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Samsung Electronics has unveiled the world’s first mobile phone with built-in digital 5MP camera featuring, marking a yet another breakthrough of the company in cellular phones field. The new SCH-S250 also features true-color LCD as well as text-to-speech capability.

The new SCH-S250 phone is currently targeted only at Asian market supporting only CDMA 2000 1x band, which is not used in the USA or Europe, it is unclear when such devices hit the markets in Western countries. The phone measures 115 x 49.5 x 18.5mm and weighs 116 grams. Similar to Samsung’s premium grade camera phones, the S250 can function both as camera and also as a camcorder. The 92MB onboard memory can store up to 100 minutes of video (320x240), and a 32MB auxiliary memory is included as a standard feature. The shutter speed is as fast as 1/1000 of a second, allowing the user to film landscapes as well as subjects as close as 10 cm. The S250 can be connected to a TV to display video during shooting or to show footage that has already been recorded in the mobile phone.

The S250 comes with a unique “stretch” design, reminiscent of the futuristic phones seen in the movie ‘The Matrix’. The high-quality camera lens and LCD remain covered and protected when the phone is closed, and when it is stretched open, the product has the feel of a regular digital camera.

Samsung has also set a new standard in mobile phone display technology. Until now, mobile phones had been equipped with LCDs capable of 262 000-color resolution. The S250 boasts a QVGA TFD-LCD (Thin Film Diode-Liquid Crystal Display) that has previously been adapted only for top-end TVs and desktop monitors. The display can reproduce 16 million colors, over 60 times the color compared to existing mobile phone displays.

Samsung has also taken voice recognition to a higher level by introducing text-to-speech (TTS) conversion. Now the user can listen to incoming text messages or the prepared “to-do” list rather than having to read them.

The S250 supports high-image-quality games and 3D sound effects. If a call is received in the middle of a game, the user can restore the game later and resume play.

Other advanced functions in the S250 include an MP3 player, mobile banking capability and 64-polyphonic sound.

Samsung cooperated with the Japan-based Asahi Pentax, one of the most respected camera lens providers in the world, to develop a camera module customized for the mobile phone. This partnership began in the first-half of 2003.

The SCH-S250 will be available in the Korean market in October, 2004.

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