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Speak and spell

Samsung's new phone can read your handwriting

If you have ever had the need to write something down during a phone call but were caught without a pen and paper, then electronics manufacturer Samsung might have just the mobile phone for you.

The company's latest handset for the South Korean domestic market, the SCH-X730, features a touch-sensitive screen and comes with a small stylus that enables you to jot down short text messages or draw simple diagrams. The company has not yet set a date for European launch, but the phone is expected to reach our shores early next year.

A handwriting-recognition feature in the phone allows users to send handwritten messages as conventional text messages and the phone can also recognise and dial phone numbers written on the screen. The system interprets both Korean and English characters.

The conventional keyboard and an onscreen keyboard that is operated with the stylus serve as alternative input methods.

The touchscreen makes the handset look similar in some ways to smartphones and PDA (personal digital assistant) phones but the screen is much smaller and there is no additional personal organiser or special features beyond those found in most modern handsets.

The telephone supports the CDMA2000 1x standard and features include the popular rotatable flip-cover. The device also supports WAP (wireless application protocol) and Java, has 40 polyphonic ringtones and an STN (supertwisted nematic) LCD (liquid crystal display) with 128x160 pixel resolution and support for 65,000 colours.

The phone measures 89.5x 45.0x21.3 mm and weighs 99 grams and comes with a battery which supports 90 minutes of talk time or 130 hours on standby.

The handset will be available in South Korea through SK Telecom, the country's leading mobile telco. The phone is already being advertised on SK Telecom's website, although no pricing information is currently available.

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