When I posted my HTC Rose/S740 review last month I had no idea that a US version of the device would be coming and was quite excited to get a press release announcing the HTC S743 with 850/1900 MHz HSDPA support. The HTC S743 is a slick non-touchscreen device with a 12-key keypad and full QWERTY keyboard.
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One of my absolute favorite Windows Mobile Professional devices was the HTC Touch Dual with the excellent TouchFLO interface, very compact form factor, and wonderful keypad design. The only thing that kept me from using it more was the lack of 3G support in the U.S. Today, HTC announced that the HTC Touch Dual will be coming to the U.S. this quarter with support for U.S. HSDPA (AT&T) wireless data networks. The HTC Touch Dual will be sold as a SIM-unlocked device through Best Buy. No pricing information is yet available. It will also include Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.
My absolute favorite Windows Mobile device over the last few years has been the HTC Advantage and my review on the device continues to be one of the most viewed posts on this blog. I was pleased to hear that HTC just announced an updated version of the device, also called the HTC Advantage (now this will cause some confusion), that sports a new HTC Home Today screen, future version of Windows Mobile (let's make the obvious guess that it will be 6.1 shall we?) HTC TouchFLO support Opera Mobile 9.x (announcement made last week), 16GB of internal storage (Flash this time!), new and improved keyboard, and updated VueFLO that recognizes device orientation and flips the screen to match. The updated model still includes Marvell PXA270 624MHz and Qualcomm MSM 6275 processors, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, tri-band HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, 5-inch VGA, and 3 megapixel camera. The battery has slightly less capacity (2100 mAh vs. the 2200 mAh of today's model, but with the flash drive instead of a spinning hard drive I doubt there will be any difference (and maybe even better life) in this new model.
HTC produces most of the Windows Mobile devices on the market, but there are still a few others like i-mate, Motorola, Samsung, and E-TEN out there that have some very good products. E-TEN just announced the availability of their latest device, the Glofiish X800 that has an impressive list of specifications, including an integrated GPS receiver, HSDPA radio, and VGA display. E-TEN is also known for including lots of great software applications with their devices and the press release states they have also provided a new Today screen UI.
Does HTC think I have an unlimited budget for devices or something? I am very close to springing for my own HTC Advantage after spending almost 2 weeks with the device (look for my full review in the next few days) and then I see the TrustedReviews HTC Kaiser review that gave this device an extremely high rating. The HTC Kaiser may be coming to AT&T as soon as early September and it looks like it fills the gap between a smartphone and a Windows Mobile Professional mini-tablet device, like the Advantage, perfectly. The review gives a good overall look at the hardware, including the TouchFLO technology, but I would also like to see more details on the GPS functionality, HSDPA performance, and Bluetooth connectivity.
I've been with T-Mobile for over 5 years now and was patiently waiting for them to roll out 3G when I decided that the iPhone was enough to take me over to AT&T where I could get a 3G SIM to use on devices like the HTC TyTN and HTC Advantage. I just read the news on The Boy Genius Report that the first 3G mobile phone from T-Mobile USA may be coming in September. The 3G network may not be activated at that time, but the 1700 MHz UMTS network should already be in place and ready to go. The Samsung t639 looks like a decent clamshell feature phone, but wouldn't be something I would personally purchase. I am still pleased with my AT&T data service because I am seeing 3.5G speeds with HSDPA on both the TyTN and evaluation Advantage right now and the UMTS network that T-Mobile will be coming out with generally sees speeds less than half of what HSDPA brings to you.
HTC is the premier Windows Mobile manufacturer and as I blogged about yesterday they just started selling the HTC Advantage X7501 at U.S. retail locations. I was sent a review unit to evaluate for a while and spent several hours last night playing with the device to see a bit of what it was all about. The HTC Advantage is the most powerful Windows Mobile Professional (aka Pocket PC Phone Edition) device on the market and has features that actually rival that of UMPC devices. Some features are actually even better than UMPCs, like the integrated 3G wireless radio and integrated GPS receiver. In the few hours that I played with it so far, I found a couple disappointments and a couple of features and functions that have me thinking I may need to save up some money for one of these devices. I took a few unboxing and product photos that you can check out in the image gallery.
HTC manufacturers some of the best Windows Mobile devices and has several in the pipeline for 2007 as previously revealed at 3GSM. CTIA is now taking place in Florida and HTC shocked me a bit with the announcement of the upcoming HTC Shift device that runs Windows Vista. The HTC Shift specs include a 7 inch widescreen touch display, tri-band UMTS/HSDPA, quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, 30GB hard drive and innovative QWERTY keyboard with a cool sliding mechanism. The other cool part of the announcement today is that the HTC Shift will be sold as an unlocked device here in the U.S. in the 3rd quarter of 2007. Pricing information was not revealed and it will be interesting to see where it falls into the UMPC market.
Many new Phone Edition/Professional devices were announced at 3GSM, but another device that I read about on the excellent Howard Forums site has just appeared in the HTC lineup. PDAdb.net has all the specs of this device which state a release date of June 2007. The HTC P4550 (Kaiser) sports Windows Mobile 6 Professional, 256 MB ROM, 64MB RAM, 2.8 inch 240x320 display, quad band GSM/UMTS/EDGE/HSDPA/HSUPA wireless radio, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11 b/g, 2.8 megapixel camera, and integrated GPS radio. While these may be standard specs for the new Windows Mobile high end devices, the unique aspect that caught my attention was the way the display slid up and at an angle to reveal the full QWERTY keyboard.
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