Tokyo Edge: March's coolest gadgets

We're already a quarter of the way into 2009 and the gadgets are coming thick and fast despite the recession that is gripping many countries. This month it was time for new digital cameras with the PMA show in the US and a couple of follow-ups from Panasonic and Sony in their CES announcements from back in January. Mobile World Congress in Spain also proved a springboard for some new cell phones, among which were a couple of interesting prototypes from Samsung and LG. Both phones, which are detailed below, made use of solar panels to charge the battery. Green gadgets are definitely going to be a theme this year so watch out for similar prototypes and products as 2009 rolls on.

Sony CyberShot HX-1: Sony brought us a refreshing new digital camera, the DSC-HX1, as part of its PMA line-up. Refreshing because it has ditched the megapixel race -- where camera makers pitched higher and higher resolution image sensors as the main feature -- in favor of some potentially more useful functions, such as the ability to stich pictures together to make panorama shots or improve images taken in low light. The latter twilight mode takes six images and combines them to create a single optimized image with lower noise levels while the former shoots a burst sequence while you swing the camera horizontally or vertically to create an extra-wide, high resolution image. The camera has a 9.1 megapixel image sensor and 20X optical zoom. It will launch in the U.S. in April for US$500 and follow in Europe in May.

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