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Archive for the ‘Helio Ocean’ Category

The Phone in the iPhone’s shadow

Posted by g3tech on June 29, 2007

Meet the Helio Ocean: the best alternative to the iPhone.

Around the corner from Apple’s showcase store on Fifth Avenue in NYC, a new store is opening tomorrow. The Helio Ocean phone has arrived and the NY Helio store opens today. It is right around the corner from the Apple Store where people are already lined up to purchase their iPhones. Will the line extend around the corner?

The Helio Ocean does quite a lot for quite a lot less money. The phone costs half of what the iPhone does, but does more. It looks very Sidekick-like, but has dual keypads, a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out so you can type, and a numeric keypad for dialing phone numbers.

Equally important, it runs on the Sprint Network, a 3G network that’s much faster than the AT&T network that comes with an iPhone. You can expand the memory (again, something you can’t do with iPhone). It’s got fast Internet access, a 2-megapixel camera, text messaging, picture and video messaging, multimedia and music, and GPS. It costs $295, with Helio memberships starting at $65 a month.

The phone is targeted at the young and hip. As a Helio member with an Ocean phone you get a MySpace mobile capability that lets you update your profile info and use MySpace right from your phone. The Helio also has a built in Buddy Beacon which lets you broadcast your physical coordinates to your friends so they can find for you.

The Helio stores are more like a Starbucks than a store. You’re encouraged to try out all the new applications for the phone and hang around to meet other Helios. My hunch is that you’re going to see the crowd with graying temples on line at the Apple Store, but the connected kids might just wander around the corner to Helio.

Read Gizmodo’s feature-by-feature review of the Helio Ocean, here

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