The Helio Ocean

All hail the new king of Helio's lineup: "Ocean." That ain't really hyperbole, either; the Pantech-sourced device first seen in the FCC's claws a few months back easily has enough tricks up its sleeve to put it atop Helio's already impressive stable of featurephones. Most striking, of course, is the dual-slide design with QWERTY in one direction and numeric in the other -- a first, as best we can tell -- that gives users the best of both worlds without compromising much girth (21.8mm to be exact). Other unique goodies (besides the requisite EV-DO and GPS) include a contact list with integrated "presence detection" showing contacts' statuses on a variety of instant messaging services, Exchange Server and ActiveSync integration(!) for the suits out there, geo-tagged photo uploads with Helio UP, multi-client communications app for Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, Gmail, and email, and a click-free web search mechanism -- users simply begin typing from their home screen to seek out sites in its new full-HTML browser. The Ocean also has built-in Google Maps (as did the Heat and Drift), will rock out to PlaysForSure tunes for a claimed 15 hours (pretty frickin' impressive if that figure holds up), offer 200MB of internal storage with microSD expansion, USB mass storage mode, a 2 megapixel cam, and stereo Bluetooth support. Look for it to start showing up on shelves before summer sets in for $295.

Gallery: The Helio Ocean