Asus has announced what it claims is the world's fastest smartphone to date: the Windows Mobile 6.1-based P565.
The business-oriented PDA phone, which has a Marvell TavorP 800MHz processor, was announced on Friday. The only other 'phone' with a processor as fast as 800MHz is the HTC Shift; although, since the Shift runs Vista, it is really less a smartphone and more a small notebook.
By contrast, the processor used in Apple's iPhone 3G has the potential to run at 667MHz, although it only runs at 400MHz — probably to save battery life.
The P565 uses a 1300mAh battery — similar to that used in rival devices such as HTC's Touch Diamond, which has the same screen-size and resolution — with Asus claiming up to four hours of talktime. However, the Touch Diamond offers a claimed maximum of five-and-a-half hours of talktime using its 528MHz processor, reflecting how the faster processor in the P565 negatively affects its battery life.
The Asus P565 has 2.8-inch, 480x640-pixel touchscreen, which is slightly less impressive than the 'high-definition' displays appearing on recently released handsets such as HTC's Touch HD. The Touch HD has a resolution of 800x480 pixels.
Many manufacturers now put their own user interface skins over the Windows Mobile engine, in a bid to both differentiate and enhance the experience of using their handsets.
Asus, with its Glide interface, is no exception. As with competitors' skins, Glide allows users to navigate their handsets' functionality using simple finger motions. Asus has incorporated its own applications into Glide, including weather forecast updates, photo slideshows and a media player.
As the P565 is a business-focused phone, features such as Microsoft Office Mobile, push mail and business-card recognition are also built in.
The Asus P565's battery cover is coated in black synthetic leather, for what the manufacturer terms "an air of bespoke exclusivity".
The 120g handset also has a 3-megapixel camera and MicroSD expandability to augment its built-in 256MB of memory. Connectivity options include 3.6Mbps HSDPA, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi , USB v1.1 and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.
It is not yet certain, however, whether the P565 will be launched in the UK. An Asus spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that, if the handset does find its way here, that would not be until "next year".