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Mobile phone doubles as a camcorder

Handset can record video, play MP3s and even make phone calls

Taking a cue from the video recording function that is increasingly found in high-end cell phones, a South Korean company has developed a cell phone that looks like a camcorder.

The PH-L4000V from Pantech&Curitel went on sale in South Korea late last week and at first glance could be mistaken for a small camcorder. When used for video recording it can be held like a camcorder and its QVGA-resolution 2in fold-out display can be twisted to face the user or the subject.

It also features a 2x optical zoom lens and the video camera records to 128MB of internal memory or an RS-MMC memory card. It can be connected directly to a television or monitor so recorded video can be watched on a larger screen.

However, the phone differs from conventional camcorders in one of the most important areas: image quality. The MPEG4 video resolution is about the same as that of a camcorder at 640x480 pixels but the phone manages to record only 15 frames per second, which could mean a slightly jerky picture.

The camcorder form factor makes for a slightly larger and heavier cell phone than is typical today. T

he phone is compatible with the CDMA2000 standard and available through LG Telecom in South Korea. It costs around £300 and there are no plans to put it on sale overseas.

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