Samsung and LG have both unveiled mobile phones with strong social networking links, and will demonstrate the handsets at next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Samsung Monte is an extension of the company's S-series of phones and includes applications for Facebook and MySpace, and widgets for access to Twitter, Bebo and several instant messaging networks.

The front of the phone is dominated by a 3in display with full-screen touchpanel through which all the main user interaction takes place.

The Samsung Monte

A GPS receiver hooks into Google Latitude, which allows you to share your position with friends on a map, and provides location data that is embedded with photos taken with the phone's 3.2Mp camera.

Two applications, Exchange ActiveSync and Google Sync, are included to synchronise email, contacts and other data with a PC.

LG's new handset, the GD880 Mini, connects to Facebook and Twitter and a social network feed function combines updates from different services in a single stream.

The LG Mini

In some areas the LG Mini outpaces the Samsung Monte: the screen is slightly bigger at 3.2in and the camera offers a higher resolution of 5Mp. Other features include high-speed HSDPA networking and A-GPS (assisted GPS).

LG said the Mini will be launched in Europe in March and later in other markets. Samsung didn't provide launch details for the Monte. Both companies are yet to announce prices for the new handsets.

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