Kempler & Strauss -- which pretty much came out of nowhere this week to announce a pair of 3G WinMo devices and a watchphone -- is pulling out all the stops here at CTIA to get its new products noticed, so everything they've got is on display and ready to use (or in some cases, wear). First up are the Billionair B6
and B7, full touch and portrait QWERTY WinMo devices respectively that currently run 6.1 -- but we're told that 6.5 upgrades will be available by the end of the year. Neither phone looks that awesome and feel generally cheap; the B6 borrows styling cues from the original HTC Touch
, to boot, so there's an overall KIRFy feel to the thing. The skin they've dropped atop the operating system is pretty uninspiring, too -- though many WinMo skins look uninspiring when they're up against something thoroughly modern like a recent build of TouchFLO 3D. The phones' saving grace might be the fact that they're cheap -- sub-$300 -- and in the case of the B7, the combo portrait keyboard / QVGA touchscreen is still a nice, sadly too-rare combo.
Turning our attention to the more interesting device of the trio, the W
is a watchphone that employs a pretty standard GUI we've seen on similar models
, but this one employs perhaps the most livable styling that we've seen this side of an LG GD910
, and it all comes at a small fraction of the price. The touchscreen doesn't come with a traditional stylus, per se, but instead you get a "communicator" accessory that functions as a combination stylus / Bluetooth handsfree / remote control -- pretty cool, although we'd feel pretty silly (and sad) if we misplaced it. At $200, we could almost justify buying one of these just for the sheer novelty of it -- just don't expect desktop-class browsing on that display, and you should be a happy camper.
Kempler & Strauss' Billionair B6 and B7 pose alongside the W watchphone