Viewsonic reveals world's first Ice Cream Sandwich dual-SIM smartphones (UPDATED)
By Paul Ridden
February 27, 2012
ViewSonic has taken a new range of dual-SIM Android smartphones to Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, that includes the successor to last year's V350 smartphone - the ViewPhone 3. Two of the brand new phones will run on the latest flavor of Google's Android mobile operating platform, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. The company hasn't given away too much in the way of detail, but read on for what we do know.
Having a dual-SIM capable smartphone in your pocket is like having two separate phones in one handset, where each has its own number, can be programmed with its own voice call and message ringtone, and gets its own bill. One can be used strictly for business and the other saved for more personal matters. ViewSonic says that its new dual-SIM Android offerings come with SRS Tru Media audio enhancement, PicSel Smart Office and Ignition Remote Access pre-installed.
With PicSel Smart Office, users can edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and view and edit files in the cloud using services like DropBox or Google Docs. Many modern printers will also allow files to be printed direct from the smartphone wirelessly. Ignition Remote Access allows users to control a PC or Mac over Wi-Fi or 3G.
The ViewPhone 3 was first launched at CES last month and is now making its first appearance in Europe. When made available in late Q1 2012, it will be powered by a Qualcomm 7227T 800MHz processor backed by 512MB of RAM, run on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), and be GSM, EDGE and HSDPA network capable. It has a 3.5-inch, 480 x 320 resolution capacitive touchscreen display, 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless technology and a 5 megapixel AF camera.
There's also 2GB of storage, SRS TruMedia Surround Sound, and built-in GPS. It will carry an estimated sale price of US$279.
The entry-level ViewPhone 4e will also have a 3.5-inch, HVGA resolution capacitive touch display and will run on Android 2.3 when it gets released in Europe during Q2 2012. It's been given a slower 650MHz processor backed by 512MB of RAM, is also 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless capable and gets a somewhat less impressive 3 megapixel, fixed focus camera, but bizarrely carries a higher recommended retail price than its slightly older sibling of less than US$399. ViewSonic does mention that it's only 10.3mm thick and comes with a built-in FM radio, though.
The first of the Ice Cream Sandwich dual-SIM smartphones is the ViewPhone 4s. It also comes with a 3.5-inch multi-touch display but has been treated to a "super clear" 960 x 640 resolution IPS panel at 326 ppi, with an 800:1 contrast ratio and 500 candela per square meter brightness - which should all add up to some very nice crisp image detail. Like the ViewPhone 3, this model gets a 5 megapixel AF camera at the rear but is also given a VGA quality cam at the front.
ViewSonic has confirmed that the 4s will have a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor supported by 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. There's also 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless technology, built-in GPS with A-GPS support, and SRS TruMedia Surround Sound. The ViewPhone 4s is set for a Q2 launch in Europe for a recommended retail price of less than US$499.
The company has also informed us that the new dual-SIM ViewPhone 5e will have a 5-inch capacitive multi-touch display at 800 x 480 WVGA resolution, will run on Android 4.0 at launch, have a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor and Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11b/g/n wireless technology. The rear of the phone hosts an 8 megapixel AF camera with LED flash and there's a VGA quality cam at the front.
Like the 4e, it will also benefit from an FM radio, SRS TruMedia Surround Sound, but will also have built-in GPS. The ViewPhone 5e will have a recommended retail of under US$599 when it appears in Europe during Q3 2012.
Source: ViewSonic Europe