Linux-Based ELSE Shatters The Mold, Redefines The Smartphone

Apple's iPhone is obviously hot, Android is gaining steam and WebOS is easily the slickest operating system to ever come from Palm's labs. What do all of these points have in common? They're all proof that the smartphone is evolving in rapid fashion, far quicker than we've seen in years past. What this also means is that competition is fierce, and smaller players that may have been shunned in the past are now getting the attention they deserve due to the thirst for innovation in the sector.

Just a month ago, we highly doubt you had heard of a company called ELSE. Moving forward, we highly doubt you'll be able to see an iPhone without thinking of how the First ELSE handset may improve upon an already solid platform. The sleek, slick phone that's pictured below was recently unveiled over in the UK, and it's the first mainstream phone to generate buzz that's based on the Access Linux Platform 3.0. ALP has been around in various forms for awhile now, but can you honestly think of a single phone (other than this one, obviously) where ALP is used? Exactly.

The First ELSE utilizes a familiar design in terms of hardware. It's a touch screen-based phone, much like the iPhone and DROID. Users who are desperate for a physical QWERTY keyboard won't find one here, but the spacious 3.5" panel (854x480) provides plenty of room for a virtual keyboard. This phone also seeks to do away with the traditional home screen, and an app store (of sorts) should also be made available in due time.

An SDK is being planned for launch, which is supposedly on track for Q2 2010 as of now. What's wild is that the GPU within could be able to power some amazing applications, including the possibility of running World of Warcraft...on a phone! There will also be up to 32GB of storage onboard, and a GSM module will ensure that T-Mobile and AT&T customers could make use of it, if only at EDGE speeds considering that launch units are likely to only support 3G bands overseas.

Have a peek at the promotional video below. It doesn't tell you much, but man if it doesn't raise the hairs on our neck.