Judging by the way an entire section of the site has been built from for the visit, The CNET Reviews crew is down at CTIA in Orlando, Florida scouring the show floor for some of the hot new telephony gear to hit the market. Not suprisingly, there's no shortage of new, and in some case stylish Bluetooth devices, not to mention a bevy of new cell phones.
Pictured left is Cardo's S-800; a Bluetooth headset that "weighs a scant .38 oz" and it's the first of Cardo's headsets that uses an in-ear ear piece. According to my colleagues at CNET's Crave, in addition to the S-800, Cardo has two other devices it's showing off at CTIA -- the S-640 and the S-2. The S-640 has a base receiver that clips on to your clothing and then an earbud that you put in your ear. The base unit vibrates when a call comes in which means you don't always have to have the earbud in your ear to know your phone is ringing. The S-2 his a stereo headset that supports Bluetooth's A2DP profile which means it does some neat things like play stereo music from your phone until a phone call comes in, at which point, the music turns off for your to take a call, and then it resumes when the call is completed.
The Crave folks also grabbed a picture of Samsung's new F700 smartphone. On top, it's got a big black glassy user interface. Underneath is a hideway QWERTY keyboard that slides out (you have to hold the device horizontally for this, so you get good spacing between the keys). The F700 was apparently encased in plexiglass to keep would-be snoopers from learning too much about the F700's design.
Proving that the folks at Sling are taking no prisoners when it comes to "slinging" a recorded broadcast to some other device across the net (they first started with PCs as the target and then, at CES this year, turned to regular TVs), now PalmOS-based devices can be slung to. This means you should be able to catch that episode of 24 no matter where you are or what you are doing (well, ok, if you're in flight, you probably won't be able to get it).
OK, so the first round of Bluetooth headsets were a bit spartan in their and you probably wouldn't want to wear one as a fashion accessory. But maybe, between the design and size of Motorola's new H680, you can have your cake and eat it to. According to Nicole Lee, the H680 (pictured right) is clad in vacuum metal and a black-gloss finish and only weighs about 0.42 ounces (slightly heavier that Cardo's S-800 but I'm sure your ear won't notice it).
Nicole Lee also provides us with a bit more than a cursory glance at the Helio Ocean. As best as I can tell from what she wrote about it, the Ocean is T-Mobile Sidekick-killer (a.k.a. Danger's Hiptop) that might very well kick some you now what in the market. Although it's a bit on the bulky side (but not as bulky as a Sidekick): "the Helio Ocean is a triple-deckered phone with a number keypad layer that slides down, and a QWERTY keyboard layer that slides sideways. It's rather bulky as a result, but not as bad as I initially thought. The 2.4-inch QVGA screen is great for watching video, the keyboard is nice and spacious, and it simply feels good in the hand."
CNET's Kent German dug Samsung's Ultra Video F500 so much that it had him wishing the company would release one here in the US. He's got a pictures that shows-off its unique selling proposition, but for now, the tiny phone/video player that has a swivel screen so you can set it down on a flat surface will be the domain of those abroad.Then there's LG's handy-dandy MSB-100 portable stereo wireless speaker system (pictured left). Wireless as in Bluetooth wireless. If you've got a smart phone or wireless device that supports Bluetooth's stereo audio profile and you don't want to be confined to using just stereo headsets (like the ones I currently use), then maybe the MSB-100 is for you. It's due in May but, at $120, this sort of convenience comes at a premium.
Finally (of all the coverage we spotted coming out of CTIA), Sony Ericsson's W580 Walkman Phone definitely caught our eyes as a head turner. It's definitely iPod-esque in design but it's definitely not from Apple. According to Kent, "the W580 features a slider design, which is still a somewhat rare design for the company (the last slider Walkman phone we reviewed was the previous W850). And at 0.6 inches, it also marks a further move by the company to compete in the thin phone craze. Inside you'll find stereo Bluetooth, a memory stick micro slot, a 2-megapixel camera, song ID capability for identifying unfamiliar music tracks, quadband world phone support, and an FM radio."