GSM handsets have a nasty tendency to become paperweights (albeit paperweights that can place calls to 911) when they find themselves missing nothing more than a thumbnail-sized piece of plastic -- the almighty SIM card. Ten years ago, that was a fair proposition since phones didn't do much besides make calls, and you need a subscriber identity to do much of that anyway. Fast forward to 2007, though, and phones do a heck of a lot more than call, so why do we still get so much hate when we power on our 'sets without SIMs? BenQ feels your pain, showing its T33 slider -- an all-around midrange musicphone, but the money feature here is that you can pull the SIM and let it function as a music player alone. Other goodies include a 2 megapixel cam, stereo Bluetooth, 220 x 176 display, FM radio, and the obligatory microSD slot. The keypad looks like a nightmare to use, but considering that BenQ's North American handset presence amounts to a big, fat goose egg, we're not too fired up about it.

[Via Fareastgizmos]

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BenQ T33 avoids brick status, offers music without a SIM