Nikkei Electronics has acquired "PV150" jointly developed and manufactured by Sharp Corp. and Danger, Inc. of the US and released from a US mobile phone carrier T-Mobile USA, Inc. on April 25, 2007. The PV150 is a kind of PDA type mobile phones (smart phones), which T-Mobile USA markets under a brand name of "Sidekick iD."
T-Mobile USA previously released "PV200 (Sidekick 3)" also manufactured by Sharp in July 2006. The latest PV150 is positioned as a beginner model, with camera, Bluetooth capabilities and a memory card slot removed from the predecessor PV200.
Featuring a QWERTY full keyboard, the smart phone is capable of GSM mobile phone, email, Internet browser and game modes, among other capabilities. Focusing on instant messaging (IM) functionality, which has penetrated US young generation as an easy contact method, the PV150 can access IM services run by Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp. and America Online (AOL), Inc.
The price of the PV150 suggested by T-Mobile USA is $299.99 (USD). In fact, however, most customers seem to purchase it for lower $99.99 including 2-year service subscription. This pricing is $100 lower than the PV200's $199.99 set under the same conditions.
Breaking down $100 smart phone (first half) (about 3 min. 20 sec.)
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Overview of the PV150. If you open it by rotating the LCD display, a QWERTY full keyboard shows up. Most operations can be done using the trackball on the right. On the left is a speaker/cross keypad. The gray parts called "bumper" on both upper and lower sides of the casing are made of soft resin.
When switched on, LEDs embedded inside the trackball start emitting light in seven colors. After a while, the "Sidekick iD" logo is displayed. The main unit measures 64 x 130 x 23 mm and weighs 176 g.
The display is a 2.4-inch LCD panel with 240 x 160 pixel resolution able to display about 65,000 colors. Image quality is much higher than you expect from these specifications. Using the trackball, you can rotate menu icons on the left side of the screen and an image illustrating the functionality is displayed on the right. You can choose modes by clicking the trackball. Images are displayed quickly and move smoothly.
Rear side of the body. On the back surface of the display are printed a "by SHARP" logo and "Made in Japan." This product appears to be manufactured in Japan at Sharp's Nara plant.
The rear side casing can be removed easily. It is embedded with a 1,500 mAh Li-ion secondary battery module.
Users can easily change its "outfits" by easily removing the soft resin parts (bumper) on the upper and lower sides of the casing. An SIM slot connector is equipped under the battery module.