Panny shrinks the smartphone

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We’ve seen a few compact smartphones recently that use the Symbian operating system. Nokia’s 6600, Sendo’s X and Siemens SX1 leap to mind. Panasonic is set to shrink the Symbian smartphone even smaller with its X700 clamshell phone that it announced at 3GSM in Cannes this week.

The key to the model (which uses the Series 60 interface along with the Symbian OS) size is that it uses a mini Secure Digital (SD) card, rather than the standard SD one used by its rivals. This enables Panasonic to shave a few extra millimetres from the size of the handset.

In terms of its specifications though the X700 is arguably more 2003 than 2004. It has a 65k colour screen and VGA camera rather than the 260k colour screen and mega pixel snappers offered by Panasonic’s rivals Sharp, Motorola and LG.

It is compatible with the usual range of microsoft applications from PowerPoint to Word, has an integrated POP3 email client, Java and Bluetooth. There’s no mention of an integrated Web browser (it has WAP) but users who want to view websites will probably download the excellent Opera web browser for Symbian handsets.

The bad news though is that the model is not expected to debut until the end of 2004, buy which time a whole raft of new exciting and better-specified handsets will have been launched.

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