Same story, different company: yet another Windows Mobile ODM has broken down, taken the plunge, and invested some cash engineering its own unique skin for the platform. This time around it's Gigabyte's GSmart division with its "Smart Zone" UI, and to kick it off on the right foot, they're grafting it onto the all-new S1200. We spent some time fiddling with the S1200 at MWC today, and we're actually pretty impressed; it's sleek, a wacky thin 11.4mm, narrow enough to comfortably fit in the smallest hands, and feels pretty well-built -- and with full HSPA and a 3.1-inch WVGA display, it's spec'd with the best of 'em. Gone are Gigabyte's days of chunky plastic, thank goodness.
We talked to Gigabyte about its announcements, and it turns out they've designed both Smart Zone and the S1200 with aspirational feature phone users in mind -- these are people who might not otherwise consider a smartphone because they're worried about sacrificing style and ease of use in the process. To that end, the skin definitely seems to get the job done. The transition animations got choppy in places, but we felt immediately at ease with the swipe gestures for getting to different screens, and the graphics look particularly superb at these resolutions.
The S1200 launches this quarter in a variety of colors (it's fashion-friendly, after all) with WiFi, a 528MHz Qualcomm core, 3 megapixel autofocus cam, a microSD slot to bump up the storage to something more usable than the 256MB built-in, and -- perhaps most importantly -- upgradeability to Windows Mobile 6.5. Follow the break to see it in action!
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Gigabyte's S1200 and Smart Zone user interface on video