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CTIA 2008 in words and pictures

CNET reveals the highlights of the three-day CTIA cell phone show in Las Vegas.

Goodbye to Vegas (until CES that is) Kent German/CNET Networks

CTIA has come and gone and as we rest our tired feet we look back at the cell phone brouhaha that was. Though the show wasn't quite as exciting as the GSMA World Congress, it still produced plenty of snazzy cell phones to behold. And to help you take it all in, we've compiled the top show news into one convenient blog. Also, check out our CTIA show floor slide show.

Samsung had a very good show. Its new Instinct for Sprint won our award for the best cell phone in Las Vegas. The iPhone competitor features a sleek touch screen interface and a boatload of features. We saw only a preproduction unit but it looks very promising. Samsung didn't have much else new to show, but we did get our hands on the Samsung SGH-G810, the Samsung Alias and the Samsung Access, which the company announced four days before CTIA began.

Cell phones forever at CTIA Kent German/CNET Networks

Kyocera unveiled the most handsets of any manufacturer. New to the world are Kyocera Neo E1100, the Adreno S2400 and the Mako S4000. The company also announced it was branching out into new territory with four GSM phones for Latin America and it hosted an interesting demo of NFC technology.

Things were much quieter over at Nokia and Sony Ericsson. Nokia introduced two CDMA/AWS handsets, the Nokia 1606 and Nokia 3606, while Sony Ericsson revealed that its Sony Ericsson Z750a would land at AT&T. Yet not all was lost at the Sony Ericsson booth as we finally got the chance to take its fancy Xperia X1 for a test drive.

Motorola's main news was that its Motorola Z9 phone is coming to AT&T. After playing with it I had mixed feelings. Though it's attractive and it offers some nice features such as AT&T's new navigation service, it's also more of the same in Moto design.

Associate Editor Nicole Lee spotted a few devices at the LG booth. The company announced the LG EnV(2) for Verizon Wireless and the LG Vu for AT&T. The latter is particularly noteworthy, not only for its stunning design and touch-screen interface, but also because it joins the Samsung Access in supporting the new AT&T Mobile TV service. She also checked out ZTE's new C78 and C79. Sanyo put out a few new devices as well, namely the Pro-200 and Pro-700, both are push-to-talk phones using Sprint's QChat service. It also introduced the Katana LX, which promises to be a shinier successor to the Katana II, plus it has a translucent OLED display. UTStarcom offered a new basic handset as well--the CDM7126 is a AWS capable phone that will be available to both Cricket and MetroPCS in different designs.

As our resident Bluetooth expert Nicole also tracked down some new headsets. She tried the Motorola H690, the Sound ID H300, and the "fashionable" Plantronics Discover 925.

Things were a bit quiet in smartphones, but smartphone diva Bonnie Cha found plenty to see nonetheless. Microsoft announced the latest version of its mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 6.1, which features a number of enhancements to make Windows Mobile smartphones easier to set up and navigate. HTC showed off the GSM HTC Touch Dual and the new Verizon Wireless XV6900. Research in Motion made the carrier rounds with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 for T-Mobile and the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 for Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Yet the biggest smartphone news from the show is that a new player is entering the field. Velocity Mobile showed two brand new devices that it wuill release this year. Bonnie got the full scoop and she was quite stoked on what she saw.

And on the application side, Yahoo unveiled an upgrade to its OneSearch product, which CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt had the pleasure of trying it out while testing a host of other applications including Dashwire. Also, Vodafone CEO tells us something we already know--that the mobile Internet is for real and that consumers want it--not just some dumbed down version of the Web.