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Philips Xenium 9@9m

 Philips Xenium 9@9m Coming soon
18th May 2007

Mobile phone design is all about compromise. Everyone loves more features, but these add to the size, weight, cost and eat into the handset's battery life, so manufacturers seek to strike a balance between competing elements. Usually they tend to be conservative and create a device that is somewhat similar to the competition, but from time-to-time a manufacturer will have different priorities.

This is the premise of the oddly named Philips Xenium 9@9m - it certainly combines a lot of familiar elements, but combined in a way that you might not expect.

From the pictures on the right you might assume that the Xenium 9@9m looks something like the Sony Ericsson P900 and P910, but in fact it is only two thirds the size and weight, the Xenium 9@9m weighs just 109 grams and comes in at 105 x 50 x 17mm.

The display is the first big compromise - it's a touch sensitive 2.5" 176x220 pixel TFT panel rather than the 320x240 pixel panels found on most of the competition. The P900 and P910 sported 2.8" panels and the Nokia N95 has a 2.6" screen so the Xenium 9@9m is somewhat smaller, but not exactly tiny.

Although it looks like a PDA-style smartphone, the Xenium 9@9m is a fairly simple device with a set of personal information management functions that are comparable to most other standard phones, although with the added convenience of a stylus. The 9@9m supports Java, but it isn't a Symbian or Windows device despite its impressive looks.

The Xenium 9@9m has a multimedia player capable of playing back MP3 and AMR files, with a 2 megapixel camera with flash on the back. Internal memory is 70MB and this is expandable using miniSD cards. There's a web browser and email client too.

The stylus can also be used for handwriting recognition - the Xenium 9@9m recognises Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Latin characters (i.e. European). The user interface can be used in Chinese, English, Thai, Indonesian or Vietnamese characters (although Thai script is not supported by the handwriting recognition system).

Connectivity is tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) with GPRS support. The Xenium 9@9m doesn't support 3G, EDGE data or WiFi. It is also slightly hampered by a slow USB 1.1 connection, although the 9@9m does have good Bluetooth support.

Remember what we were saying about compromises earlier? Yes, the Xenium 9@9m trims down the feature list quite a bit, but the upside of this is that the 9@9m has up to 8.5 hours of talktime and a staggering 30 days maximum standby time, which means that you're not continually worried about recharging the phone (an issue that P990i owners will recognise).

The Philips Xenium 9@9m might not be for you.. but it's easy to see that this combination of features will be attractive to many customers.

The 9@9m will be available in "Executive Silver" and "Rusted Brown" colour combinations. Price and anticipated availability were not known at the time of going to publication.

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Philips Xenium 9@9m at a glance

Available:

2007

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

176x220 pixels, 262k colours

Camera:

2 megapixels

Size:

Compact PDA-style device
105 x 50 x 17mm / 109 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

miniSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

8.5 hours talk / 30 days standby

 

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