Samsung sells Soul and other devices

Samsung Electronics unveiled its first barrage of new handsets on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it reckons will help it maintain its No. 2 spot in the handset market, including the latest edition to its Ultra Edition line: the U900, a.k.a. "Soul".

The Soul (which apparently means "Spirit Of Ultra") is an 7.2 Mbps HSDPA metal-body slider with a high-performance 5-megapixel camera that also comes armed with face detection and an image stabilizer, while the music player is powered by a Bang & Olufsen digital amplifier.

The touted showstopper, however, is the "Magic Touch by DaCP" interface, with a touch screen below the main view screen that displays new soft keys for different phone functions.

Samsung also launched a second Ultra Edition phone, the F480, which also has a 5-megapixel camera and a full touch screen. Also unveiled were two multimedia phones - the F400 music phone and the F490 handset with a 16:9 ratio screen - a low-cost B100 handset for emerging markets, the L760 with Web 2.0 features like blogging support and RSS feeds, and two new GPS phones - the G810 for the consumer market and the i780 for business users.

The new handsets comprised Samsung's theme for 2008, "A Handset for Every Lifestyle", which Samsung president Geesung Choi said should help the company hit its target of 200 million handsets this year, compared to 160 million handsets in 2007, despite the "uncertain economic situation" at the moment.

Choi also said Samsung wasn't considering following in the footsteps of rival handset makers like Nokia and Motorola to take a more direct role in the mobile content business.

If we think it's necessary, we will consider it, but it's not our main focus at the current stage," he said at a press conference in Barcelona.

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