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More Fastap phones coming this year

More Fastap cell phones are planned for release this year.

The LG AX490 was the first commercial Fastap phone CNET Networks

At least that's what one Digit Wireless representative would have us believe. Fastap is a relatively new technology that incorporates raised and lowered keys into a single keypad to facilitate quicker text messaging without the need for a full QWERTY arrangement. The first commercial phone to offer this keypad was the LG AX490 from Alltel, which we reviewed late last year. We felt it required a bit of learning curve to pick up, and it is not as quick as one would expect.

The ZTE 90

That said, it's good to know that Fastap may be incorporated into new cell phones this year (hey, maybe the technology will improve). Our little birdie told us that a UTStarcom phone is expected as well as a phone manufactured in China called the ZTE 90. We didn't manage to grab pics of the device, but here are a couple of horrible pictures I managed to take of the ZTE 90's press release. (I'll try to get better pictures of it once I'm on the show floor.) Known specs are the expected text and multimedia messaging as well as a built-in music and video player.

The ZTE 90, opened

Word is that both the UTStarcom phone and the ZTE 90 will be released this year in the U.S. under the heading of a nationwide carrier, though we have no word on which carrier yet. No word on pricing yet either.