Sunday, September 4, 2011

Smart Netphone officially launched in PH

Posted by vonne at 6:47 PM
You guys called it right and now it is finally here. After months of waiting and getting confirmation that it is coming, Smart has officially launched the Netphone in the Philippines at an event held in the giant telco's Jump Experience Center at SM Megamall.
Here's a bit of a refresher in case this is your first time hearing about the Smart Netphone. The handset is a web-centric device which gives you instant access to social-networking services. It comes with a 3.5-inch 800 x 400 capacitive touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, wireless connectivity via 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and Android 2.2 FroYo in tow. The 600MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip and 512MB RAM combo will run the show and take care of mobile computing needs. It's also a WAC (Wholesale Applications Community)-enabled device which means it will have and support apps that should run on any version of Android and even on other platforms as well.
But what really separates the Smart Netphone (which is a customized ZTE Blade) from its siblings is SmartNet. For starters, it is a sort of a social-networking hub that includes services like IM (instant messaging), SMS and an all-in-one stream that lets you see both your Facebook and Twitter feeds (via the Social Stream) and update them instantly. To get things started, users only need to register via the handset and they'll be then included to a global network where they can add and be added to other users' SmartNet contacts list.
Then there's the Netphone messenger, a feature that enables users to chat with their Yahoo! Messenger, Facebook and Netphone contacts. Meanwhile the so-called Smart Center updates you on the current status of your Smart services (i.e account subscriptions, balance and expiry dates) while giving you the option to subscribe to a number of call, text and data packages.
Now, will there be other Netphones that will be rolling out from Smart? The answer is yes. This makes sense since the Netphone actually isn't just a single device but a product line. The good news is Smart says they'll be rolling out cheaper versions of the Netphone soon to make its services more accessible to users. Also, SmartNet will be found on other mobile platforms like Windows Phone 7 and even Symbian in the near future.
The Smart Netphone will be available for purchase starting on September 10 but you could reserve a unit now via Smart's pre-order site if you want to get one ahead of the pack. The prepaid price for a unit is pegged at P9,900 while you can get it for free at Smart's Data Lite Plan 800 and Plan 1200 for All-in packages. In the meantime, you could head to the gallery below for photos of the Smart Netphone.

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