Jan 12

CES_logo2 With the exception of the Palm Pre (Best in Show winner), CES didn’t offer up much handheld excitement this year.  Be that as it may, we thought we’d give you a quick rundown of what Windows Mobile (and general smartphone) news there was from CES 2009, along with some thoughts on some related technology.

We were given our first real look at the new T-Mobile Shadow (sometimes called the Shadow 2).  It’s about what we expected and while we look forward to any new non-touchscreen WinMo handhelds, there’s nothing to write home about.  The Motorola SURF A3100 was also on hand for users to test-drive, and CNET writer Kent German seemed impressed.

Pharos announced a new Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro touchscreen smartphone, the Pharos Traveler 137.  The specs look great, but as is always the case with Pharos smartphones, you’ll have to pay more than double the price of comparable handhelds since the Traveler is sold unlocked without a carrier subsidy.  You’ll be able to buy a Traveler 137 for GSM carriers for $600 later this quarter.

Samsung’s MBP-200 Pico Projector was also on display, a 5.6-ounce pocket projector that can project a smartphone’s tiny screen onto a suitable surface as large as 50-inches.  Available later this year, the MBP-200 may be released only in Asia. Bummer.

The remainder of the news of note concerns Bluetooth headsets, with a few new voice-centric offerings that caught our eye.  First, the iVoice Diamond-X Dual Mic Bluetooth headset, which not only looks cool but can provide a voice alert of who’s calling based on your phone’s contact entries.  Second, the BlueAnt Q1, which again looks great (à la Jawbone) and features full-on voice control technology.  An update to the BlueAnt V1, the Q1 has digital audio processing and noise cancellation, two phone support and will be available in the second quarter.  Last, and actually least in our estimation, is the Griffin SmartTalk which offers voice interface.

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