April 10, 2006 Dave Weinstein reports from CTIA that LG showed off a new music phone called the LG 550 - an EV-DO capable 3G device that supports music and video on demand. LG wouldn't confirm which carrier the phone would ship with, but a bit of experimentation revealed that it was Sprint. This looks like it's going to be a very solid music phone, with a few unique features - Bluetooth stereo support, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and user changeable face plates. There’s also a FM transmitter for listening on a nearby (e.g. car) radio which is a feature that is a must for all MP3s to eventually incorporate – let’s face it, everyone has an FM radio in the car and in the vast majority of cases it’s a quality unit, and you can’t drive a car with earphones on and … about time! The "humm a toon" method of creating ringtones is interesting too.
There’s also a microSD/TransFlash slot for storage and a speakerphone. The 262k colour, 176x220 TFT display is excellent and the front of the clamshell when it’s folded reminds me of something… I wonder where the inspiration came from?
Though they hinted that the 119g (4.2oz) device would be very reasonably priced no figures were mentioned other than that it measures 96mm x 48mm x 20mm.
Finally, the faceplace is interchangeable on the LG550, enabling you to change the colour of your phone to suit your moods (which I guess doesn’t auger well for the green and black), or to differentiate between two phones in the same household.
No timing yet, but we'd suggest it'll be Q3.
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