Windows Mobile fans, did you really think PhoneDog would forget you? Yes, MacWorld broke open this week, but there's also the Consumer Electronics Show and its diversity of goodness. To get a jump on CES, Pharos, a location-based services provider, officially debuted the Pharos Traveler 137 smartphone on Tuesday.
So it's not exactly the sexiest phone, and slightly chunky at a half-inch thick, but it's certainly not bad. It's the brains, however, not the looks of the Traveler 137 that's impressive. Here's why:
The handset ? an unlocked, quad-band GSM, 3G phone ? runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and features integrated GPS with Pharos' preloaded Smart Navigator system. The solution offers maps, routes, and turn-by-turn directions without the insufferable wait for a cell signal. (Which also means you can get directions, even when you're stuck in a dead zone.) You also get real-time traffic info and points-of-interest search, as well as an interesting feature called ?Follow Me,? which lets friends view your location on the Web or their Windows Mobile devices.
That's all very nice and good, but here's real the kicker: Say buh-bye to useless subscription charges when not in use! You can use the navigation on a pay-as-you-go basis. The incremental fees for access are absurdly cheap for the utility: $1.99 (one day), $4.99 (one week), $6.99 (one month), or $49.99 (one year). The phone comes with free maps of the U.S., with maps for Canada, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe available for purchase. Other international maps are in the works.
Not interested in Smart Navigator? That's fine. You still have WinMo, which means you can use Windows Live Search for maps and directions. (You?ll need a cellular or Wifi connection for that.)
Sounds pretty sweet as a GPS unit, and guess what ? the smartphone specs are pretty respectable too.
The Traveler 137, which got a 2009 CES Innovation award for Smart Navigator, will be available late Q1 for $599.95. Considering it's an unlocked, carrier-independent phone with real GPS functionality, the price seems very reasonable. (What, no price gouging? I hope it's the start of a trend.)
So now, when you?re out egging the houses of smug Mac/iPhone users in your area, you won't get lost. (Or you could just stay home instead and laugh at this vid from The Onion, which pokes fun at the Apple-obsessed. Enjoy.) :-P
Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard