After months of silence, Emblaze has decided to show off their upcoming First Else phone. The First Else is running on a custom operating system powered by the Access Linux Platform 3.0. The user interface is, in a word, stunning. It uses a largely blue on black palette, but throws in lots of attractive animations and effects. The main UI was referred to as "the death of main menu". The user is presented with an arch listing various options along its length. By sliding a thumb along it, any menu can be opened without using another finger or changing your grip.
The First Else also uses a “fish eye” system to highlight and slightly magnify selections on the phone. The fish eye is basically a floating context menu in the center of the display. The whole affair just feels very sci-fi.
The hardware is also impressive. The handset will rock the TI OMAP 3430 chip, the same as is in the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, and Motorola Droid. The capacitive LCD screen is 3.5 inches with a resolution of 854x480, again the same as the Droid. The notification area resides on a small OLED strip above the main display, which is a nice touch. Finally, a 1450mAh battery keeps the whole affair running at least one hour longer than an iPhone. No one knows if the First Else will come to an American Carrier, but the phone will be HSDPA/EDGE only. Cross your fingers AT&T and T-Mobile fans.