and a menu key. On the left edge, hidden beneath a flap, are two USB ports: one standard mini for syncing with the computer and one proprietary for use with the included wallwart power adapter. The bottom of the device features an SD card expansion slot for adding more memory. Overall, the player is pleasantly compact--about the size of the iRiver Clix--though it weighs in on the slightly heavy side at 2.1 ounces.
Nokia and Vox have teamed up to bring mobile blogging to a new level. The N93i comes preloaded with the Vox blogging service, so you can use the phone's 3.2-megapixel camera to capture photos and video and then instantly upload them to Vox to share with all your friends and family. Nokia gave us a working demo, and it really was a simple process.