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Samsung Alias 2 (SCH-u750)
We don't usually cover CDMA devices at Mobile Gazette, but the Samsung Alias 2 (also called the SCH-u750) is a little bit different. On the outside it looks like a fairly normal clamshell phone, but as soon as you open it up the strange keyboard and two-way hinge become apparent.
The keys on the keyboard are made from Electronic Ink (dubbed "E ink") a technology that we have seen before on the Motorola FONE, but this is the first time we have seen it on a keyboard. The idea is that the keys can change automatically depending on how you are holding the phone - it can either be a QWERTY keyboard or a standard number pad arrangement.
Other phones have experimented with two-way keypads, for example the original Samsung Alias, the Samsung F520, the Samsung P110 and also the ill-fated Motorola MPX but the Samsung Alias 2 manages to do it in a more elegant way.
The drawback is going to be that these "keys" are not really keys at all, so they will probably lack much tactile feedback, but the advantage is a much clearer and easier-to-use layout than the complicated "traditional" two-way keypad.
The rest of the specifications are fairly unremarkable. There's a 2.6" 240 x 320 pixel main display, a 2 megapixel camera with autofocus, the usual set of software applications such as a multimedia player, web browser and email client. The Samsung Alias 2 supports stereo Bluetooth and takes microSD memory cards. The whole package weighs a fairly reasonable 4.34 ounces (or 123 grams). The 880 mAh battery gives up to 5 hours talktime an 14 days standby time.
As we said before, this is a CDMA-only device so it won't work in Europe. Destined for the US Verizon network, the Samsung Alias 2 is available now on a two year contract for around $80 after rebate.
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