Samsung launches touch-screen, haptic cell phone

Samsung launched a 'haptic' cell phone on Tuesday: it looks like a thinner version of Apple's iPhone but provides touch feedback

Samsung's Anycall Haptic looks like a thinner version of Apple's iPhone, but adds a new dimension to the touch interface.

The phone, launched in South Korea on Tuesday, has a large touch-screen display that also provides haptic feedback, information transmitted via the sense of touch, when using certain functions on the device. It means, for example, that when the volume of the radio is changed, the phone simulates both the sound and feel of the "clicks" on an old-style volume knob on a real radio, said Samsung.

There are 22 kinds of vibration in total built into the phone.

The Anycall Haptic (model numbers SCH-W420 and SPH-W4200) phone has a 3.2-inch widescreen display, a 2-megapixel digital camera, full Internet browser, Bluetooth 2.0 and terrestrial digital TV reception.

It will cost between 700,000 won and 800,000 won (US$700 to $800) in South Korea. There's no word from Samsung on when it might be available elsewhere.

It's the second new handset launched on Tuesday in South Korea that plays on the sense of touch but the other, LG Electronics' LG-SH240, isn't quite as high-tech. The latter phone has a layer of silicon over the front of the phone to give it a little elasticity and make it feel to users like they're touching human skin. It will cost around 400,000 won.

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