Samsung launches Icon smartphones for Australia

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

If you follow technology news on our sister sites CNET Asia and CNET UK you'll have heard about Samsung's enormous range of new handsets, including a family of new Omnia-branded smartphones. In Australia, the company will whittle down this list to four of its most exciting new releases.

Meet the Icons: Preston, Galaxy, Omnia and HD. (Credit: Samsung/CNET Australia)

With the range called Icon, each of the touchscreen handsets will be differentiated by their operating platforms. Omnia Icon (known as the Omnia II overseas) runs Windows Mobile, Galaxy Icon runs Google's Android, HD Icon (formerly Omnia HD) runs the Nokia-owned Symbian platform, and the Samsung Preston Icon operates on the company's own proprietary touchscreen system.

While the differences in these platforms will give each phone a distinct user experience, the phones share a very similar aesthetic. Each features a glossy black finish and full-touchscreen operation; there isn't a keyboard in sight. Impressively, all four phones employ AMOLED screen technology, offering superior colour depth and contrast to the current TFT display panels and being more visible under direct sunlight.

Samsung has displayed the entire line-up of new handsets at CommunicAsia 2009 in Singapore this week, including several models not yet included in the Icon range. Notably absent from its Australian announcements are the Samsung Jet, a low-cost touchscreen, and the Omnia Pro, a BlackBerry-esque messaging handset with a full-QWERTY keyboard running Windows Mobile. Though not part of the Icon announcement, Samsung has not ruled out introducing these models later in the year.

Samsung plans to begin rolling out the Icon range in August.

Joseph Hanlon attends CommunicAsia as a guest of Sony Ericsson.

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jess posted a comment   

does anyone know when the samsung omniaPRO will be released in australia? i really like the idea of the slide out qwerty keypad so you dont have to rely on touch


bramar posted a comment   

i have been using the current omnia for the past year (almost) and it is a fairly decent fone. I am going to upgrade to the hd version as there are a few niggles that annoy me with the omnia occasionally. the windows based opp system in particular. but the phone itself is marvelous and if that is anything to go by the hd should be hercules of smartphones. heard it comes out late september from AllFones in Launceston.


yy posted a comment   

what?! jet's not coming to australia??????


Greg posted a comment   

Is the Samsung HD going to work on Telstra NextG


domino_m posted a comment   

I think it was a reference to a physical number or qwerty keypads. I wouldn't mind knowing though! But based on the photos given, i would have to say no.


Pam Carroll posted a comment   

While there's no exact date for each specific model as yet, we're told that the releases are scheduled for August/September, with all four to be on the market by mid-September.


tonyyy posted a comment   

so does anyone know when these are going to be released, approx dates


geoff posted a comment   

finally some info on release dates!
my 02 is dying a slow painful death and im holding out for the new omnia icon or hd depending on costs!
few more months! come on 02 you can make it!


Shawn posted a comment   

Yes the HD icon has an onscreen QWERTY keyboard and also an onscreen phone keypad..It also had handwriting input however i dont know how well this will work!


MarcusN posted a comment   

So, do any of these handsets (especially the HD icon, cos i prefer S60) feature a querty or number keypad??

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