We often write about technologies that are way in the future. Products that fit those technologies sometimes never se the light of day, or are so far down the road that the glitter has worn off. I'm happy to say that one of the technologies that still holds the spotlight is emerging, namely high-speed downlink packet access, better known as HSDPA.
Samsung and Cingular Wireless just announced the launch of the SGH-zx20, Samsung's first commercially available HSDPA phone for the US market. With what Cingular is calling its 3G network, users should be able to access streaming video, browse the Internet with a high-speed connection, and quickly download images and other data.
Average download data speeds range from 400 to 700 kbits/s with bursts to over 1 Mbit/s. As a quad-band phone (850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz), the SGH-zx20 will work just about anyplace in the world. 3G services (and download speeds) are available in more than 60 US cities.
The compact handset is dubbed the SGH-zx20. With its clamshell design, the handset features a dedicated "multitask" button, allowing users to easily access Cingular's 3G network and view menus necessary to simultaneously use voice and data, check email, surf the Web or download ringtones all while on a voice call.
Is it the end-all? No, I don't think so. But it's absolutely a step in the right direction.