Panasonic G51

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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If you're looking for a compact and affordable cellular phone to use around the world, the Panasonic G51 is a great choice! Somewhere in my memory bells are ringing the measurements of my first cellular phone, which I bought because I could use it for Internet connections while traveling. It measured about 9 by 7 by 2 inches, not in its case, and weighed in at more than my current Sony VAIO laptop.

The Panasonic G51: Gloriously Portable

Technology mercifully does move along in a seven-year stretch. At 80 by 43 by 18.8 millimeters and 74 grams--which converts to 3.1 by 1.7 by 0.74 inches and barely 2.5 ounces--the Panasonic G51 is certainly a petite model. It is very affordable as well, coming in at well under $200. The key to the portability of the Panasonic G51, however, is not its diminutive proportions.

The phone is fully GSM capable on the three frequencies used across the globe. These are the American 1900 MHz as well as the world standard 900 MHZ and 1800 MHz. Until very recently U.S. cell phones were virtually useless abroad. Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Rim had moved in one direction with digital wireless technology in the mid-1980s. Thanks to sideways rather than forward thinking, the United States moved its technology in another direction shortly afterwards.

The struggle to address this incompatibility now is two fold. First is for manufacturers to equip cell phones so that they're capable of working under the TDMA and CDMA technologies used in the States and under the 1900 MHz GSM frequency used there as well as the 900 MHz and 180 MHz frequencies used elsewhere. That's happening. Second is for U.S. providers and networks to gradually move over to the GSM 800/1900 technology. Time will tell.

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