Yet another interesting and innovative device has been thrown up at this year’s MWC. The much anticipated PUMA phone is now upon us and it certainly adds something new and unique to the line up of great mobile devices already announced at the event in Barcelona.
PUMA AG and Sagem Wireless have unveiled a mobile device which not only looks great, but contains some incredible technology that they hope will enhance the world of mobile devices in years to come. This is for one simple reason, although packed with great features, this sleek and compact device contains an integrated solar cell along with a charge indicator. This means that your device will charge whilst on the go, no need to leave it at home or take your bulky charger along with you.
Underneath all the glitzy solar glamour though, this device is an active smartphone which has enough power and enough features to put it right up there with its competitors. Jochen Zeitz, CEO of PUMA said, “Just as PUMA is unlike any other sportlifestyle company out there, the PUMA PHONE is unlike any mobile phone on the market.” Clearly, the companies have high hopes for this device, and I think that many members of the public will share this hope. One of the biggest downsides to mobile technology is the need for regularly charging and relatively short battery life. So will this innovation provide the answer we are so desperately looking for?
With PUMA primarily being a sport-lifestyle brand, they bring a lot to the device in terms of how it looks, but not only that they bring added functionality, combining the device with public lifestyle and appealing to the fashion conscious.
Let’s talk specs then. First of all the screen, which is a relatively small 2.8” touchscreen with 240×320 QVGA resolution, which all in all is pretty mediocre in terms of what’s on the market. In addition to this mediocrity, it also contains a 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash and x6 zoom. So in that respect, it’s nothing too incredible.
In terms of media, the device is capable of full screen video playback as well as recording and streaming. Again, pretty consistent with other devices released in the not too distant past. There is support for many different audio formats as well as a built in FM radio. This feature is pretty much a necessity considering the purpose of the device is to accompany sports enthusiasts on long distance runs etc. For this reason, the phone also comes equipped with a pedometer, compass, GPS tracker and a stopwatch, just take a look at the hands-on video below for more on these types of functions.
As I mentioned earlier, this is underneath it all, a traditional smartphone, perhaps not quite up to the standard of the iPhone 3GS or Nexus One, but it does obviously ensure that you can access the Internet. There is an included internet browser with WAP push notifications and such available. Unfortunately though, there is no real sign of Wi-Fi connectivity in the press release. However in terms of connectivity they have most bases covered with HSPA and W-CDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM connectivity as well as Bluetooth and USB 2.0.
Again with regards to its intentions of being a ‘sports’ phone, battery life is important. I am pleased to say that in this respect, it lives up to expectations. 350 hours of stand-by time, 5 hours of talk time, with the music player lasting a full 24 hours and video playback of up to 5 hours. All in all, not bad.
The Puma mobile phone is fairly lightweight, weighing in at 115g and dimensions of 102mm x 56mm x 13mm mean it’s not a sizable phone by any means, but then again who wants to be dragged down by such a bulky device when out for a jog in the evening?
So overall what do I think? Well, the Puma phone has certainly found a hole in the market with the world becoming almost obsessed with ‘green’ and with it’s clear what its intentions are from the outset targeting sports enthusiasts and athletes. But in addition to this it is also a fairly competent smartphone which as far as I can gather, won’t let you down in terms of actually being a phone. Smooth curvature and a neat red on black colour scheme tops of an all round promising device.