Helio Ocean: Don't Call it a Messaging Phone With Keyboard and Keypad

Hot on the tail of the Helio Heat comes the Helio Ocean. This messaging phone, aka the Pantech PN-810, folds out to a keyboard in messaging position and slides to reveal a keypad in phone position. It runs Helio’s own UI and plays MP3s and Windows Media files. So what’s that keyboard for? Well, it supports POP/IMAP mailboxes as well as IM along with GPS and Google Maps. Sidekick? Are you listening?

The Ocean also supports EVDO and has a 2-megapixel camera and records MPEG4 video.

The device has 200MB on board and includes a mini-SD slot for up to 2GB expansion. Rumor has it that there might be photo GPS integration, as well, localized search and “dog-pile” search from Google, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. Mac-heads rejoice: it works as a USB memory device.

The phone is available this month for $295. Not too shabby.

I’ve been historically down on MVNOs, but I’m starting to change my tune. Clearly, these boys are bringing cool phones and services to a starved audience. Is it enough to base a business on? It seems so. I’ll talk to them about money, et al, when I see them in Orlando tomorrow, but I’m fairly excited to see this little Asian hottie running on a 3G network with some good old fashioned email and messaging.