PUMA Phone Brings The Cat (And A Solar Charger) To The Smartphone World

High up on the list of companies we never expected to make a cell phone is PUMA. Yes, that PUMA. The PUMA that you see on the bodies of athletes competing at the highest level in sports, and the PUMA that may be on something within your very closet right now. The clothing outfit has realized that the smartphone market is exploding, and if Armani can get their own phone, why not PUMA?

Sagem Wireless, a smaller company that isn't known so well in America, has teamed up with the outfitter in order to reveal the PUMA Phone, and unlike most other fashion phones, this one is actually well thought-out, unique and pretty darn hot. Engineered from the ground-up to be something different in a world of copycat smartphones, the PUMA Phone has integrated GPS, massaging / Internet Bluetooth and support for video calling. Unlike most other phones on the market today, the phone includes a built-in solar charger. If you'll notice on the rear of the phone, it's back casing is actually a charging panel. Simply flip the phone upside-down in the sun, and the battery begins to recharge. Wouldn't it be nice if your iPhone did that?

The user interface is also new, as it features a "carousel-based menu" that enables easy access to multi-media features and the ability to download content from puma.com, PUMA applications and access PUMA products through mCommerce services. Other specifications include a 2.8" touch panel (with a 240 x 320 QVGA resolution), a 3.2MP camera (with LED flash and 6x zoom), an FM radio module and an integrated pedometer/stopwatch, which should definitely help training athletes looking to measure their exercises and workouts. It should be available this April, but pricing has yet to be made public. Hopefully it comes to America, but we aren't holding our breath.

 The PUMA PHONE is an active smartphone. Beyond internet, messaging, and gps localization capabilities, solar charging, video calling and Bluetooth photo sharing are all designed to make the device engaging and responding to consumers requirements. The spin and scratch music player and integrated radio make the device a connected companion. Designed around an active lifestyle, its sleek shape factor makes it a wearable fashion accessory.

Users will be guaranteed access to the PUMA WORLD in a click. A carousel-based menu on the device will allow an easy navigation through multimedia contents, enabling PUMA to aggregate rich media content services into a single intuitive and entertaining mobile user experience. Users will be able to interact with multimedia content from puma.com, download PUMA applications, and access PUMA products through mCommerce services. These connected services also enable mobile operators to create and access new channels for reaching niche communities with highly customised products and services that drive data usage.

Thierry Buffenoir, CEO, Sagem Wireless commented; "With PUMA engaged in projects such as the United Nation's Environment Programme, values such as sustainability are at the core of everything it does. From the very first concepts for the PUMA PHONE therefore, it was clear that we would need to marry a unique user experience with real technology innovation to design and develop a device that delivered on the PUMA promise. Using the device to directly connect with the PUMA community through services such as live sports feeds and mCommerce, the PUMA PHONE delivers not only a rich PUMA experience, but uses technology such as integrated solar cells to deliver it in a way that is completely consistent with PUMA's values."

The PUMA PHONE will be available through mobile network operators across greater Europe and on PUMA online store from April 2010, with international markets following.

    Key features of the PUMA PHONE include:

    - Integrated solar cell, with charge indicator
    - Touchscreen: 2.8 inch thumbable screen with 240 x 320 QVGA resolution
      and TFT wide viewing angle
    - Camera: 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash and x6 zoom; Bluetooth
      photo sharing
    - Video: VGA video call camera; full screen video playback, with video
      recording and streaming and progressive video download
    - Music: wide range of music formats with playlist support and FM radio
    - Localisation: GPS, compass, geotagging, routing and mapping
    - Sports: pedometer, GPS tracker and stopwatch
    - Internet: Open internet browsing, with WAP Push
    - Messaging: Mobile email client and mobile web mail notification;
      instant messaging; MMS and SMS
    - HSPA and W-CDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM connectivity; Bluetooth; USB 2.0
    - Talk time up to 5 hours with 350 hours stand-by time; video call time
      140 minutes; music player time 24 hours; video player time 5 hours
    - Tablet form factor; 115g weight and dimensions of 102mm x 56mm x 13mm