August 13 2003 / A Chinese company has launched a tiny, pricey wristphone that packs in features found in larger phones, such as a keypad, color screen and camera.
Government-run electronics conglomerate CEC (China Electronics Corporation) has released the mobile phone, designed for China's CDMA 1x network.
Several Chinese Web sites are currently taking orders for the F88. The retail price of the device on cellular enthusiast Web site 139shop.com is US$1,158.
The F88 measures just 38.3 x 76.7 x 17 cm, excluding wrist band, and comes with voice dialing, four minutes of voice recording, 16 polyphonic ring tones and a world clock. A small keypad has been fitted to the wristband.
A wired earpiece is worn on the finger like a ring. To listen to the call, the ring is held up to the ear. However, a more conventional wireless infrared earphone or wired earpiece is also available.
There is a small 256-color STN color display on the device, which also has a removable 300,000 pixel camera that can rotate 180 degrees vertically.
The F88 is WAP-enabled and CEC claims a talk time of up to 120 minutes and a stand-by time of up to 100 hours for the F88 with the 600mAh battery. The device weighs 100 grams with the battery.
Japanese mobile service provider and handset maker NTT DoCoMo released the world's first wristwatch-phone, the Wristomo, in March this year. It uses the PHS (Personal Handyphone System) communications standard used only in Japan.
Companies such as Motorola and Siemens have demonstrated prototype wristphones, but have not sold them commercially. While phones can be made even smaller than they already are, human interface problems crop up with tiny phones, such as how to dial with a tiny keypad and how to speak into the device.