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February's coolest gadgets revealed

View from Tokyo: February's coolest gadgets

Turnaround times in the technology industry are so fast that within a matter of months prototypes displayed at industry shows find their way into consumers hands. Here's a round up of the gadgets being launched in Japan this month.

Sony Bravia handheld TV

Sony is packing its Bravia technology into a new handheld TV it plans to put on sale in Japan on April 10. The XDV-D500 has a 3in screen and includes the "mobile Bravia engine" digital image processor that seeks to improve the picture's colour, contrast and brightness for an overall better image.

The device can also record up to 10 hours of TV programmes and comes with an AM and FM radio. It will cost $355 (£178). By putting the Bravia name on the set Sony is hoping the device will get a sales kick from the substantial brand it has built up around the Bravia name.

Sony will also launch a second portable TV set on the same day but it doesn't include the Bravia technology. The XDV-G200 has a 2in screen and will cost $280 (£120). The OneSeg TV service is based on the ISDB-T standard that is only used in Japan so the sets won't work overseas.

Sony Bravia handheld TV

Samsung calorie-counting mobile phones

Samsung is unashamedly promoting calorie counting, shopping lists and fragrance prediction as killer-applications in three new mobile phones aimed at women.

The phones are designed to appeal to women by being both stylish and functional - functions defined by these three features. While the workings of the shopping list and calorie counter are obvious, the fragrance function works by suggesting a suitable fragrance through the user's favourite food and beverages, said Samsung.

The L310 and L320 are tri-band GSM clamshell handsets and also have a 2Mp camera and Bluetooth. Both go in sale in February. The L310 will initially be available in Russia and Hungary and cost €240 (£160) the L320 will be on sale in Russia and CIS and carry a €220 (£145) price tag.

Samsung L320

LG Divx mobile phone

Digital video recording is nothing new in mobile phones but LG Electronics has something new in its LG-KU990 Viewty phone. The handset is the first, according to LG, to record video into the popular Divx format.

Divx is a favourite of file-sharers because of its ability to retain a good video quality and high compression and because of cross-platform support. The phone will record VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels) video into Divx. The Viewty comes with a 3in LCD screen - something else that should be handy for video - and also has a 5Mp camera with image stabiliser. The phone is already available in Europe.

LG Viewty

NEXT PAGE: Sony expands its Alpha digital SLR camera range and Japanese scientists succeed in controlling a humanoid robot


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