Ushering in what appears to be an ongoing partnership with Samsung, Helio has officially taken the wraps off its Drift
slider. While it might not be able to run with the latest and greatest that Korea has to offer in its domestic market, the Drift looks to stand head and shoulders above the lion's share of handsets in US circulation with a fairly impressive spec sheet. Besides the expected QVGA display, decent storage (128MB, to be exact) with microSD expansion, 2 megapixel shooter and EV-DO, the Drift sports a true GPS receiver. That in itself isn't terribly notable or interesting, but Helio's bundling the Drift with a GPS-enabled version of Google Maps, which when you take into account the routing, real-time traffic, and satellite view capabilities, might make a dedicated nav system obsolete for some users. Helio's also using the launch as an opportunity to introduce "Buddy Beacon," a location-based system in the same vein as Loopt
for locating and mapping a preselected list of friends. Add in a web browser that's been revamped for speed and A2DP support, and the Drift -- in either white or black -- suddenly seems like a bargain at the $225 asking price.