Elektrobit is bringing satellite phones to the masses with its new Satellite/Terrestrial Reference PDA Phone. Gone is the bulky antenna sported by satellite phones of yore, replaced with a sleek, qwerty-keyboard PDA look that's just a touch thicker than a Blackberry 8800. The concept product runs Windows Mobile 6.1 professional and contains a packed feature set—including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, VoIP, a touch screen, and a 3MP camera.
The phone will run on HSDPA, quad-band GSM/EGPRS and satellite networks. Talk time is 1.3 hours on satellite, 3 hours on WCDMA and between 3.5 to 5 hours on GSM. The entire package is expected to be cost competitive with regular mobile phones, Elektrobit promised.
So what's the catch? The phone is designed to be compatible with the Terrestar satellite network, which hasn't launched yet and seems to be having some trouble keeping its executive officers. If the network goes up in time, the phone will be brought to market in 2009. Otherwise, it's just another pretty piece of vapourware. [UberReview]