Having received a tacit endorsement from President Medvedev, the iPhone might have won the political battle for Russian touchscreen dominance, but Emblaze has a more traditional plan to take on Apple: with price and features. Emblaze's Edelweiss is an impressive slab of phone, with an HTC-trumping 480 x 854 touchscreen, 3G, GPS and 8 or 16 GB of internal storage. If the OS is passable and the phone can undercut the ludicrously expensive iPhone 3G then purported carrier MTS might have a winner on their hands come October. But that's not all. According to their website, Emblaze has bigger plans.
Slated for release in H1 of 2009, the Monolith, built in partnership with Sharp and Japanese software company ACCESS, could be even more impressive. Breathlessly touted as the "ultimate holistic (?) device," the Monolith will be a full-featured touchscreen phone with an in-house Linux OS that is, if Emblaze is to be believed, able to compete feature for feature with Windows Mobile, iPhone OS and Android. This raises questions about what exactly the Edelweiss is running, though WinMo is a likely candidate. Of course these are just (Russian) words on a screen for now, but the promise is seriously tantalising. [Mobile Review via UnwiredView]