If there was any sort of theme at CTIA this year, it was that music is in. Many of the phones announced at the show are aimed at the mid-tier music lover, rather than the high-end business user. I guess the wireless industry thinks we're not getting enough of our groove on.I am not sure if it was the endless parade of parties featuring nationally known music acts, or if it was the seemingly endless parade of music phones that clued me into the trend. Either way, the wireless industry is making an even bigger push to convince users that listening to music on your phone is the cool new thing to do.
Some succeed and some don't. Here's a quick round-up. Motorola Ve maxx. This is Motorola's ultimate RAZR for Verizon. With its external music controls, 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth and $199 price point, it clearly represents Motorola's attempt t reclaim some of its former high-end glory. The smudge factor on the glossy exterior is pretty high, though. Sony Ericsson W580. The 580 is U.S.-bound addition to Sony Ericsson's Walkman line of phones. It has Sony's Walkman 2.0 interface and uses a microSD to store up to 2 gigabytes of music or other media files. No carriers were officially announced at the show, but the floor model I saw had Cingular branding on the home screen. Samsung Upstage. The Upstage was the upstart of the show. Sprint launched it with a bang on Monday. It features an ultra thin design and dual screens with one on the back and one on the front. The back of the phone hosts the media player and other media centric applications, while the front has a tiny little screen that can be used for doing things like actually making phone calls.
LG LX-570. The 570 is a very mid-tier handset for music loves and is the "flip" version of the Fusic music phone. It features external music controls, as well as stereo Bluetooth.
This handful of handsets really just scratches the surface of the music-based offerings at the show.
While rocking out is always great, it would have been nice to see a few more business-centric devices on the floor.