When I was shopping around for my first portable media player I was only considering two brands. The obvious one was Apple because the iPod brought status symbol coolness with its device (and who wouldn’t want to get a status symbol in these image-conscious times?). The other choice was an iRiver media player because of the great reviews it was getting regarding its far superior audio quality compared to the iPod. I eventually settled for an iPod because iRivers were quite hard to find at that time but the iRiver quality is something I’ve never forgotten to this day.
This is the reason why, when I read news about an iRiver smartphone, I immediately took notice. This is a brand I know, with quality that can be assured, but with a completely new product offering. The iRiver is apparently quite popular in its native South Korea and the company has been able to expand its product lineup to include smartphones. The company will release its first Android-powered smartphones – the I-L1 smartphone, or more commonly known as the iRiver Vanilla, and iRiver’s entrant to the tablet market, the iRiver ILT-MX100 or the iRiver Tab.
The iRiver Vanilla has a 3.5 inch LCD display with WVGA resolution. This is a very modest product – it is smaller than more smartphones in terms of screen real estate and it also has a slightly slower processor compared to current models from other competitors. It does have GPS, WiFi and DMB support.
The iRiver Tab possesses the same 7 inch form factor the Samsung Tab made popular. Aside from the basic WiFi and 3G connectivity, other features are a 5 megapixel camera, DMB support, and Bluetooth. It has a built in 16GB internal memory and it runs Android Froyo.
iRiver has yet to announce the official release dates for these phones.
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