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Bang & Olufsen / Samsung Serene

 Bang and Olufsen Serene Discontinued
7th October 2005

It looks like a concept phone.. but it isn't. It looks like a hoax.. but it isn't. What this is though is the fruit of a collaboration between Samsung and Bang and Olufsen to come up with a completely novel approach to mobile phone design.

 B&O Serene Combo The Bang and Olufsen Serene has several novel features. Look at the photograph on the right and you might think that the phone was upside down. It isn't - B&O really have designed the Serene so that in general use the screen is at the bottom. This cleverly stops the screen from getting greasy when you talk on the phone. In fact, you can use the phone either way up as the handset can invert the screen display. This topsy-turvy approach probably explains the circular keypad, but what you can tell from the stills photo is that the round thing in the middle is actually a iPod-style rotator that selects menu options. The circular arrangement of keys on the Serene also conceals a loudspeaker.

We mentioned the iPod, and you'd think a handset like this would make a fantastic iPod killer, especially with the Bang and Olufsen name behind it. But the B&O Serene ins't a music phone at all. It does have a camera, but it's only a 0.3 megapixel VGA resolution device. The display is quite high resolution though, it's a 2.1" display with a wide 320x240 pixel arrangement in 262,000 colours. It has tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900), a WAP 2.0 browser, email client and Bluetooth. B&O say that they wanted to keep the handset simple by including only the basics, but as the Serene will cost 1000 when it comes out, you might expect more.

There's a toblerone-shaped docking station/charger too, so that the Serene can be used on a desk. There's also a DECT docking station that allows users to synchronise the phonebook in the Serene with a B&O DECT system. The B&O Serene weighs 110 grams and measures 65x70x24mm when closed. Talktime is 3 hours with 10 days standby time.

The Bang and Olufsen Serene will be available sometime during Q4 2005 in B&O retail outlets and from selected Samsung partners in Europe, Russia and the Ukraine.

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Bang and Olufsen Serene at a glance

Available:

Q4 2005

Network:

Tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

320x240 pixels, 262k colours

Camera:

0.3 megapixels

Size:

Medium-large clamshell
65x70x24mm / 110 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Not specified

Battery life:

3 hours talk / 10 days standby

 

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