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CTIA Fall '06 wrap up!

Chris Ziegler

If you didn't have a chance to check out Engadget Mobile's play-by-play of this week's CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment convention, fret not -- we've got your executive summary of all the goodies right here. The show ended up being a bit weak in the way of new product introductions, but that certainly doesn't mean we didn't get our fair share of juicy hands-ons. Read on for the best and worst of CTIA Fall 2006!

There weren't a ton of 750s at the show, making face time with the stubless Treo a tricky endeavor. The sheer volume of buzz leading up to its release certainly didn't help matters.

Yep, it's a crazy fast data card for Cingular. What more can we say?

We were seriously digging the pattern on the backside of the RIZR at the Moto booth. Or at least we thought we were, but it might've just been the fact that we hadn't eaten in like, 24 hours.

There was a Linux-powered Motorola MING lurking on the show floor, but don't get your hopes up -- this sucker had "China Mobile" inscribed on back.

It's hard to fully describe just how much better HTC's Excalibur looks in person; it just doesn't photograph very well. Mad props to T-Mobile for picking it up!

The big story floating around the Nokia and Cingular booths was the impending launch of the E62 S60 smartphone. Not bad, Nokia, not bad at all. It'll be interesting to see this thing go head to head with T-Mobile's Dash (the Excalibur, that is) in the coming months.

The Artemis is a bit of a departure for HTC style-wise, but we were really feeling it. It almost has an old-skool Palm V air about it (but with infinitely more goodness, of course). We were surprisingly happy with the trackball / scroll wheel combo for controllability and ease of use. And where the heck did they stuff that GPS antenna, eh?

The i-mate JAQ, an original design by ODM Inventec, is a beast in every sense of the word. Thick, plasticky, huge -- and $499. It's a tough sell, especially when you put it up against a Q or an Excalibur. Best of luck, guys.

LG handed out pretty pictures and fact sheets for their VX8600 Chocolate flip phone destined for Verizon, though it was unclear whether they meant to -- the goodies were just cold chilling on a handout CD alongside a bunch of other (officially announced) LGs.

QWERTY candybars seem to be the form factor du jour, and of course we were anxious to try them all. Samsung's i320 Windows Mobile Smartphone looks absolutely hot, but the typing experience leaves a lot to be desired. You might say the eternal struggle of form versus function is exemplified by this 11.5mm package. Then again, you might not.

The Cingular 3125 mercifully launched during the show after a fairly lengthy delay, but we were surprised to see that the phone's read had put on a little bulk versus its Star Trek-based stablemates. My, what a dear price we pay for a little extra battery life.

Kyocera had a couple of new product announcements waiting in the wings, the K122 and K132, designed to rock CDMA on a shoestring budget.

It turns out that UTStarcom (of all companies!) ended up having one of the more intriguing lineups at the show. The 6800 (top) represents HTC's successor to the Apache, but that's about all we could get anyone to tell us about it, despite the big honkin' poster of it right at the entrance to the show floor. The EV-DO Rev A-capable 5800 wasn't being much more open, either, though we caught its HTC codename (Libra). Both devices are expected to launch in the next couple quarters.

Digit Wireless was showing off their vision of a Fastap-enabled handset of the future (translation: mockup of a decent-looking phone with a bizarre keypad).

If you're still in denial that CTIA's history until next spring like we are, be sure to hit up Engadget Mobile for more in-depth coverage (the good and the bad). Adios, CTIA!

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