Pantech gives new twist to its cell phone lineup

Pantech Co. Ltd. of South Korea plans to change the shape of mobile phones in June. That’s when it will start selling two mobile phones that slide open — with a twist, the company said last month.

To differentiate their products in a crowded market, mobile phone makers are increasing turning to design as well as cramming new features into their phones. For example, designers have been supplementing the popular candy bar and clamshell form factors with newer styles such as sliders and twisters, form factors that Pantech has now combined.

The PT-S110 and PT-K110 phones have portrait-format two-inch colour screens with a resolution of 320 pixels by 240 pixels, which slide up to reveal the keypad. The displays can then be twisted through 90 degrees, turning them into a landscape format and giving the phones a T-shape, the company said.

The phones weigh 150 grams and measure 112.4 millimetres by 49.1 mm by 26.9 mm.

Both models include a music player that can play MP3 audio files, while the PT-K1100 also has an FM transmitter.

Each has a two-megapixel camera with autofocus and built-in flash. The PT-S110’s camera contains a Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor, while the PT-K1100’s uses a charge-coupled device (CCD).

Other features in both models include an electronic dictionary, a text-to-speech function and an optical character recognition (OCR) scanner function. The standby and talk times are also the same for both models at 132 hours and 160 minutes respectively.

Both models will retail for around US$500 and will only be on sale in South Korea, the company said.

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