ViewSonic ViewPhone 4s Hands-on

February 27, 2012
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ViewSonic is making a surprisingly big showing at Mobile World Congress. Up to now they haven't made much of an impact on Android, especially on the smartphone side of things. They aim to fix that with a trio of new smartphones, one of which is the rather temptingly titled ViewPhone 4S. As you might have guessed, it's got more in common with a certain Cupertino phone than a similar name. We took a gander at ViewSonic's MWC booth to see if it could match the goose.

The ViewPhone 4S' screen is just 3.5 inches, but it crams in a massive 960x650 pixels - the exact dimension and resolution of the iPhone 4 and 4S. But that's where the similarity ends - this one's all Android, with ViewSonic's customized customized interface (provided by SPB Shell 3D) running over Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone uses a unique two-tone layered case that's surprisingly light, though can feel a little cheap if you're not feeling generous. The 4S is powered by a 1Ghz single-core processor and has a 5 megapixel rear camera.

Of course, one of the primary features is a dual-SIM design, allowing the ViewPhone 4S to operate with two phone numbers and/or data connections. This is particularly useful in underdeveloped areas where coverage from single carriers is spotty. Most dual-SIM smartphones are low-cost variants of existing phones, but ViewSonic seems to be targeting the market directly with unique and relatively high-end hardware. We'll see if that helps them gain a foothold in the market.

The ViewPhone S, along with its hardware cousins, is set for release in a vague "soon" timeframe in Europe. We'll see if they can get the phone out before Apple sics the lawyers on them. Make sure and check the MWC 2012 portal for more hands-on looks at new phones and tablets.


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