Hands-on with Samsung Access, Samsung Alias and Samsung Instinct from CTIA Las Vegas 2008

Samsung Access for AT&T Mobile TVSamsung didn’t really have much to show at CTIA, which is pretty much in line with the lack of anything new from CTIA Las Vegas 2008, but they did have the new Samsung Access and the Samsung Alias on showcase.

The Samsung Alias is an updated successor to the popular dual-hinge Samsung SCH-u740 clamshell handset for Verizon Wireless. What’s new? Aside from the updated QWERTY keyboard, not much. As Dusan menioned, the slim clamshell has been updated with a keyboard that features a two-tone color scheme that should make number entry easier in both landscape and portrait orientation. The number keys are highlighted in white and include the alpha characters for each numeric key. The idea is to make number entry as easy as possible while still retaining the benefits of a QWERTY keyboard.

The Samsung Alias keeps the same 1.3 megapixel camera with flash, VCAST Music, VCAST Video, microSD card slot, and Bluetooth that we saw in the Samsung u740. Expect it to drop this month for $130 after 2-year contract and $50 rebate.

The Samsung Access is billed as Samsung’s newest mobile TV handset that’s getting prepped to work with AT&T’s newly launched AT&T Mobile TV service. The Samsung Access is a slim and small quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) handset with US-friendly HSDPA (850/1900Mhz) 3G frequency support – of course, it has to handle all that video data. In the hand, the Samsung Access feels solid yet light. It’s almost the perfect compromise in size – Samsung would do well to include a larger display on the Access successor.

We’re looking for the Access to launch in Q2 2008 (May) with its 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 A2DP, microSD card slot, AT&T Music, and one-touch access to AT&T Video service packed into the 12mm slim package.

And, of course, there’s the Samsung Instinct. I already showed you this handset, but as the iPhone competitor from Sprint, I though it worthy of another mention. GPS on this device is great, but the web browser will need more work if Sprint and Samsung hope to put up a fight against the iPhone. The browser was clunky and failed to load “IntoMobile.com” fully. On the plus side, the Instinct tracks movements with its camera to pan around a webpage – it’s more of a gimmick than a useful feature, but we’re all about gimmicks over here. Read more about the Samsung Instinct here.

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