The heyday of clamshell handsets appears to be waning, as two of the world's largest mobile-phone makers introduce some of their best designs to date in slider format. Nokia's 8600 Luna and the Anycall U608 from Samsung Electronics are not high-end 3G smartphones but have set a new benchmark in slider style.
The alluring 8600 Luna (right) - named in honour of the ancient Roman goddess of moonlight - feels good to touch thanks to a sexy combination of materials - smooth, nearly opaque glass, chrome, stainless steel and titanium - that makes it glow. A soft light pulsates beneath the ergonomic keypad, which rises smoothly from within the glass cover when it slides open. Nokia has used a single micro-Universal Serial Bus port for the first time, allowing users to charge the phone and have audio and data connectivity through a single link. The sleek black handset also has quadband GSM network, a two-megapixel camera and a large, bright display.
Samsung, which has released mostly slider phones in Hong Kong this year, has produced a slimmer, lighter quadband GSM phone. The compact Anycall U608 (above right) weighs 81.5 grams - compared with the 8600 Luna's 143 grams - and is a compact 11mm thick. The advanced device has a 3.2-megapixel camera, an MP3 player and Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers. It is available in blue, copper and silver.
The striking Nokia is bolder and easier to use than the Samsung, with functions so straightforward even first-timers will grasp it. Samsung, though, offers a better balance of style and features and, on a price to performance ratio, comes out ahead.
The 8600 Luna costs HK$6,398 while the Anycall U608 is HK$3,480.