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The Panasonic GU-87 was introduced on or around March '03.

The phone is based on GSM/GPRS networking (900/1800/1900 MHz). RF reception is a bit weak compared to the older Nokia 6260 and 8260 digital phones.

The 720mA Li-Ion battery, which provides up to 3 hours of talk time and roughly 150 hours in standby, is a bit weak as compared to other GSM phones available via AT&T Wireless. But if you plan to use the camera often, be sure to have a spare charger wherever you go.

It weighs about 3.6oz at 1.93(W) x 3.84(H) x 0.91(D) (clamshell), double the height when opened. A good size for the pocket. No belt-clips are available for the GU-87 as of this writing. And if you find one, please let me know!

The phone features a crisp 65,536 color, 132x176 pixel TFT display. It's becomes a little difficult to read in bright sunlight conditions.

The built-in 110,000-pixel CMOS camera is a nice novelty and not for those looking for professional or photo-quality images. Resolution comes in 4 flavors: JPEG Fine/Normal/Economy, and PNG. In Fine mode, pics are above average and about 20-30kB in size. Normal mode are average, and size drops to about 2-5kB. You get the picture? While taking these pictures, you have other options such as Twilight Mode (for low-light conditions), 2x Zoom, Effects (Sepia, Monochrome, Negative), Frame (to add a frame style to your photo), and a self timer. All images can be no more than 100%, which is 132x176. The front of the phone also has a convex reflective dome so you can do a self portrait of yourself. Don't even think about vouyeur-type photos. Panasonic has induced a loud "shutter" sound effect whenever you take a snapshot. And there are no settings for this sound effect to be turned off or muted.

Networking features include MMS, SMS, and Internet. MMS pricing plans come in different flavors at this time, as well as Internet access.

mMode is part of mLife from AT&T, which allows you to send and receive multimedia-type messages (sounds, pictures, and text), as compared to the text-only transfers offered in SMS.

You can set the ringtones to any one of the pre-installed 16 polyphonic tones, or create your very own on the phone. Downloads also are available. If you purchase the serial data cable, you can convert any MIDI/WAV/etc into the ringtone format and simply download it to your phone and begin using that as your ringtone. Ringtones can also be assigned to certain callers in your phonebook.

The built-in phonebook can store 200 entries, which include the name, email address, phone numbers (home, work, pager, cell, etc), notes, and if you have a picture of the person, that picture can be assigned to that person.

The phone does not automatically answer a call when you flip it open, nor does it disconnect when closing to a clamshell. I believe Motorola has the patent to this feature.

In the games department, Tetris and Sheep Herder comes standard with this GU-87.

Overall, the coolness-factor of this phone is very high. It looks sleek, and it has a camera. It's fun to show off until a better model becomes available. On the other hand, if you want a high resolution camera phone, then look elsewhere.

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by ChrisJT See Profile edited by Kevin See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-20 20:03:38