sWaP’s NOVA – possibly the smallest smartphone around


sWaP NOVA - the tiny cellphone

Cellphone and watch specialist sWaP has announced the launch of a new smartphone at IFA Berlin, which it claims is quite possibly the smallest smartphone currently available: the teeny-tiny sWaP NOVA.

If you’re more concerned about size than smart, the NOVA is a pretty neat contender for your attentions: measuring a minuscule 68.5mm x 38mm x 16.2mm and weighing just 43g it’s more of a key-fob than a smartphone – and that’s one of the uses that sWaP suggest it’s put to, with the tough chromed finish meaning that it shouldn’t get too scratched up if it shares a pocket with your house keys.

Once you’ve got over the ridiculous size of the thing, the NOVA’s specifications might start to grate: although it features a touch-sensitive screen, it’s stylus based for one simple reason – it measures just 1.76″ diagonally. Battery life has also taken something of a hit for the handset to reach such a diminutive size, with a maximum of 82 hours standby time and 150 minutes of talk time available from the integrated 230mAh lithium-ion battery – surprisingly high considering the size, but still a cellphone you’ll have to charge each night.

Thankfully, charging is made easy by a clever integrated USB connector: just slide it out from the side of the handset and you can connect the NOVA directly to your PC or laptop for both charging and data transfer. As it presents as a mass-storage device, the NOVA should be plug-and-play on Windows, Linux, and Mac-based machines, with no drivers required.

Internet browsing is available via a WAP connection – there’s no full browser, due to the tiny screen – and an integrated FM radio provides an alternative to the in-built MP3 player. Bluetooth hands-free kits and headphones are supported, as are wired headphones – and a lanyard is provided for wearing the tiny device around your neck while you’re listening to music.

Storage is taken care of with a 2GB microSD card, with support for up to 8GB cards – although, sadly, the increasingly common 16GB and 32GB cards don’t appear to be on the menu. Quad-band GSM connectivity means the SIM-free cell should work on most GSM networks world-wide.

The company will be launching two editions – a standard version, plus a Swarovski-crystal embedded special edition – in October in the UK, although there’s no mention yet of a US release or of a CDMA version. The standard edition is pegged to cost £199.99 (around $308), while the top-end Special Edition will be an eye-watering £299.99 ($462.)

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