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Device Profile: ZTE e3 Linux camera phone

Jun 28, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

One of China's largest telecommunications equipment companies has used Linux and Qtopia Phone Edition to build a dual-band GSM mobile phone with a 1.3MP camera and unique pivoting color touchscreen. ZTE's e3 has strong multimedia and video capabilities, along with a full web browser and Chinese-English translation software.

The ZTE e3 has a unique pivoting touchscreen

The e3 is a dual-processor mobile phone that runs Linux on an application processor, alongside a separate baseband processor running a real-time operating system.

The device includes a 1.3 megapixel autofocus camera with flash and white balance settings for a variety of conditions, such as sunlight, flourescent lighting, etc. The camera also has effects settings, such as black-and-white, sepia, and negative. The camera can capture stills, and the e3 can also capture up to 40 minutes of video, ZTE says.

Multimedia capabilities include support for playing MP4, 3GP, AVI, and MPG video formats, and audio formats that include MIDI, WAV, and MP3 files. The device can store up to 10 hours of music, stored as MP3 files. Additionally, the phone includes voice recording software.

The e3 includes a full Opera web browser with small-screen rendering technology aimed at minimizing horizontal scrolling. Opera Software says its browser is used by several phones available in China, including the Motorola A780, as well as Linux phones from China's government-owned telecommunications giant, Datang.

The e3 additionally includes translation software with 17,423 English-Chinese entries, and 357,151 Chinese-English entries.

Additional features include PC synchronization over USB, handwriting recognition, SMS, and other software.

Linux-based software stack

The Linux software environment is based on Qtopia Phone Edition, a software stack for mobile phones supporting both touchscreen and keypad operation. Qtopia vendor Trolltech opened a Beijing office in April, saying it had six customers in China, not including ZTE.

About ZTE

Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) was founded by Zhongxing Semiconductor in 1993. It has about 20,000 employees, and annual revenues of about $2.56 billion. It is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and claims to be China's largest listed telecommunications manufacturer.

ZTE sells carrier infrastructure equipment, as well as handsets, to markets in China, Korea, and the Baltic region. Most of the company's products appear to use a proprietary dual-frequency GSM protocol based on the 900 and 1800MHz bands. The protocol is certified by the Foreign Trade Association, according to the Chinese Embassy in Romania.

ZTE partnered with Motorola in 1999 on the ZTE-Motorola Communication Laboratory, and opened a CDMA research and development facility in Korea in 2000. In January of 2004, ZTE invested about $500,000 in a Guangdong New Pivot Technology and Service company “to engage in the related businesses developed based on Linux technologies,” according to ZTE's 2004 annual report.

Tu Be Qing, a VP at ZTE, said, “The ZTE e3 is an important delivery for us, and we are certain our users will be impressed.”

Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software, said, “China is the fastest growing mobile market in the world, and expected to have over 400 million mobile subscribers by the end of 2005,” says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “It is an exciting and important market for us, and we're happy to be working with ZTE in providing mobile Web access to the Chinese people.”

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