BenQ C36: Make calls, play music... keep track of your period?

BenQ's new C36 may look like 3's Skype phone but it offers some music functionality, and "health management"

Nate Lanxon Special to CNET News

BenQ might not jump into your head when it comes to mobiles as fast as, say, Boris Johnson when you say "useless foppish toff", but it's still in the mobile game. Its new C36 handset looks almost identical to 3's Skype handset we looked at back in October (and still use). It's a music phone with support for MP3, WAV, AMR and good old MIDI files, has a 176x220-pixel LCD display and -- chickety-check this out -- "health management".

No, it won't perform the Heimlich manoeuvre when you're choking on a granddad-friendly Werther's, and neither will it avert epic heart fails. But it'll apparently tell you your Body Mass Index and, providing you're either a woman or a bloke who should really check himself into the nearest hospital pronto, it'll give you updates on your menstrual cycle. Evidently BenQ plans to keep on the bleeding edge of technology, at least for a brief period. Bdum tsh!

You'll also have video playback, a 1.3-megapixel camera that works as a webcam, a microSD slot and built-in stereo speakers, but only a pitifully slow USB 1.1 connection, so any MP3s you want to put on the handset will take until the next ice age to complete.

It'll launch in Indonesia in May, with "other countries to follow in the coming months". No word on pricing, but if it comes to the UK, we expect it to be free on contract. -Nate Lanxon