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Innovation

Handhelds with built-in phones

Are you looking for an all-in-one handheld and mobile phone? Check out our comprehensive buyer's guide.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor on

Smartphones may be today’s 'hot' mobile technology category, but convergence devices have been around for some time in the shape of Pocket PC and Palm OS handhelds that incorporate a mobile phone -– nowadays typically a GPRS unit.

Whereas smartphones are designed for one-handed operation and look like mobile phones (albeit ones with larger screens than normal), these devices look like regular stylus-driven handhelds, although they are often bulkier than their phone-free cousins. More recent examples, such as HP’s Jornada 928 WDA, use Texas Instruments’ OMAP 710 chipset, which integrates the GPRS phone functionality, making for a more compact device with better battery life.

A converged handheld/mobile phone is not for everyone, though: many people will prefer to use two separate devices -– a compact handheld with a wireless connection (either infrared or Bluetooth) to a mobile phone. But those who spend as much time accessing mobile data on the move as they do making voice calls may find a converged device more convenient.

If you’re one of those people, check out our exhaustive compilation of reviews before making your decision.

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