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MWC: Neo Ellipse Review

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neo-ellipse-hands-on-live-imageBARCELONA, Spain – On the exotic-phone side at the 2009 Mobile World Congress was Neo, a company known for a few concept-looking phones that are really on the border of the completely unconventional. The Ellipse is a device in candybar form factor that “was designed to look more like an ultramodern art piece”, by Neo.

We were not able to fully review this “ultramodern art piece” due to time constraints, but we had a good look at the eliptical shape of the phone, which makes the phone stand on a table, as a boat would float on the sea. This kind of design is unsurprisingly the first of its kind in the industry.

The Ellipse has tri-band coverage, but no 3G; a 2″ display; four pre-installed languages; FM Radio; MP3 and MP4 support; microSD memory card support; a 2 megapixel camera; Bluetooth; microUSB connectivity; and a non-removable battery with a disappointing capacity of 530mAh, which allows a mere 100 minutes of talk time.

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In terms of specifications, the Ellipse isn’t a powerful phone, or a great competitor to the market, as it has quite a weak battery, a small display, and no 3G.

It might turn out to be better than this, as Neo states that “the specs are subject to change”.

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The design is certainly the main highlight of the Ellipse. On the front, a blue background is predominant. The keys are individually laid out, including the d-pad keys. Their number assingments are next to them, while the letter assignments are above them.

For ease-of-access, there are quick access keys for MP3 and MP4, functions, and camera application.

The division between the keys makes them easy to type with, and comfortable to use, as there are large spaces between them. This large space also somewhat contributes to the size of the phone, which measures 112x46x15mm, and weighs an acceptable 110g.

Above the display there is an ear speaker.

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On the right of the phone there is a speaker and a lanyard loophole. Having a single speaker means that there won’t be a stereo effect. These downsides should be solved as Neo grows as a mobile handset company.

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The volume rocker and the microUSB are located at appropriate places on the left side of the phone.

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The top and bottom of the phone don’t have any component, because there is simply no place for them.

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The back of the phone features a chrome line going across from the top to the bottom of the phone. There seems to be a red light that glows from time to time, perhaps not only to add a touch of style, but also to warn the user of messages and missed calls.

A camera is also present, on the right of the line. There is no flash for the camera.

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In terms of software, the phone is understood to come with MP3 and MP4 support, video and audio recorder, image editor, unit converter, calculator, stopwatch, games, melody composer, e-book reader, world clock, calendar, multiple alarms, and to-do list.

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The Ellipse is available with a charger, USB cable, stereo headset, pouch,cleaning cloth, manual, and the CD.

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This is as far as we got with the Neo Ellipse. There isn’t much promise to the success of the company, because the brand is new and is not retailing in most parts of the world. Besides being able to buy in an online store, users can purchase Neo phones and accessories at actual stores in UAE, India, Hong Kong, areas in the North of Africa, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UK, USA, Germany, and Russia.

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Mar 9th, 2009 GMT +2

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