Korea/Japan Week: The new big mobile thing in South Korea is… removable fascias?


Don’t snort with laughter. In the West, fascias might be old news – remember the days when any market stall worth its salt was selling covers for your Nokia phone? But it seems fascias are enjoying a new lease of life in South Korea.

At least, that’s the impression I got from Samsung’s Anycall store in Seoul, where the SPH-6600 was on show with its ten optional fascias (three come with the handset, and seven more can be bought separately. Apparently it’s really popular, too.

Korea/Japan Week: 10 cool things from Samsung's Anycall Studio store


So, I’m here in Seoul being shown a taster of South Korea’s most cutting-edge mobile technology. This morning, that included a wander around Samsung’s Anycall Studio store, which acts as a showcase for the company’s handsets.

Besides the neat touchscreen phone-recommender, there was plenty of other fun stuff to see. I’ve picked out ten highlights from the store, so read on below. Starting with…

1. Picture-in-Picture dual-DMB TV Phone (above). The SCH-B710, to give the handset its full name, is the first Korean phone to come with a pair of digital TV tuners in – one S-DMB (satellite) and one T-DMB (terrestrial). What’s more, you can watch both simultaneously using its picture-in-picture mode, allowing you to watch a film and a football match at the same time.

Korea/Japan Week: Samsung's touchscreen mobile phone recommender

How do you decide what new phone to buy? Well, it depends on whether you drink wine or beer. Whether you put your trousers or shirt on first in the morning. Whether you like handbags or console gaming.

A nifty touchscreen gadget in Samsung's Anycall Studio store in Seoul uses these questions to decide what phone you should buy. See how I fared in the video below (yes, I accidentally said I was a woman). It's hard to see this sort of tech appearing in Carphone Warehouse any time soon, but you never know…