It’s time for something ELSE
On the 24th of this month, Emblaze Mobile announced their new smartphone running on the relatively unknown Access Linux Platform (ALP). Developed from scratch in close cooperation with OS developers, the First ELSE have taken them two years to develop but the end result has turned out quite attractive.
Powered by the TI OMAP 3430 platform the First Else will share the same CPU and graphics accelerator with devices such as the iPhone 3GS, Nokia N900 and Samsung i8910 Omnia HD. The handset packs an impressive 3.5″ capacitive LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels.
The 5-megapixel camera of the First Else is able to capture 480p (which could either mean VGA or WVGA) video at 30fps. Network connectivity is perfectly covered, with both HSDPA and EDGE onboard.
The First ELSE has the Access Linux Platform (ALP) 3 in its core, which is LiMo compliant and has support for classic Palm OS and Java apps. But on top of ALP, ELSE Mobile have put a new UI called ELSE Intuition.
Here’s how it works in action. You can see they’ve revamped the “old-school idea” of a Main Menu and all you need to select an item is a single thumb Touch, Slide & Release action. They’ve called that concept sPlay.
The new UI is task-oriented and is supposed to deliver an unmatched user experience. Yet it seems that the whole press event was dedicated to it being able to outdo the iPhone and Android devices. However looking at those first screenshots we are almost willing to believe that the First Else will, in fact, try to push the envelope, rather than be content with beating the old dogs at their own game.
Else are also working on a self-branded media store to facilitate the distribution of multimedia content for the platform. Of course there will also be an App store (you can’t do without one these days) and the SDK will be made available at launch in Q2 of 2010. There’s no word however on how much it would cost.
A little backgrounder is definitely due when so many new names are involved. Access is the company developing the Access Linux Platform (ALP) for several years now.
ELSE Mobile is an independent company (previously known as Emblaze Mobile) that has been involved into developing a new smartphone based on the ALP. So far, they’ve had two concurrent projects – Edelweiss and Monolith (the second one in cooperation with Sharp). Edelweis has even been close to launch in Russia last year and it was detailed in various news sources.
Anyways, since then, both projects have been remapped to produce smartphones some time in 2009 and since their results have not been actively advertised, we guess they’ve either been dumped or one of them has become the First ELSE.
Watch the commercials of First Else