Samsung takes wraps off its iPhone rival Serenata

Samsung Electronics and audio product maker Bang & Olufsen have unveiled their latest joint music-mobile phone, Serenata.

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Samsung Electronics and audio product maker Bang & Olufsen have unveiled their latest joint music-mobile phone, Serenata.

The handsets will go on sale in Europe by the end of the month, said Anthony Lee, a spokesman at Samsung. Pricing has not yet been determined.

The handset doesn't look much like a mobile phone: the top half is dominated by a navigation wheel, the designers having dispensed with buttons. The 2.26-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) touch screen is below the navigation wheel, in the place where the buttons are found on conventional mobile phones.

The navigation wheel is intended to be used one-handed. All primary functions on the phone are controlled by the navigation wheel, including searching menus, dialling, writing and accessing music lists, the companies said. The touch screen is secondary.

The phone will work with GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks in the 900,1800 and 1900 MHz bands, and with HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) services on 3G (third-generation) networks. Users can send e-mail SMS (Short Message Service) text messages from the handset, and store up to 1,000 phone numbers in its address book. The phone allows users to create to-do lists, write in calendars, and has enough battery power for three hours of talk time.

Serenata is an update to the Serene phone the two companies put out two years ago.

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