Product: Mobile phone
Price: Free on contract
Once upon a time you could tell different mobile phones apart not only by appearance but by operating system (OS). The one thing that the Panasonic VS6 suggests to me is that although appearance-wise phones may becoming increasingly more individually distinctive, in terms of the OS there’s very little to tell a phone apart these days.
Take your SIM out of a standard Motorola or Nokia device and place it into the Panasonic VS6 and everything — phone numbers and access to applications such as the digital camera — is more exactly in the same place and accessible in the same way. I suspect that this is down to mobile operators pushing to put their own personal stamp on the look and feel of mobile devices.
Another sticking point in my mind about mobile phones today is that the lines are blurring between what constitutes a business mobile phone and a consumer mobile phone. They all boast increasingly powerful digital cameras that can take stills and video, they come with web access, they all sport Bluetooth connectivity and come with other useful bells and whistles such as calculators and alarm clocks and increasingly more they are becoming personal music players. They are also becoming more credible games consoles and on this level the VS6 comes pre-installed with the popular Sonic The Hedgehog game.
Where the phone stands a fair chance of ruffling the feathers of the established triumvirate that is Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson is that it features a 2MP camera phone that comes with a 5x digital zoom and 15-frame continuous shooting function – ideal for those who like to take shots in quick succession. It also boasts a high-definition 16mm colour screen that Panasonic claims to be one of the most advanced around.
The triband VS6 is a sleek, albeit unpretentious, new offering from the Panasonic stable; a brand that has been more a whisper than a noise in the Irish market of late and can be construed a much welcome return to form for the company in terms of meeting mobile market needs. The Panasonic VS6 is available free on contract through Meteor only at Carphone Warehouse.
By John Kennedy