Next month, South Korea sees the launch of a true chimera from Samsung: the SCH-W800. It's a socking great 12-megapixel camera with a 3G phone attached, making it a real departure from all of the talky-talk, snappy-snap hybrids we've seen over the past five years. There are proper camera controls on the body, and you get 3x zoom, HD video, HSDPA data, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, microSD slot, and, this being a phone for the Korean market, mobile TV. There's also a huge 3.3-inch AMOLED display.
Samsung isn't giving anything away as to whether the SCH-W880 is going global or not, but I would be surprised if this model (or, at least, something very similar) doesn't make it to the West. And, speaking of Samsung, last night I was lucky enough to catch a great programme on the BBC (I live in the UK) called Upgrade Me. Presented by writer and poet Simon Armitage it examined our obsession with gadgets — and why we insist on having the most up-to-date, coolest models. Armitage headed off to Samsung's headquarters in Seoul and discovered just what goes into the company's cellphone concepts — and it's not just about functionality and convergence.
According to Eliot Park, Principal Designer of Samsung's phones, the most important part of your phone is not what's inside it, but rather what its backside looks like; because that's the bit that other people see, hence that's the image you project. The most mind-boggling bit was the flip chart with the buzzwords of whichever cellphone project they were working on written on in black Sharpie. Confidence. Hybrid and fusion. Harmony and Contrast. Authenticity and Craft. Light as material. That, my friends, is what your cellphone should really mean to you.