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1Inside the Best in Show Saygus VPhone

Saygus VPhone Promises Video 2-way Talk on AndroidWagging tongues are chatting up Google and the recently available Droid. Well, there are more cool Android phones coming down the pike. Utah-based Saygus recently unveiled its flagship Android smartphone product – the VPhone-at CES Innovations in New York and took home the “Best of Innovations” blue ribbon in the wireless handsets category. Inside, Channel Insider takes you under the covers of one of Google’s new Android phones.

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Sources say the Saygus VPhone, seen here, may be the first device to make it through Verizon’s Open Development Initiative later this month. Saygus confirmed the VPhone is expected to be available nationwide in January, but would not confirm whether the phone will be available on Verizon or another CDMA carrier. If Verizon does offer the VPhone, it most likely will not be available through retail stores, but possibly from a reseller like Best Buy or from Saygus directly.

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Saygus got its start building two-way video calling software, which is, of course, available on the new Vphone. Two-way video calling is nothing new –a major barrier to adoption was both users needed the same device. Saygus solves that problem – its two-way video calling is built on the emerging two-way video SIP standard so it integrates with non-Saygus video solutions.

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Targeted to consumers and businesses, the VPhone offers two cameras – a 5 Megapixel main camera with auto-focus and flash as well as a VGA forward-facing camera for video calling and snapshots. Saygus CTO Tim Riker said captured video is DVD quality.

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The company is still working out pricing details, but expects the cost of the device, with subsidies and carrier contract to be competitive with the Droid and in the $199 to $299 range.

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VPhone offers tethering for up to eight devices-including laptops and MIDs-and it supports WIFI so users can use the device as an access point. Also supported are USB charging for host and client and Bluetooth.

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The phone is thicker than the Droid, but supported features may make the VPhone a fit for enterprise users-even those in industrial sectors. Its slide-out keyboard with raised, large keys are designed for fast and easy typing, and its larger battery provides up to 4 hours of video calling and 7 hours of talk time.

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Vphone offers twice the screen resolution of the iPhone, coming in at 3.5-inch 800 x 480 capacitive multi-touch capable screen which makes for higher quality images and a more plush browsing experience.

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The Saygus management team is full of big names from HP, LG, and Texas Instruments – they expect to begin licensing the Saygus low bandwidth video calling software to smartphone phone makers around the globe. Saygus says it already inked deals to have its software running and available on a handful of US phones for 2010.