Live 2000 Nuggets: Ericsson's A2618 is a phone to fiddle with

Young? Confused about your identity? Ericsson's latest mobile phone may help you express yourself

Ericsson seems determined to turn phones into portable etcha-sketches for the under-16s and is latching onto the buzz word of the day -- personalisation.

The A2618 is an entry-level phone. It's 131x51x25mm and 140g, and next to some of the tiddlers on show at Live 2000 it did look a bit bloated. It's only gonna cost £9.99 if you buy it with airtime, or £135 just for the handset, and should be available just about everywhere by October.

The A2618's killer punch is the degree to which it can be personalised. Ericsson works on the assumption that the youth of today like fiddling with their gadgets as much as they enjoy fiddling with each other and are offering them the chance to express themselves by creating unique pictures and tunes on their phones.

The "My Animation" software is actually a bit of a laugh, as you draw a groovy picture and then decide how it shoots onto your screen. Cute, harmless fun.

There's also a wide range of clip-on covers, which would be more attractive without price-tags of up to twenty quid. Apparently fabric and metallic are the best.

What else do you get for your money? Well, there's a touch of voice-activated dialling and a splash of games to play. Apparently it's capable of delivering WAP via SMS, as long as your network operator can manage it.

  • Ericsson A2618 mobile phone

  • £9.99 with contract, around £135 just for the handset

  • 131x51x25mm

  • 140g

  • Customisable start-up and shut-down screens

  • Clip-on covers (£9.99 to £19.99)

  • Supports WAP over SMS

  • Three games: Tetris, Erix and E-Maze


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