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First look: Samsung SGH-E950 with OLED keypad

Samsung launches phone with OLED keypad

The Samsung SGH-E950 mobile phone has one stand out feature: a 1.2in OLED (organic light-emitting diode) keypad that can display different icons depending on how the phone is being used.

When the Samsung SGH-E950 is not in use, the black-and-white OLED navigation keypad stays dark. Slide the Samsung SGH-E950 open and it turns on, revealing five white icons: one each for music, messages, phone book, the internet and Yahoo's Messenger, email and mobile search services.

See also: Yahoo mobile internet application beta launches

Click through to any menu and the OLED display changes again, offering four-way navigational buttons and an 'ok' button in the middle.

For images of the Samsung SGH-E950 click here

The Samsung SGH-E950's OLED keypad also changes when a user activates the Samsung SGH-E950's 3.2Mp camera, giving the option to zoom in for a closer shot. The centre of the OLED keypad displays a camera icon that's pressed when you're ready to take a picture.

OLED screens have been used with other phones, usually as the smaller, secondary display on the outside of a clamshell case, rather than as a keypad.

The use of OLED screens with keys was largely popularised by Russian designer Artemy Lebedev. Lebedev's Optimus Maximus keyboard, which will ship later this year, tops each key with a small color OLED screen. These screens allow the keyboard's keys to be quickly changed for different languages and functions.

OLED keyboard now on sale

Samsung's E950 was unveiled at the CommunicAsia exhibition in Singapore, and will go on sale in Asian markets starting next month. Pricing has not been announced.

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