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Samung SGH-i530

Very limited release
25th August 2004

 Samsung SGH-i530 Samsung's effective launch of the SGH-i530 Palm OS smartphone got off to an impressive start with thousands of models being distributed at the Athens Olympics, which Samsung is using to showcase some very clever technology to share information and manage this highly complex event.

The SGH-i530 is a highly interesting handset, developed from the SGH-i500 which never made it to market despite impressive features. Palm OS is pretty rare in Smartphones, and it does seem to be Samsung ploughing this particular furrow by itself.

At first glance, the Samsung SGH-i530 looks like a normal clamshell phone, but there are addition buttons just below the screen - and the screen is the highest resolution we've yet seen on a phone, at 324x352 pixels in 65,000 colours. It's touch-sensitive too, and can be used with the supplied stylus. This is a very heavy phone though - Samsung reports that it weighs 190 grams, a little less than the upcoming Nokia 9500 Communicator, but certainly weighty. As 87x54x29mm it's much wider and deeper than a typical clamshell too. On the outside is a 96x128 pixel OLED colour display.

This is a tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 handset supporting GPRS, but not EDGE. Like other Samsung phones, there's no Bluetooth either. Battery life isn't specified. The SGH-i530 has 32Mb of internal memory and can take SD/MMC cards for expansion - and it is also reported to support SDIO peripherals (so possibly Bluetooth or Wireless Ethernet in the future). There's a digital camera too, but no details on specification.

 Samsung i530 closedIt is in terms of software that the Samsung SGH-i530 comes into its own. Like most phones it supports Java, but the inbuilt Palm Os (Version 5.2.1 to be exact) offers an impressive range of built-in and optional applications. Palm OS features the tried-and-tested Graffiti handwriting recognition system, synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook and other email clients, a comprehensive set of PIM (personal information management) functions, a POP3 email client, XHTML/WAP 2.0 web browser, image handling applications and more. The i530's high resolution screen will be a particular help here.

The SGH-i530 is an impressive phone, and it shows that Samsung are capable of independent thought. However, it's hard to see a market niche for this product, except it should appeal to die-hard Palm fans. The lack of Bluetooth in this phone and the rest of the Samsung range is baffling, and we feel that a handset of this quality would really, really benefit from EDGE data support. However, we very much hope that it comes to market as this is a highly capable and distinctive handset.

Please note: the general release of this handset has been cancelled

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Samsung SGH-i530 Provisional Specifications

Available:

Possibly Q4 2004

Network:

Tri-band GSM

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

324x352 pixels, 65,000 colours (main)
96x128 pixels (external)

Camera:

Resolution to be confirmed

Size:

Large clamshell
87x54x29mm / 190 grams

Bluetooth:

No

Infra-red:

Not specified

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

Not specified

OS:

Palm OS version 5.2.1

 

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