Better go find these quick; they didn't make many!
They told us, but we did not believe them: The Oct. 5 print edition of
Weekly*, which features a one-of-a-kind digital ad running video and live
tweets, actually has a smartphone inside of it. A real, full-sized 3G
cellphone *inside a print magazine*.
The digital ad is designed to promote the CW network’s fresh lineup of
action shows (*The Arrow* and *Emily Owens, M.D.*) and, when you open the
magazine to the ad, the small LCD screen shows short clips of the two shows
and then switches to live tweets from CW’s
When we spoke to CW representatives earlier this
they did tell us that “the ad is powered by a custom-built, smartphone-like
Android <http://mashable.com/follow/topics/android/> device with an LED
screen and 3G connectivity; it was manufactured in China.” This is all
true, though the device is far more than just “smartphone-like.”
During our teardown, we discovered a smartphone-sized battery, a full
QWERTY keyboard hidden under black plastic tape, a
T-Mobile<http://mashable.com/follow/topics/t-mobile/>3G card, a
camera, speaker and a live USB port that will accept a mini USB
cable, which you can then plug into a computer and *recharge the phone*. We
could also see from the motherboard that the smartphone was built by
You may have heard of it.
Once we extracted the phone from its clear plastic housing (which was
sandwiched between two rather thick card-stock pages), we were able to use
a screw driver to close the open contacts on the touch pad and access the
on-screen Android menu, which has a full complement of apps. It wasn’t
easy, but we even made a phone call.
That’s right, there’s nothing wrong with this phone, other than it being
old, under powered and partially in Chinese. Oh, yes, and the fact that
it’s jammed inside a print magazine.
*Mashable* Senior Tech Analyst Christina
who assisted in our teardown, did some research (including using the number
on the motherboard) and is now fairly certain that guts come from this $86
worry, it’s unlikely that it cost the CW anywhere near that much.
*Entertainment Weekly* is only producing 1,000 of these digital
advertising-enhanced issues, so if you want a nearly free smartphone that,
with a good deal of nudging, actually works, you better run, not walk, to
your nearest newsstand.