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NEC E338

 NEC E338 Discontinued
7th November 2004

Rough specifications of the NEC E338 have been around for a few months, but NEC only recently announced the handset officially, and despite the fact that it is on sale, both NEC and the network 3 (who are selling it) have kept remarkably quiet about the handset, with just a single press release from 3 at the end of October.

It's clear that the NEC E338 is a conventionally good looking handset, on the small side for a 3G unit, but much larger than most 2.5G handsets at 130 grams and 94x47x24mm in size. There's a single rotating camera in CIF resolution (352x288 pixels) which is OK for video calls but pretty poor for any kind of still photograph. The E338's screen is a standard 3G resolution of 176x220 pixels in 65,000 colours.

 NEC E338 closed There's no Bluetooth on the NEC E338, nor is there any removable memory, and the internal memory is just 17Mb, which is a shame because the NEC E338 can play back a wide variety of media formats.

Usefully the E338 also supports tri-band GSM and GPRS in addition to 3G UMTS voice and data, so it can be used pretty much anywhere. There's also the usual features with a 3G phone such as video calls, a WAP 2.0 browser, email client, MMS, Java, PC synchronisation and polyphonic ringtones.

Styling on the E338 is unfussy and minimalist. It manages to look smart, and is certainly an improvement over many 3G handsets. There's no external display however, but internally the phone is well laid out with simple to use controls.

The NEC E338 can be seen as a clamshell counterpart to the NEC E228 candy-bar phone. It's pretty basic as 3G phones go, but it's still better specified that it's 3G rivals. It's hard to see the unique selling point of this handset though, as most handsets on the 3 network are so heavily discounted as to make price a fairly minor factor. Available from mid-November 2004 on Hutchison 3 contract and pay-as-you go in the UK, and roughly the same time on 3 in other regions.

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NEC E338 at a glance


Q4 2004


UMTS (3G) + Tri-band GSM




176x220 pixels, 65,000 colours


352x288 pixels, rotating


Large candy-bar
94x47x24mm / 130 grams









Battery life:

2 hours talk / 7 days standby


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