Helio reveals social networking power-phone

The Helio slides in two directions - horizontally and vertically

US social networking junkies can now make sure they're always in contact with all their friends - no matter where they are or which messenger service they prefer to use. The 3G Helio Ocean is brimming with the kind of features usually found on high-end business phones, but US operator Helio believes it's the kids who'll make the most of the technology.

Its built-in global positioning system (GPS) should help people find their way around town, aided by the pre-installed Google Maps , but it'll also locate fellow Helio-wielding friends. Its Buddy Beacon feature will even tell you which instant messenger service your friends are using, then once you find them, snap an image of them and upload it onto your MySpace page instantly.

Specifications-wise, the Ocean packs a 2.4-inch, 260,000 colour QVGA screen, a 2-megapixel camera, stereo speakers, 200MB of internal storage, a 2GB microSD expansion slot and USB connectivity. Helio is claiming the Ocean can manage over two hours of continuous video recording, and 15 hours music playback, though there's no mention of talk time.

While the Ocean also manages IMAP and POP3 email support, even a double-slide design, surprisingly it doesn't do Wi-Fi. The Helio Ocean will be released in the US later this year, priced $300.