Cellphone makers have tried all sorts of wacky things in their never
ending attempts to cram more and more functionality into smaller and
smaller devices. First seen - maybe? - on the ahead of its time
Motorola Mpx 200, the dual hinge flip phone has never quite caught fire
in the US market, but it's a neato bit of innovation nonetheless.
Imagine a clamshell-style phone that opens both vertically and horizontally, so you can hold it like a phone or like a mini-laptop: That's a
Samsung's Alias for Verizon is the only dual-flip currently on the
market that I can think of. While not quite a runaway best seller, the
Alias won over a few loyal fans (two of whom work for a certain blog I
know pretty well). I for one really liked Alias when I reviewed it,
though its lack of true smartphone functionality kept me from
considering it for my own daily use phone.
to Phone Arena, Alias is about to get a successor with a potentially
tres cool new trick up its sleeve. The Verizon-bound Alias 2 U750 will
be similar to the original except for a "dynamic keypad" featuring
backlit buttons whose labels change depending on which way the phone
has been opened. In other words, if the phone is opened vertically the buttons light up to show a standard dialing layout with
numbers, softkeys, a D-pad and the like. If the phone is opened horizontally the buttons light up in a QWERTY layout for easy
typing. Neato, huh?
No word on the rest of Alias 2's specs, but my fingers are
crossed that all will be revealed next week at CTIA. In the meantime,
there's more over at Phone Arena.