iriver wave

iriver wave Specifications

Display: 3″ (76.2mm) Touch TFT LCD
Pixel Format: 480×272
Number of Colors: 260,000
Storage: 4GB Flash
Connectivity: WiFi (802.11b/g), USB 2.0
Audio Support: MPEG 1/2/2.5 Layer 3, WMA, OGG
Video Support: WMA9, MPEG4 (SP, H.264)
Other: Flash Lite 2.0.2, JPEG, TXT
Dimensions: 110.5 x 52.5 x 15.5mm

iriver: iriver is getting into the “smartphone” market. The company’s ‘wave’ looks fantastic. The front is similar in design to Apple’s iPhone in that there is a single button, a speaker slit for your ears and a display that takes up a good chunk of the overall area of the front. The LCD is a bit smaller at 3-inch versus 3.5-inch for the iPhone. The pixel format is slightly less at 480×272 versus 480×320 for the iPhone. Now what is very different from the iPhone is that the wave is not really a smartphone in the normal sense of the word. Although you can voice communicate, the wave relies on a WiFi connection to do so. At least that’s what I think since I cannot seems to find any information regarding the baseband feature: whether it is a CDMA or GSM phone.

In South Korea, you’ll need to sign up with KT to get Internet Telephone Service. The base monthly price is a reasonable KRW2000 but it adds up quickly as you use the service. For instance, a connection to a domestic (that would be South Korea) landline phone number will cost the user KRW39 per 3 minutes. The same pricing structure applies to other 070 numbers. In South Korea there are specific numbers that are given out for mobile phones. For instance, a 070-123-4567 number will mean that it is a mobile phone number. In the US you wouldn’t know whether 408-123-4567 was a landline or a mobile phone number. Continuing with the cost: KRW10 per 10 seconds if you’re connected to other non-070 mobile phones. SMS? KRW10 per to 070 Internet phone users and landlines; KRW15 per message for other mobile phones. I’ve heard of teenagers racking up KRW200,000 in one month. Easy.

So the wave is a portable multimedia player that gives you the ability to voice communicate via WiFi: a WiFi Phone. Now the interesting part about all of this is that I had a very difficult time finding WiFi signals when I took my original iPhone there last year. The only WiFi connection was a paid one through Starbucks locations. I am guessing SK is building out WiFi hotspots around the country much like T-Mobile did in the early days and now AT&T.

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