First ELSE Linux phone: hands-on photos!

The First ELSE Linux phone won’t be out until sometime next year, but we just got some face time with the new smartphone already. Read on for the first pics and impressions.

On the hardware front, the First ELSE Linux phone is well specced: the 854×480 capacitive screen is close to the cutting edge for mobile tech, a 5MP camera is par for the course, and build wise, it’s suitably skinny. The press weren’t allowed to handle the device, but from the demo we were shown, the software on the First ELSE, Else Intuition, does seem to be fairly easy to use. It’s straight forward to navigate, and there are some nice productive touches, such as setting your phone to automatically record and save calls.

You can reject calls on the First ELSE with clever auto responses to let people know you’re in a meeting, as you can on Nokias, and they can even auto-reply and redial to pop up with an urgent call label, while contacts are sorted by the order in which you call them most, and you can set reminders to pop up when a specific person calls you. Albums are even by default sorted by geolocation.

Graphically, it’s a far cry from the bright gloss of most smartphone software too, with a black and blue skin that looks more Blade Runner than iPhone OS, although whether that will wear on your eyes remains to be seen.

First ELSE Linux phone out next year

But, and it’s a big but, there’s still the issue of third party support. ELSE Intuition is yet another smartphone OS developers will have to cobble apps together for (Emblaze Mobile says an API will launch with the phone), and given the increasing popularity of the iPhone App Store and Android Market, it’s hard to see an upstart Israeli company’s effort making much of an impact.

Take a look at the First ELSE Linux phone up close in our gallery right here while. Does it stand a chance with Android 2.0 handsets just around the corner?

Out Q2 2010 | £TBC | Emblaze

  • Benjamin

    “You can reject calls on the First ELSE with clever auto responses to let people know you’re in a meeting…” – Finally, a phone that would help me screen my wife’s calls! I’m in a meeting honey!

    • Ben Sillis

      Many Nokias actually do this already – but ELSE allows you to then reply and redial to show the call is urgent, which I like.

  • G$

    I definitely want to try this device. I hope it gets recognized a lot so it becomes a contender.

    • Ben Sillis

      It’s certainly interesting and a phenomenal achievement when it costs so much to prep hardware and a whole OS. I fear that it may struggle though – even webOS isn’t taking off in the way I’d like it to. My main concern is Emblaze’s decision to style the mapping software in keeping with the rest of the UI. I’d far rather use Google Maps!

  • Michael

    I’m a student and I record some of my lessons. finally, no call would bother me now in the middle of my classes nor would it ruin my recordings! thank you ELSE!!
    Can’t wait to get my hands on it!! [actually, one finger is sufficient... ;) ]

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