Chalk one up for Sagem
who apparently just want a cell to be fun -- and somehow, we're right there with them. The obviously-named Puma Phone launched today, and for a pretty basic handset, it was drawing some reasonably large crowds at the booth. That might be thanks to some of the silly stuff like a calculator that teases you when you try an operation it deems too trivial, a pet puma on the device called Dylan (who shows up on-screen when you leave your handset untouched for a while), and an audio player with a turntable you can actually scratch -- but the real draw is probably the solar panel around back. It's quoted at a respectable 15 minutes of talk time or two hours of music playback for every hour in the sun, meaning you should theoretically be able to charge the phone even while blasting tunes (of course, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to battery claims, as always). It's not going to replace your Pre
, but the Puma set is definitely geared toward a youthful active market that focuses on sports and entertainment, and you've got to admit that it's driven by a brand everybody recognizes. Sure, it's simple; sure it is at its most basic a feature phone; but all that aside, we just liked the experience of using it. We're feeling that if the companies behind this thing align themselves with the right carrier when it launches in Europe this April, it'll actually do pretty well. No plans for it to land in North America yet, but we're told that if its launch goes well it could cross the pond later this year. Follow on for a full tour and gallery of the goods!
Puma Phone hands-on