The Palm OS-based PDA (personal digital assistant) mobile phone handset that Samsung unveiled at the Expo Comm exhibition in Seoul this week shows the shape of things to come from the Korean electronics giant later this year.

The SPH-M330 is a tri-mode handset that supports gpsOne, a hybrid service that combines signals from GPS (global positioning system) satellites and CDMA (code division multiple access) base stations to determine a user's location and generate maps of the immediate vicinity or provide location-based directory services.

A touch-sensitive, 256-colour, 160x240 display takes up a large part of the face of the device and doubles as both a PDA screen and onscreen keypad. Other features include a 16-polyphonic-tone ringer, speakerphone function, infrared port, voice memo, voice dialling and support for an external camera.

Despite packing in so many features, Samsung has managed to reduce the size and weight of the telephone compared to the previous model. The new phone weighs 150g and measures 125x57x17.6mm, making it around 20 percent thinner while keeping almost exactly the same height and width.

Fitted with a standard battery, the SPH-M330 has a talk time of four hours and 100 hours standby, Samsung said.

The tri-mode phone works on the US and south east Asian networks (code division multiple access 2000 1X). Samsung plans to launch the telephone with Sprint PCS Group. Sprint already sells the current model, the SPH-I300, and is expected to begin selling the new version in April, said Sonia Lee, a spokeswoman for Samsung.