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Hyundai Mobile at Mobile World Congress 2009

General release cancelled
17th February 2009

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Hyundai Mobile announced a big expansion recently, and promised to bring some new devices to this year's Mobile World Congress. Hyundai have come up with three interesting phones, but the big question is.. will they sell?

 Hyundai MB105 Chico Hyundai Mobile MB-105 Chico

With a smaller footprint than a credit card and a diminutive price tag of just €20, the Hyundai MB-105 Chico is certainly one of the smallest and cheapest phones to come to market.

 Hyundai MB-105 Chico You wouldn't expect much for this sort of money, but the MB-105 can support SMS messaging, has up to 500 phonebook entries, enough memory for 50 SMS messages, a built-in alarm and an optional headset.

The display is a very small 1.2" monochrome panel, and underneath this is a simple 900 / 1800 MHz dualband GSM phone.

Hyundai are suggesting that the MB-105 might make a good second (or even third) phone, or perhaps it could be an interesting promotional item. Either way, the MB-105 looks interesting and is the sort of thing that we at Mobile Gazette enjoy having a play with.

The MB-105 should be available next month.

Hyundai MB-490i

 Hyundai MB490i Dolphin The Hyundai MB-490i is a strange looking device, a strange combination of curves and ripples that look strangely familiar.

Hyundai's designers have attempted to make the MB-490i look like a dolphin from the side, and there's an aquatic feel to the ripples on the surface of the phone which continues the theme.

This is a touchscreen music phone featuring Yamaha sound management, it comes with a 240 x 400 pixel display, a multimedia player, FM radio and Bluetooth.

Apart from the touchscreen, the main control is through the scroll key on the front. The "dolphin" theme is also carried through into software, with a dolphin assistant to help navigate menus.

The design may be odd, but it certainly looks less like a copy of an iPhone than the older MB-400. Hyundai say that the MB-490i will be in the "middle price" segment and should be available from April 2009.

 Hyundai MB-D650 Hyundai MB-D650

The Hyundai MB-D650 is a dual-SIM phone similar in concept to the Samsung D780 DuoS. Both Hyundai and Samsung seem to thing that there is a big growth area for handsets like this, and the MB-D650 midrange price and tidy design may make it appealing to some.

 Dual-SIM We don't know the exact specifications of the MB-D650, except that it does have a multimedia player, a 3.5 mm audio socket, microSD memory, Bluetooth and a 2 megapixel camera. The 2" display appears to be a 176 x 220 pixel panel. This is a dual-band GSM device with support for GPRS data only, and the handset weighs just 91 grams.

An extra set of keys on the front look like they are designed to swap easily between SIM cards. Other than that, you could carry on your secret double life with the MB-D650 with nobody being any the wiser.

Hyundai say that the MB-D650 should be available from March, but did not give any guidance on pricing.

Can Hyundai succeed?

Can these handsets succeed? Most manufacturers are expecting to see a decline in sales during 2009, so trying to launch the Hyundai Mobile brand in new territories may seem foolish. On the other hand, the Hyundai name is associated with good value for money, and it may be exactly what the market is looking for. One thing is for certain, these three new handsets and the rest of the Hyundai range are distinctive enough from most other products to make them interesting. We think that Hyundai have a good chance of succeeding.

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