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Virgin Mobile brings Cyclops to life

Virgin Mobile and Kyocera Wireless brings us the Cyclops phone

What will undoubtedly go down in history as the first and only cell phone named after a mythical one-eyed monster, the Cyclops was launched today by Kyocera Wireless and Virgin Mobile (nice Halloween release timing on that one). Named because of its 1.3-megapixel camera lens located on the top middle of the phone, the Cyclops is pearly white with a red stripe down the middle and weighs 3.5 ounces.

It is also the first Virgin phone to feature TXT Tones and Audio Messaging. TXT Tones are ring tones for your incoming text messages, and through a partnership with Warner Music Group, Virgin is offering these tones for $1.50 each (you can download the tones via Virgin's site or the VirginXL menu on the phone). As for Virgin Mobile Audio Messaging (VAM), it is a way of sending audio messages much like instant messaging, complete with a contact buddy list to see who's online and who's not. We're not entirely convinced of the latter feature; wouldn't voice mail or text messaging work just fine? But hey, Virgin Mobile is offering 100 free audio messages per month until June 2007 to customers who want the service, so I guess you could give it a whirl to see how you like it.

Other phone features include an integrated speakerphone, voice-activated dialing, and preloaded games such as Lumines Mobile and New York Nights. The Cyclops will be available November 2, 2006, for a retail price of $99.99.